Thoughts from Banda Aceh (or why I am a legendary traveller and definitely not a tourist)
Hi, so I am Danny Salfield (the really thoughtful looking character in picture above). I am currently on a short trip to a place I have been a few times before and am now feeling rather bonded to called Longkha Village in North Sumatra (I'm having a nice time thanks for asking). I say a short trip because I am most definitely not on 'holidays' as all evolved spiritual beings like myself know. Only moronic, spoiled, fat, white western slaves to the system go on 'holidays'. legends like me 'travel' or go on 'short trips'. When we go we post photos of things in there natural element (cows crossing a road) rather than obvious tourist sites (well known buildings) and if so only do so ironically and perhaps with a carefully placed prop like a Coca Cola bottle to represent the inevitable encroachment of the capitalist world, of which we have nothing to do with despite only being able to go where we are due to the fortunate situation of capitalism working a lot better in the country we are from than the 'untouched' Country we are consequently spreading it too with the inevitable temptation of our tourist dollars (not that I am a tourist remember).
As you can see in the photo above I am looking very deep in thought, which proves I am a traveler, definitely not a tourist. Tourists smile in photos, us evolved explorers of the world think about things and definitely do NOT smile in our continuously posted to social media examples of us enjoying solitude and not being distracted by social media obviously prove. The more posts, the more evidence you are definitely not thinking about the world you left behind and the people in it and you are definitely not trying to create FOMO as revenge for the FOMO these imagined people created at the orgie you imagined they had, at the party you didn't get invited too, because you are not really friends with them anyway but forgot that because you see so much of there lives on social media you might as well be.
Anyway it is a serious business being a patronising hypocrite in the world, discussing the solutions to third world problems over a few bintangs, while you have your meals cooked for you in a restaurant serving the sort of authentic cuisine that would cost an authentic local a weeks wages to afford.
So how do you know if your a traveler not a tourist? Well for a start if the distinction is bothering you there is a good chance you are just enough of a wanker to have missed the point entirely, which is we are all just people existing in different places at different times, in different circumstances and the fact we have the wealth to go different places in our lifetime is a great privilege and not an entitlement so treat everyone you meet equally wherever you are and stop labelling people you insufferable spoilt trust funded hypocrite (if you are white and have dreadlocks, there is a good chance I am talking too you).
I do however highly recommend, if you are reading this and have been stuck in a bit of a rut at your job or in your relationship and are a little discombobulated and wondering if you are on the right path etc etc to take a little leap of faith, throw a dart at an atlas and break out of your bubble. Even if it is for a short time (don't worry we won't accuse you of going on holidays). If it is to go somewhere with some creature comforts we won't accuse you of cheating. The whole idea is, forget any misplaced desire to create meaningful change in the world (lets face it, it is unlikely you are doing any real good for the people who live where you are going) it is to learn a little more about yourself and hopefully the parts you are learning about are good and useful parts. By learning these lessons, their is a chance (pretty small chance) that you can affect some change on the world, through a shift in perspective and a change in the course your life is on. The fact is we all CAN make a difference, for sure this is true but at the same time lets be honest with ourselves, when we book a flight to a place with sick waves and a comfortable bed, we are going for selfish reasons. Nothing wrong with that. bettering yourself can better others, if it can't at least your are getting a good nights sleep and some decent tube time.
Moral of the story, break free every now and then. I have found 100 percent of the time I am having a shitty time at home I have a better time when I go away and when I return the shitty time has faded into the obvious #firstworldproblem dilemma reality. Our problems perspective wise can even become the source for some amusement us when we see the forest for the trees. So you lucky spoilt fat white tourist, roll the dice and go eat some rice.