Crossing over from tourist to traveller!

New friends...2:00am leaving Thai karoke!

At some point during this journey, I knew I would cross over from being a tourist to being a traveller. It’s happened! How do I know this? Let me explain:

1.) Seeing a temple isn’t nearly as exciting as spending time with some new friends! Yes, all of the sights in SE Asia are fantastic and you could spend days and days doing nothing but visiting temples, trekking,, going on day trips of every sort imaginable, but at some point, you recognize that those are the things tourists do. While they are entertaining, they are not really what travel is about. Travel is about seeing how the rest of the world lives and functions. Last night is a perfect example. When I arrived here at my hostel (which by the way we’ll discuss later), I met a sweet girl from Canada who asked me to join her and some friends at a little bar and then for dinner. Drinks and dinner then lead to karoke! We ended up getting a group together, hiring a taxi, and asking the driver to take us to a karoke place. The taxi driver quickly got on the phone to his friends and next thing you know, we are at a Thai karoke place. Now, let’s be clear on this. This is not a Western karoke place with Thai people dropping by – this is a Thai karoke place with us as visitors!! So, naturally, most of the music was Thai music being sung by Thai people. Needless to say, it was an adventure. We of course, could not really sing along because the words were all in Thai!! What a hoot!! But see, this was way more fun than visiting another Buddha!

Go ahead....feel free to sing along...if you can read the words!

2.) I found myself making a shopping list this morning! No, not things like souvenirs! This was stuff like a new hairbrush since I left my comb somewhere, laundry soap, snacks for in the hostel, conditioner for my hair, etc. You know you’re not a tourist anymore when getting laundry soap is more important than shopping for a new sarong! ๐Ÿ™‚

3.) You research the weather forecast in your area of travel. Tourists don’t care what the weather is – they only have so much time in any given area and so what the weather is, well, it just is!ย  For me as a traveller, I can choose to sit right here in a hostel near the beach because the temps are a little cooler than Bangkok and Chiang Mai and there’s a beach about two minutes away! When I get to Bangkok, I get there!ย By theย way, that’s exactly what I decided to do! Since the weather, scenery, and hostel here are nice, I have no desire to rush up northย to the city!

4.) Speaking of hostels, I’m in one now that is absolutely wonderful. It’s a little pricier than some of the others I’ve stayed in, but comparable to what a decent hostel in Bangkok will be. Very modern and yet still has a real nice “Thailand/island” kind of feel to it. I’ll take pics later today and send them out on Facebook. That’s something that as a traveller, is more important than seeing great stuff. It’s my home away from home so it’s important that I like my “home”! When I find a good one, why rush away only to find the next place isn’t quite so nice!

5.) AND….THE NUMBER ONE WAY I’VE IDENTIFIED MYSELF AS A TRAVELLER……DOING MY LAUNDRY AND HAVING CLEAN CLOTHES BEATS THE HELL OUT OF ANY TEMPLE I COULD POSSIBLY SEE!!!! For those of you who know me, you recognize how huge that statement is!!! I hate laundry or anything remotely appearing to resemble housework!! Trust me folks, having clean laundry is the absolute best thing ever when travelling! Tourists don’t worry about clean clothes – they take enough to last their couple of weeks and head home. But on the road, space is limited in the backpack! You just can’t under estimate the joy when the laundry is done and you get to put on clean clothes!!

“The traveller was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes sightseeing.”ย  Daniel J. Boorstin

Happy travels friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

This guy from Thailand must of sang about 50 songs...he was really getting into it!!


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Travel Spirit
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 06:05:55

    Great list! Glad you’re having fun!! I think I’m going to 5 countries in Africa…camping for 28 nights out of the 39 I’ll be there! Leaving end of April…Woo-hoo!!


  2. Nate
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 08:03:47

    I guess it’s time to do laundry when you can’t stand your own smell. Bathtubs, large bowls, buckets and sinks are all wonderful places of clothes washing worship. Meeting new friends in foreign countries is always exciting. Glad you are having a great time.



    • cheriarnold
      Mar 17, 2012 @ 09:34:38

      Oh man…there is just nothing like clean laundry…except maybe snagging the front seat on a minivan ride across the country???? ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much Nate for the encouragement!! ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Nate
        Mar 17, 2012 @ 09:45:47

        No problem. Be sure to head this way sometime in the future. Just got done with my Saturday night baijiu club at the noodle shop and it is quite a treat. They always ask why I don’t bring my wife and two year old to drink with me…I’m not sure how to tell them that my two year old doesn’t drink. Lost in translation I guess.

        Stay safe-

  3. Amber
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 13:59:15

    Great post Cheri! I have been really enjoying your posts!


    • cheriarnold
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 00:57:58

      Oh thanks Amber. Sorry I missed this comment!! I must have had a REALLY blond moment!! Thanks for following!! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s almost Camino time….so excited!! Hope you’ll following along and yes, yes, yes….keep me posted about Spain. I would LOVE to meet up with you!! ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Amber
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 14:02:40

    Okay, I accidentally hit post before I finished. You have really been inspiring to me, and I have loved hearing about your trip. I even checked out the “The Pilgrimage” from the library after reading your quotes! I am so happy for you, and look forward to hearing more about your travels!


    • cheriarnold
      Mar 19, 2012 @ 08:45:14

      I’m so glad you’re following Amber!! It seems so funny to me that I could be “inspiring” anyone, but it’s a tremendously great feeling! ๐Ÿ™‚ Follow your dreams Amber….it’s always possible! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading!

      Cheri ๐Ÿ™‚


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