I am very much afraid of definitions, and yet one is almost forced to make them. One must take care, too, not to be inhibited by them.¨
Throughout this course, you will see the following terms repeatedly. While many of these terms are well-known, my definitions vary a bit from those used in other more traditional sources.
Read the following blog post.
Countries that have more “developed” economies include the US, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
This course is developed primarily for people from developed countries, though I hope that this information is useful to people from all over the world.
Countries that are less developed economically- primarily located in Latin America, Asia, and Africa- are called “Emerging” countries.
These countries are also called Third World countries. However, many social scientists now call some of these nations, Emerging Countries in recognition of their growing economic and political importance.
I have chosen to call all non-developed countries Emerging Countries because I believe that the term works well for this course. (Note: Eastern Europe, in this course, will be addressed separately than Developed or Emerging Countries. It has, I believe, elements of both when it comes to the topics discussed in this course).
Expatriates or Expats
Someone who lives in another country than where they were born and raised. (An immigrant is usually someone who lives in another country for more economic opportunities).
In this course, an expat does not intend to work full-time while living in another country (though some may own business overseas).
Many expats live in another country, at least partially, because it costs less than their home country. Most, however, live abroad for primarily non-economic reasons. These reasons often include a desire for personal growth, a new lifestyle, or the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
In this course, an expat does not have to be someone who lives in another country full-time. An expat does, however, need to feel like they are a resident of another country (even if they do not live there full-time).
I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to define this term. The best definition I have found comes from The Travel Camel Blog. It defines extended travel as the following:
¨When you start to fully understand the meaning of living on the road or living out of a suitcase. The feeling of extended travel changes again once you reach the three-month mark – it is a key time for those who travel for extended periods.¨
I believe that you do not have to go for three months to be an extended traveler. You can become an extended traveler by making numerous shorter trips over a long time.
The amount of time spent traveling is not significant. What matters is that you understand travel is more than a vacation. It can be an integral part of your life.
Learning Travel Programs refers to an organized course that you take away from home for personal interest. Usually, tourists in these programs also live with a local family while taking the course.
The variety of learning travel opportunities available is astounding. Classes are available in nearly aspect of life (culture, history, economics, politics, art, language, cuisine, etc.) in another country.
I have studied, for example, Tuscan landscape architecture in Florence (through the British Institute) and Elephant Training in Lampang, Thailand. The most common type of learning tourist experience involves cooking and language classes.
Volunteer Travel occurs the words of Coghlan and Gooch whenever tourists:
¨undertake holidays that might involve aiding or alleviating the material poverty of some groups in society, the restoration of certain environments or research into aspects of society or environment¨.
There are many types of volunteer travel, as well. I have, for example, participated in programs:
- Doing the grunt work (washing dishes) to put together a multicultural festival in Collechio, Italy (Emilia-Romagna) (Volunteers for Peace)
- Counting dolphins in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica (through Earthwatch)
- Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Kaliningrad, Russia for a year (WorldTeach).
A Couple of Comments About Volunteer and Learning Travel
As you will discover throughout this course, I am a huge fan of learning and volunteer tourism. It is important to note that:
- Learning and volunteer tourist opportunities are available all over the world and typically last from one week to a year.
- Some learning and volunteer tourist experience are available only to people with some background in a given field and/or the ability to speak the local language,
- Some learning and volunteer tourism experiences also involve traditional tours and stay in hotels in their program. (Global Volunteers and Amizade are two great examples. I taught English and helping restore a classroom through an Amizade program near Cochabamba, Bolivia).
- Some are free or low-cost; others can be relatively expensive. (Some volunteer programs are also tax-deductible in the US and Canada).
- Many volunteer and learning tourism opportunities also include opportunities to stay in locals’ homes (and often eat meals there as well).