Which Type Of Tourist Are You

Which Type Of Tourist Are You

Which type of tourist are you. I just spent the past few days in Paris. Since we’ve been before, we decided to skip a lot of the regular touristy stuff and spent our days wandering around districts where the average tourist doesn’t go. We did, however, do a few self-guided tours and wound up in a very trendy, higher end restaurant.  With a rose in hand, we sat around people watching for a couple of hours taking bets on who was “rich” and who was just pretending. Who was an obvious tourist, who was a local and who was trying to draw attention to themselves (well, that last person was obvious).

We did notice a few interesting details about the differences in how people portrayed themselves.

what type of tourist are you


The Tourist, Tourist

These people scream tourist. They are usually carrying backpacks and maps (which I really don’t understand, since it draws a lot of unwanted attention and they are kind of uncomfortable to carry) and they are dressed as if they will be trekking for days. They are also usually wearing “sensible” shoes (which is fine in theory, but they don’t have to be ugly), and ill fitting clothing.

In this day and age, there is just no need to dress this way. I’m not saying that you need to be wearing heels and designer outfits when you are spending upward of 6 hours sightseeing, but you can be dressed as a “normal” person. Besides, when you are in a foreign city, it’s probably in your best interest not to overly stand out.

The Local

This category kind of speaks for itself. When you live somewhere, you take on the mannerisms of your area.  Whether it be the hipster area or the new parents area or the suburbs, the look feel and style changes with every street.  There is the unique individual who manages to absorb the local look. You might approach her for directions and you’ll be totally surprised when she doesn’t know what you are looking for. This is the person I strive to be.

Whatever her style, the quintessential French woman stands out in a crowd. She’s well dressed, her clothing fits her body yet nothing is what I would call, done to perfection.

The “Look How Rich I Am” Individual

I just want to roll my eyes when I see someone like this and let’s be honest, there are a lot of them walking around. This individual is head to toe brand names and very visible logos. I don’t have anything against luxury goods, hey I love my LV bag and I carry it around all the time, but unless you really look at it you’ll never know what store it came from. This person looks like they stepped out of a salon at all times. No hair is out of place and they look like they could be photographed for their blog at any moment.

My take on these people is that, while they might have lovely outfits, they look like caricatures of what we think that bloggers or famous people should look like. They are unapproachable and often aren’t properly dressed for the occasion. It’s fine to be decked out when in a city like Paris but I’ve seen these very same individuals hiking on rugged British Columbia trails, tottering perilously on their stilettos.

The Effortlessly Rich

This person is a bit of a mystery to me and I have to say, I find them kind of fascinating. You can’t really tell if they have money or not. They usually look fairly casual but neat and put together and not unkempt. It’s their attitude that sets them apart, more than anything else. They walk into a place with a laid back confidence, not necessarily like they own the place, but like they are unfazed by their surroundings. Even though they aren’t conspicuous, you notice them immediately and then they seem to disappear into the scene.

Other than having a quiet unassuming confidence, the key to this look is to ensure that your clothing fits and that it’s occasion appropriate. You don’t need to be dressed in head to toe designer items, but you do need to be wearing good quality fabrics that are tailored to your body.

 what type of tourist are you

While it’s very important that you dress for yourself (read: WHY YOU SHOULD DRESS FOR YOURSELF), I think that we should be aware of how others see us. Take a moment to step out of your body if you will and do a once over of how you appear to others and what snap judgments they might be making when they see you.

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Caroline has worked with international designers in fashion retail and completed professional makeup courses when working in the beauty industry. Her love of writing, photography and film inspired her to work at the Canadian Film Center and then to earn a BFA in Screenwriting. In addition to her blog, Style On The Side, you can see her work in Huffington Post Canada and other international websites.

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