I’ve been thinking about the stereotypical American tourist. Growing up in a tourist town, I had a distaste for the many out-of-towners who’d descend on my little town every summer. I didn’t realize that, without the business brought in by these people, my community would be much worse off.
There are others who look down on tourists—in particular American tourists in foreign countries. Their reputation tends to be that of overweight, obnoxious morons. Is this fair? What do you think?
A few years back, my family and I went on a cruise. Upon first glance, one might conclude that the above observation is accurate. However, a deeper look reveals that it’s wrong.
An eye-opening experience for me was a shore excursion in Belize. We were riding on a bus en route to our destination, and our native guide asked us if we were familiar with the Belize welfare system. He then explained, “It’s called ‘Get up and go to work.’”
This elicited an enthusiastic cheer from the passengers. It was then I realized that these are hard-working, middle class people. They aren’t lazy, pampered slobs. They’re law-abiding people who mind their own business and probably had to save money for a long time so that they COULD be “lazy and pampered” for a week.
But you can be sure that within days they’d be back on the job, doing their part.
It makes sense that something like a cruise would attract middle-income customers. Rich people would tend to have their own yachts rather then be crammed into a floating city with thousands of others.
So, the next time you see some American tourist (wherever it may be), remember that they probably worked very hard to earn their own little temporary slice of paradise.
I've included some old blogs along with the new. Should you ever find yourself suffering from insomnia, this is the place for you! That's as poetic as I get...