"The road outwards can for the person who walks with open eyes and receptive senses in a deeper sense be a road towards home." (Dag Hammarskjöld, once secretary general of the United Nations Organisation). In other words: by being a tourist abroad you can deepen your understanding and appreciation of the people, the culture and of the natural environment in your own country.
Tourism abroad can be of many different kinds. The focus here is on walking which more than other ways of travelling gives a direct and close contact with the people, the culture and the natural environment of the country visited. To walk within a limited region for a week can give you many more genuine and deeper experiences than travelling by faster means, covering a larger geographical area.
Walking as a leisure-time activity is itself part of culture so the ways people go about it are very different in different countries. It also differs between different groups within a country. Young people enjoy walking in ways that differ from old people or families with children. When walking in a foreign country you should be aware of how walking is done in the country concerned. If you walk with a large group in a country where most of the walking is done in small groups of two or three persons you should try not to disturb them in their habits. In some countries huts for overnight accommodation are not built for large groups while in other countries this is no problem. In some countries the habit is to carry a lot in your rucksack and footpaths often keep to valleys, while in other countries light-weight rucksacks and trails going up and down over mountain tops are more normal..
Most walking in Europe is done in short trips - for a day or a few days. But if you go out for a walk in, for example, northern Scandinavia the normal duration for a walk might be longer because you enter vast uninhabited areas without roads for motor traffic.
Competitive walking (often carried out on ordinary roads) is not covered here. Nor do we cover bicycle-"walking" even if there are trails where this can be done and is permitted. A phenomen that walkers meet in more and more countries and areas is the mountain-bike. It attracts young people especially and is a good thing in that the young then get out into the natural environment. But it can also cause problems for the walker.
Access rights differ between different countries. It is important to try to learn what they are when you walk in a foreign country. There is a big difference, for example, between the "allemansrätt" (every man´s right) in Finland, Norway and Sweden and the rights in Italy, where entering private land is much more restricted. In all countries it is even more necessary to learn about the obligations you have as a walker. A good general rule is: "Do not disturb and do not destroy".