Cycle-touring is a long menu.
The options extend from taking the pretty way home after work, to crossing continents.
A tour may be a luxurious chain of gentle spins, the riding only included to reach a new bathing spot, or sharpen a new appetite and find the next venue for gastronomic indulgence. Or it can be relentless, covering distance visible from space in a handful of days.
On a bike you travel far enough to experience the big patterns. Half a day is enough to climb a mountain pass and descend to towns where a new language is spoken, yet all the time you're open to scents, able to greet people you meet and stop wherever you want. The simplicity of walking, while sitting down, with somewhere to hang your bags. One night you can sleep in undiluted starlight, remote from human noise, the next above a city piazza.
A tour can take you across a region - an excellent way to find places you'd like to come back and stay - or be based in a favoured spot, from which you can ride out daily to explore in detail. You can plan in advance. You can improvise by the hour. A touring trip can begin on your doorstep or you can box your bike and ship yourself to ride in distant lands.
What you choose to carry is always a compromise. If you're riding into the back-country you need to be self-sufficient, ready to survive wilderness emergencies. Everywhere else choose luxuries over essentials. If people are living there, all necessities of life can be found en route.
Touring is simple. Enjoy perfecting your style - your styles - refining the outfit you carry and the machine you ride, but where you go, who you go with, who you meet, what you see, hear, smell and taste along the way are more significant than any technicality.