It seems to me that is hard to simply be only a tourist and not a learner. However that may be because over the years I have been lucky enough to study abroad multiple times and therefore be both a learner and a tourist in new locations. This study abroad trip has been even more of a learning experience than ever before.
While many tourist may go to Mostar to see the beautiful bridge that has been restored after the war, or may actually make the trip to Srebrenica to see the memorial, we were given the amazing opportunity to meet with survivors, listen to their stories, and get to know them as people.
We also not only visited Sarajevo and took pictures of the historical landmarks but we met with teachers and a social work agency to learn about what they do within the city. We also have been living within the city, meeting locals and celebrating their first ever World Cup along side them.
I guess to me being only a tourist is going to a place to see the historical sites but truly taking the time to learn about the culture, history, and people as well as being a part of the city is more being a learner and a far more valuable experience.
I am looking forward to spending the summer as a learner living and working here.