I am not a Checklist Tourist

It seems like India’s entire tourism business is aimed towards what I’ll call “checklist tourists” — people that go places and are only interested in “seeing” the place and taking one picture to prove they were there. I am not one of those people.

When I visit a place, I want to feel the place, to explore it at my own pace, to see the locals and their customs. I want to take pictures of the soul of the place. Whether that’s random pictures of monkeys, macros of flowers, pictures of a road… it doesn’t matter. I am not that interested in taking the same picture you can buy on a two cent postcard. I want to be original.

Normally when I go to a country, I try not to look like a tourist. I try to blend in, to feel the culture, to be part of the culture. It’s (obviously) a bit harder in India than in Europe, but I try anyway. India’s tourism business is tailored towards pushing as many Americans as possible through the checklist. “Come here, see this.”, “Come come..”, they are always rushing you, always leading you, not going with you. That is not my style.

I am not a checklist tourist.

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