Irish coastDo you know the difference between a traveler and a tourist? The traveler sees what he/she sees; the tourist sees what he/she has come to see. The theme for today’s reading in Daily Word is Traveler’s Eyes. The title intrigued me and as I read through the reading I realized that I’ve been a traveler most of my adult life. Daily Word says “When I arrive anywhere – whether the situation is familiar or foreign to me – I view the event with traveler’s eyes. I do not simply focus on what I hoped or planned to see, as a tourist might. Instead, I soak in the experiences of the present moment.” As I walked in nature this morning I thought about seeing everything through traveler’s eyes, being present in the moment and noticing what was around me. When I walk I try to engage as many of my senses as possible. What do I see? What do I hear? What do I smell? What do I taste? What do I feel or touch? Today I gave myself five stars. I saw two goldfinches as I walked across the bridge. I passed by a plethora of glorious gardens in full bloom. I felt the cool breeze on my skin and noticed the absence of any humidity. I stopped by a garden to touch and smell the fragrant dill. I heard the beautiful song of a cardinal. And I treated myself to breakfast at Turtle Bread in Longfellow. As I sat in the sun, I savored the golden scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and the flavorful whole wheat toast with raspberry jam.

On the 4th of July I drove with a friend to Whitewater State Park near Winona, MN to go hiking. Neither of us had been there before and we had no agenda other than hiking. We hiked a trail called Chimney Rock and it was challenging and fun. The trail went pretty much up, up and up. I lost count of how many stairs we climbed in the first 15 minutes. The trail took us through the woods to a place called Inspiration Point, an outcropping that gave us a breathtaking view of the area below us. The hike was a perfect example of seeing with the fresh eyes of a traveler. I was present in the moment not only because of the gorgeous scenery but also because of the big rocks and roots on the trail. It was imperative to look at the trail to avoid tripping. I am so grateful to be walking with traveler’s eyes along this amazing journey of  life.

What about you? Are you a traveler or a tourist? How often are you present in the moment? How can you set aside preconceived ideas and expectations? What do you need to change in order to engage more deeply with the world? What will you see when you experience life as a traveler rather than a tourist?

I invite you to join me at my September retreat, “Finding Your Voice in the Silence.” You will learn tools which will help you to focus on the present moment. You will discover what your inner wisdom is trying to tell you and so much more. Details are on my website.


Traveler or Tourist?
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10 thoughts on “Traveler or Tourist?

  • July 16, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Very nice, Nancy! I’ll try to cultivate more the eyes of a traveler.

  • July 12, 2015 at 5:56 am

    What a wonderful post and a wonderful distinction between traveler and tourist! I do consider myself a traveler. As an Artist, I’ve always seen the world a bit differently. Just ask my hubby, he is always shaking his head at the simple things that draw me in and hold my attention. LOL! It is such an amazing and beautiful place. Living and traveling as I do, I’ve been blessed to be able to ‘see’ so much more then I ever thought possible. I will admit though….it is fun to play the part of ‘tourtist’ from time to time!

  • July 11, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks Elda! You are one of the people I thought about when I was writing this blog post. I definitely see you as a traveler:)

  • July 10, 2015 at 1:42 am

    I like the distinction between traveler and tourist. I would have to say that I am a ‘traveler’ on a daily basis because I thoroughly enjoy taking time to ‘smell the roses’ on a daily basis! GREAT POST!

  • July 8, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks Anna. Yes, mindfulness is important to me as is being present in the moment. I don’t do it perfectly, it’s about progress not perfection.

  • July 8, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Hey, so glad to find this article. It seems to me that mindfulness is a big part of your life…so nice to be aware of our surrounding and ourselves with all senses.

  • July 8, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks Kama! Beautiful description of a traveler, being immersed in the environment and I would also add culture. Nice to know there are fellow travelers in our group, isn’t it?

  • July 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Isn’t it fun to be a traveler Deborah? I love your vision of living in the biggest box of crayons, how fun! I have the box of 48, couldn’t find the box of 64. Nice to know they make it:) Thanks for your comments!

  • July 8, 2015 at 11:23 am

    How lovely. I am definitely a traveler. I love to experience the world around me while being immersed in the environment. Ahhh such wonderful experiences.

  • July 7, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    What a lovely distinction Nancy, and what a lovely day you’ve had as a traveler through nature. And sounds like you had a fun hike this weekend as well. I felt like a traveler today as well as I was out and about noticing the colors of things. It was like living in the most vibrant box of crayons – the jumbo 64-million hues box. 🙂

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