On a recent trip to Mexico, I caught myself doing something I once swore I’d never do: rolling my eyes at fellow tourists. While touring Maya ruins, I scoffed (sometimes silently, other times out loud) at others’ overstuffed fanny packs and glacial pace up the steep steps of a towering stone structure. I then scolded myself for criticizing people who were essentially doing the same thing I was doing — just in a different way.
No doubt, adventure travel — a category of the industry that generally encompasses experiential, cultural and outdoors-focused travel — has exploded in recent years (according to the Adventure Travel Trade Association, it’s an $89 billion market).
Unfortunately, with that increase in popularity has come an increase in attitude as well, from criticism of mainstream, group-centric tours to that ever-annoying “tourist or traveler?” debate to, ahem, not-so-discreet eye-rolling at others. So, here’s a tongue-in-cheek quiz to see where you fall on the spectrum. Wherever it is, let’s all vow to do our best to bring the Golden Rule on the road: That is, to travel and let travel.