Because my friends and family know I travel a lot, I constantly get recommendations from friends (and acquaintances) about where I should travel to next, or some place I just HAVE to go to. Some of these people have never really traveled before, so I don’t really take their recommendations too seriously. I know that sounds a bit pretentious, but here’s what I mean: when my brother’s girlfriend swears that I just have to go to a very specific resort on some Spring Break beach, I tend to nod politely. Or if a friend of my father tells me that I have to go to a Caribbean Island that he visited and loved, I tell him I’ll check it out, which is a lie. It’s not because I don’t value these people’s opinions, it’s just that I know they haven’t traveled much before, and that it can often be hard for people who don’t travel to separate their feelings about a specific place from their feelings about traveling in general.
If you’ve never been on a tropical island before, they are all going to seem pretty amazing. And that’s the other thing about these recommendations, they always have to do with beaches and resorts, places that I certainly enjoy but try to stay clear from. At a certain point, as pretentious as you know it sounds and as much as you don’t want to be that guy, if you travel a lot you start to consider yourself somehow different than tourists, somehow better. You’re a traveler, not a tourist. This attitude is mostly silly.
But that’s why when I get a travel recommendation from someone who I consider a traveler, someone who has seen a lot of places and whose opinion I value, I listen. And when a traveler who always puts places down for being too “touristy” wholeheartedly recommends a beach side resort, then I am intrigued.
My friend, a Brit who has lived on four continents, told me I simply have to go whale and dolphin watching tenerife
. I had never imagined doing here, and I assumed it was somewhere in South America that I would be able to observe these exotic creatures in the wild. But that was not true.
Besides this activity, He also sensed the skepticism in my voice and told me that the partying and beaches were as good as anywhere. This from my friend who once refused to go anywhere listed in a Lonely Planet guide. Turns out he agreed to go with his girlfriend and had the time of his life. I am now seriously considering visiting. Maybe I should start listening to recommendations more, even if I am a “traveler” not a tourist. (Travelers are, of course, tourists with a higher degree of self importance.)