Beard or No?

When I was a kid, I grew a beard each summer. It just seemed to fit being on the road. Since I started my TV series, I’ve kept my look more basic and clean-shaven. Now that I no longer travel with a Youth Rail pass, my beard is gray. (I can dream of someday, perhaps, looking like “the most interesting man in the world.”) Having a beard doesn’t really give me anonymity in my travels — but that’s not the point. (I enjoy my lack of anonymity.) It’s just fun to grow it on the road. I’m about to meet my film crew in France, so it’s time to say Auf Wiedersehen to my beard. Thanks for all the (generally encouraging) comments on my summer growth.

Which do you prefer? To beard or not to beard?

In my younger days, growing a beard on my annual European trips was low-maintenance...and, I like to think, ruggedly handsome.

In my younger days, growing a beard on my annual European trips was low-maintenance…and, I like to think, ruggedly handsome.

Today, my whiskers are whiter and more carefully cultivated...but still practical and rugged.

Today, my whiskers are whiter and more carefully cultivated…but still practical and rugged.

The nice thing about growing a beard is that shaving your whiskers also shaves off a decade.

The nice thing about growing a beard is that shaving your whiskers also shaves off a decade.

My television viewers have gotten accustomed to the clean-shaven look. So when we bring out the camera, I also bring out my razor.

My television viewers have gotten accustomed to the clean-shaven look. So when we bring out the camera, I also bring out my razor.

Travelers love the beard.

Travelers love the beard.

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