Rick Steves and Travel as a Political Act



Americans are good at “vacationing.” Most of us tend to go to the same comfortable destinations, over and over again. We sign up for the package deals and the package tours to see the world with the rest of the tourist hordes in an effort to spend as little money as possible. Rick Steves wants us to travel differently. He’s a professional traveler who writes best-selling books, produces television shows and a public radio program about his travels. Steves wants us to be more like “temporary residents” of the places we visit. He wants us to meet and interact with the locals, establish dialogues and lasting friendships. Don’t settle for just buying over-priced trinkets from them. Steves latest book is called “Travel as a Political Act” and explains how to travel more thoughtfully to any destination.

Click here to link to Rick Steves’ website.

One Reply to “Rick Steves and Travel as a Political Act”

  1. Thank you for this stimulating article. Rick’s view and challenge for US citizens traveling as a political act is right on…and it makes sense. I have been traveling outside the US since 1979 and learned early on to talk to locals everywhere, stay in 2 star hotels where only the local language is spoken, eat at small restaurants where it’s possible to eat locally and speak to locals, and visit where the local people do their everyday chores and live their everyday life.

    Getting to know the people locally allowed me to see them and know them as amazing human beings…they are just like us.

    On one trip, I traveled through southeast Asia and stayed in backpackers hostels and met the most magnificent people from a wide variety of counties (I met no Americans). This trip covered New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and India. In Penang, we were spontaneously invited to eat lunch with a wedding party in a temple we visited.

    In all my travels (over 150 trips outside the US), I have never met a person who did not like Americans. It was clear that not all people agree with our politics, but they love and respect us for what is possible AND they also love their own countries. Rick spoke about that when he said people had their own dreams about their own country. Well said! We are more the same than we are different!

    Thank you, Bob, for all the great programs you produce. You are helping to create a better world!

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