But then again, tourists have a lot of faults.
I realize that I’m somewhat of a hypocrite in that I’m pretending like I’m not partially a tourist myself or at least that I didn’t start out as one (like someone who just lost a lot of weight that then started making fun of other fat people).
Anyway, on my last day in Fiji (which had many awesome events that I’ll post about later), I ran across a group of Australian tourists at the Bau Boat Landing ready to head out to their resort destination. And I also sat next to a group of American tourists on the plane back to the U.S.
Without going into detail, I resented a lot of the conversations that I overheard.
Tourists don’t really take time to experience the culture. Instead, they go straight to their hotel or resort, and expect that things are up to their standards. They see shows in order to experience the culture much like men watch Army movies to experience military life.
What a wasted trip for them.
The hotel they’re in is maybe slightly different from the one they were in last year when they went to the Caribbean or Hawaii or whatever. But what they don’t see is that beyond the resort walls is a whole country that is nothing like the life they’re used to. Fiji is a wonderful place that has stayed strong in its traditions and has a fascinating history.
And the difference for me, I think, is that when I left Fiji, I didn’t leave behind a vacation; instead, I left behind people that I care about in a place that I now feel truly connected to.