Cities Journal

Are You A “Me” Tourist?


In Times Square in New York you see tourists who are either taking photos or strolling aimlessly with their heads down, looking at their phones.

Go to any tourist destination and you’ll see the exact same thing. Have people already forgotten why they travel? Or travel has become less about “what” and “why” – and more about promoting “self”?

The ‘Me’

You are now screaming from a Facebook page: “Look at me!” “Hey, look, I’m in France!” “Bet you wish you were me!” Those barely touch on the experience. So let’s do our best to limit this trend by helping travelers understand how travel changes lives for the better.

It’s about the experience, not “me”

Some of the most amazing experiences in life come when you travel to new places. They can change your view of the world. They should be captured in your mind and memories, not in your iPhone.

Think about what a trip might mean to you. Be sensitive to your surroundings, especially the culture of the people whose country you’re visiting. You’ll feel more connected to it and its history if you learn about it and understand it before you go.

Leave it in Your Pocket

Don’t take a photo of that beautiful rainbow, just so you could post it on It’s like breaking an addiction, but it’s worth it. Notice the expressions of other people. Be part of an experience and those around you at that given moment. It will happen only once. Think about what you see and how it makes you feel. You don’t need a selfie to remember it.

Travel Forward

Instead of sharing a tweet or a hashtag that shows you standing somewhere, try sharing the feeling, with words. Write it down in a notebook. Go beyond a 140-character.

Travel can be used as a metaphor to move your life forward. And you don’t need social media to experience the world. Can you even remember what travel felt like before Facebook?

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