“Etymologically, the word tour is derived from the Latin, tornare, and the Greek, tornos, meaning a lathe or circle; the movement around a central point or axis. This meaning changed in modern English to represent one’s turn. The suffix –ism is defined as an action or process; typical behaviour or quality, while the suffix –ist denotes one that performs a given action. When the word tour and the suffixes –ism and –ist are combined, they suggest the action of movement around a circle. One can argue that a circle represents a starting point, which ultimately returns back to its beginning. Therefore, like a circle, a tour represents a journey in that it is a round-trip, i.e., the act of leaving and then returning to the original starting point and therefore, one who takes such a journey can be called a tourist.” *
The people who travel have always fascinated me: tourists, nomads, jet setters, pilgrims and wanderers, coming and going to places, leaving their mark and taking with them indelible memories.
“People don’t take trips. Trips take people” John Steinbeck
The exchange of ideas and habits is bound to happen, no matter what the travel purposes are; the tourist has the possibility to make a difference to another person’s life and profoundly change himself at the same time. If we examine our life through the eyes of a tourist, we can allow ourselves to detach from the routine patterns that limit our self-expression, while the tourist returns to the familiar starting point after having a chance not only to discover a new place but a new self as well.
Sometimes, the inspiration of this communication and sharing of concepts is so intense, that the local person becomes the tourist and the tourist becomes the local. Who knows where a journey could lead?
* source: Wikipedia; suggestion for the etymology of tourist by Theobald