I like Dustin Wax’s reason:
I think traveling should be about something more than doing what the locals do.
I mean, don’t even think about doing what the tourists do.
I’m not advocating that horror. But traveling is about experiencing
things new and fresh — something the locals simply can’t do. After all,
you are a local, when you’re at home. How exciting is that?
And really, going well beyond what the locals do is not only
valuable for you, the traveler, it’s valuable for the locals
themselves. Travelers — real travelers, travelers with a sense of
derring-do and adventure, and a bit of the Tao of Travel about them —
give people a chance to show off, to experience their everyday
surroundings as if they were fresh and new. You can easily
take that old ruin on the side of the hill for granted — it is, after
all, just a place where teenagers go to drink and make out — until some
traveler passing through asks you what it is. Ah, there’s a story to be told…
Traveling is about discovering how delightful something different is. And you can share that. (That said, as a teenager in Barcelona, there is only so many times you can show off the Picasso museum.)