Are you a tourist or a traveller?

Have you ever wondered the reasons why people travel? Why do you travel? Is it a part of your job, are you visiting family, or are you going on holidays? In any case, thousands of people travel everyday for their own personal reasons, but what do they take with them from each travel?

This post is the last one, out of a series of three one-minute films ‘MOVE-EAT-LEARN’. Director Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of all films is an original and composed by Kelsey James.

The video shown, ‘LEARN,  is exactly what its titles suggests. With this film, the director and his team present their adventures and experiences throughout their travels. The most significant thing about the video, is that they don’t simply present the different countries and locations that they explored, but the new things they tried, experienced and learned. They believe that what is most important about travelling is learning more  about the places you visit. It’s not only about walking around, visiting touristic attractions and following tourist books, but engaging with the people of each country and making the effort to learn more about their lifestyle and culture.

Currently, tourism is an essential figure for modernity and one of the largest industries in the globe as it is an essential element in the structure of the economy of industrially developed countries. In the form of a economic practice, tourism is a commodification of space, place and movement. But it is a cultural practice as well. So why do people travel? Tourism can take many different forms and mean different things to people; economic and cultural practice, visual culture, mediation, ritual  performance, pleasure, identity status, power, wealth, freedom, search for  happiness, search for the authentic sacred. In any case, the meaning of this short film, is that we need to take advantage of our travels, and learn as much as we can from them.

The following quote I included, is one by the director of the short films, Rick Mereki,  after he was asked to give his Top Travel Tip, at one of his interviews from found at the Hostelling Blog.

“Open yourself up to everything and leave all your personal, cultural baggage and your insecurities at the door. The most amazing thing about travelling to a new country is that it allows you to shed the skin of who you are, you can be free to be the kind of person you have always wanted to be. Then open your heart up to everyone and everything and the world will open up in front of you”

Don’t leave everything you saw and experienced behind, take it with you. Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller. Don’t just observe, experience. Don’t just travel, Learn



  1. Rick’s words echo my own… And that’s why I love travelling to exotic, under developed countries alive with cultural richness that shed your pre-existing skin thoroughly and effortlessly, awakening every cell and sense in your body… Reading this makes me want to jump on the next plane and go…..mmmmm thank you x

  2. I whish I had more time to travel and learn.
    Loved your post and video

    Thanx for following my blog 😉

  3. I’ve traveled a lot of the past twenty years and I have always considered myself a traveler and not a tourist. I often avoided the typical touristy areas and have focused on more the areas where the true residents of that country live, especially when it comes to finding a place to eat. If you venture off the touristy paths and find the small hold in the wall eateries, you will find the food superb and save yourself a considerable amount of money, which is always a plus. The past five years I have not been able to travel as I’d like, but there were other more pressing issues that needed addressing on my end. Love this blog, will def follow. peace tone

  4. Well it’s a lovely video and makes learning good fun. But I reckon you could do almost all those things (minus sunshine most months, and maybe not the elephant bath!) wherever you live – especially if there’s a big city nearby. I’m in London and could probably learn something new every day for months/years without having to do much more than take a tube or bus.

    As much as I love travelling i do think we have all got to deal with how flying is a particular problem when it comes to the climate changing.
    Nicola http://aroundbritainnoplane.blogspot.com

    1. This is true, but I believe that for example learning a flamenco dance in London rather than in Spain is a totally different experience. You can probably try all these things in London but if you experience them in the country they originate from you will get a better understanding of their history, culture and traditions by interacting with the locals etc.

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