Monday, February 9, 2009

Why "The Continuous Tourist"?

Erika & I were sitting in a splendid pub in Asheville, North Carolina with our friends Denise & Allan (and all of our wonderful children) when Denise asked us to take a picture of her under a sign with the pub's name.

This led to a conversation in which Allan said that when he's traveling, he prefers "blending in with the local population" over sticking out like a touristy sore thumb. Erika then pointed out that Denise would act like a tourist even when she's at home, at which point I jokingly called her a "continuous tourist" and Allan casually observed: "Now that's a blog: The Continuous Tourist." Thus, the seed was planted.

Travel is my lifelong passion, and I find that when I am not traveling in fact, I am traveling in my mind by remembering past trips and thinking of where to go on my next one. And I love to write, so it makes sense to write about traveling.

Sitting in the pub, I agreed with Allan about how to behave. I've always tried to blend in when traveling, for I grew up on the coast of Florida and know it's not a good thing to hear the phrase "like a tourist" used to describe one's self. Plus, I like to see the out-of-the-way places that tourists miss. I thought "The Continuous Traveler" sounded like a more appropriate and dignified description of me.

But then again, "The Continuous Tourist" is more catchy and memorable, and as we sat in the pub I couldn't deny that I always have my camera at the ready to capture images of my travels -- after all, it was sitting right there on the table next to my elbow. So I decided to swallow my pride and admit that what might seem bad at one moment is not really so bad in the final analysis. In one sense or another, I am a continuous tourist and proud of it.