Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back Door Travel Philosophy

I recently discovered the travel guy, Rick Steves. I'm sure that I had seen his shows before, but he seemed a little weird, so I just passed him by. I was always a Fodor's travel book girl. Those books are to the point and I've never been disappointed with a restaurant or a one day guide or a hotel found in there. I have ventured into Frommer's sometimes and even Lonely Planet for some extra advice, but usually Fodor's gets me where I need to go.

Then I read this, Rick Steves Back Door Travel Philosophy (edited a bit):

Travel is intensified living - maximum thrills per minute and one of the last sources of legal adventure. Travel is freedom. It's recess, and we need it. Extroverts have more fun. If your trip is low on magic, kick yourself and make things happen. If you don't enjoy a place, maybe you don't know enough about it. Seek the truth. Recognize tourist traps. Give a culture the benefit of your open mind. See things as different but not better or worse. Any culture has much to share. Of course, travel, like the world, is a series of hills and valleys. Be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something's not to your liking, change your liking. Travel is addictive. It can make you a happier American as well as a citizen of the world. Our Earth is home to six and a half billion equally important people. It's humbling to travel and find that people don't envy Americans. Europeans like us, but, with all due respect, they wouldn't change passports. A tight budget forces you to travel close to the ground, meeting and communicating with the people, not relying on service with a purchased smile. Globe-trotting destroys ethnocentrism. It helps you understand and appreciate different cultures. Americans have a negative image that we're loud, aggressive, impolite, rich and a bit naive. We complain that things are too hot or too cold. We're too noisy in public places, demolishing Europe's reserved and elegant ambiance. Talk softly. Thoughtful travel engages you with the world. It changes people. It broadens perspectives and teaches new ways to measure quality of life. Rather than fear the diversity on this planet, travelers celebrate it, toss aside their hometown blinders. Their prized souvenirs are the strands of different cultures they decide to knit into their own character.

So, get out there!


  1. I have such a crush on Rick Steves. The tan pants! The brown hushpuppies! The cute way he always tries out a few phrases in whatever country he is in!

  2. so at first, i was a bit turned off. as a Let's Go backpacker from the old school and a seattlite (you know how we alwasy like to make fun of our natives when they are successful) im not a huge fan of rick steves. I had a couple of friends in college actually lead tours for his company and they were so not back door.

    but i actually got teary after reading this. i feel so damn stuck, my only travel adventure making it to tempe for the zoo. maybe its cabin feaver. maybe its hormones.

    thanks for sharing.