I’ve said on about a million panels that writers should curate their experiences, (aka refill their tanks, aka have something to write about, aka do research.) But don’t we need to recharge, too?
About seven years ago, Larry and I became cruisers. If you had told me I do anything other than independent travel, I wouldn’t have believed you. Cruises didn’t seem, well, us. We don’t know if we chose that first one (a river cruise along the Danube to see the Christmas markets) or if we were simply brainwashed by the commercials on PBS. Whichever it was, we were hooked. Mostly on not re-packing, healthy eating options and interesting lectures.
Personally, I’m determined to stay a traveler more than a vacationer. (Who’s with me? Comment below.) Which is better for authors? Let’s come up with our own definitions for each, but let’s also keep in mind that they are equal. Different strokes, and all that.
Travelers like to go to places they’ve never been to before. You’ll hear them say, “the world’s a big place.” We’ve been to Cuba, Tunisia and Algeria.
Vacationers like to go back to where they’ve had a good time.
Travelers go rogue. Some of our favorite experiences have been when we’ve gotten in a taxi and headed to someplace not on the cruise ship excursion list. I have a post-graduate certification in Antiquities Theft and Art Crime. I knew from my studies that not one but two of the world’s Caravaggio’s was housed in St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Malta. I raced there.
Vacationers go to relax. R&R is what they want every day.
Travelers want to come back a different person. When we went to Antarctica it took me about a month to process all I’d seen. I, nor most people, had ever seen anything like it. And the scale! It did not compute. Of course, I’d seen snow and ice, but not like that.
Vacationers don’t want to work that hard. See the last answer.
Travelers are okay opening up to new experiences, even if it’s difficult. Earlier this month we went to the Panama Canal. Hiking in the rainforest in Costa Rica and cave-tubing in Belize were bookmarked by views of poverty and economic disparity. I saw it as a privilege to spend money there.
Vacationers – see the last answer.
Where do you like to vacation? I’d love to know.
When not writing, Lane enjoys traveling—Antarctica and Oberammergau in 2022 and Panama Canal and Norway in 2023. Volunteering for worthy causes has always been a part of her life. She is the Virginia state president of the American Association of University Women and the immediate past co-president of AAUW-Alexandria. In that capacity, she was one of the originators of their human trafficking rescue program. (A portion of the proceeds from DEAD MEN DON’T DECORATE is donated to that project.) She serves on the Board of Directors of the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation. She is a graduate of Georgia State University and serves on the university’s political science department advisory board. She has a post-graduate certificate in Antiquities Theft and Art Crime.