Ha ! The big debate. Are you a tourist or a traveler ? Well, I think the first thing I should say is that, although I do believe that there’s a difference between those two things, one is not necessarily better than the other. Everybody travels differently, for reasons of their own, and as long as they’re enjoying themselves, then they’re doing things right.
Want to know what category you fall in ?
More seriously, I think you can be both ! When I drive Iceland’s ring road without knowing where I’m going to sleep, I guess I’m a traveler. When I take a bunch of pictures in the dining hall of Christ Church College, then I’m a tourist (and a really nerdy one, at that).
The main difference between those two attitudes is not money or choice of accommodation, it’s how much you’re willing to learn, and how far out of your comfort zone you’re willing to go to experience something new. At least it’s what I believe.
There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist or a traveler, as long as you’re respectful, open minded, and keep enjoying yourself !