I'm sharing my travel experiences, candid opinions and what's on my mind. If you think it's inappropriate for a travel writer to stir up discussion on his blog with political observations and insights gained from traveling abroad, you may not want to read any further. — Rick

Celebrating a Gold for Iceland and a Silver for Festivals

We just received some great news: Our Iceland guidebook and European Festivals TV special have both been recognized by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation with Lowell Thomas awards. These awards are considered the most prestigious accolades in the field of travel journalism — and I couldn’t be prouder of the team of people who worked together on these two projects.

Our newest guidebook, Rick Steves Iceland, took the gold in the Guidebook category. Here’s what the judges said:

 

Iceland seems to fascinate almost every traveler alive, maybe because the name seems so forbidding, maybe because of the geographic remoteness. This guidebook explains the attractions of the big city, Reykjavik, with vigor. But the guide also leaves the city to help with explorations of hiking journeys, visits to volcanoes, glaciers, and thermal waters. The offshore islands receive attention, too. This book is thorough and well-organized.

 

You can pick up a copy of Rick Steves Iceland here — and Cameron Hewitt, who was instrumental in writing the book, shares some of Iceland’s top travel experiences here.

In the Video Travel Broadcast category, our one-hour public television special Rick Steves’ European Festivals nabbed the silver with this note from the judges:

 

This host takes what could be a stale topic — European festivals — and, through clever writing and charismatic performance, brings them to life. It’s fun and light-hearted and makes me want to go.

 

Celebrate! Our one-hour Festivals special is streaming here.

The ‘Roadschooling’ Family Traveling Around the World

Photo: Stuart Kime

I’m often inspired by families on the road. And this past summer on a ferry between Oban and Isle of Mull, I met the Kime family from Texas. The mom and dad (Sarah and Stuart) told me that they had realized that there is no better education or quality family time than traveling together — so they took their kids on a year-long trip around the world. (The kids recognized me because they were using my TV show Rick Steves’ Europe as part of their on-the-road curriculum. They were staying in 107 locations over 370 nights, and 86 of those stops were based on episodes from the show.)

The energy, curiosity, and joy in the faces of each of those kids as they experienced our world was a delight to experience. To follow their adventures — and if you’re a parent, to be inspired to take your kids out of conventional school and make the world their classroom — check out the Kime family’s adventures on Instagram.

What about you? Have you taken your kids out of conventional school for a bit of “on-the-road” education? I’d love to hear about your experience.

Video: Travel as a Force for Peace

It was 1969, I was 14 years old, and one night my dad came home and said, “Son, we’re going to Norway to see the relatives.” I thought, “Stupid idea.”

A few days after arriving, I was sitting on the carpet with my cousins in Bergen watching Neil Armstrong on TV as he took “et lite skritt for et menneske … one giant leap for mankind.” It occurred to me that this was more than an American celebration. It was a human one. Without my realizing it, travel was broadening my perspective. While reinforcing how thankful I was to be an American, it was also making me a better citizen of the planet. It was shaping the 14-year-old me to be a force for peace and an advocate for the importance of thoughtful travel — the idea that travel can be a political act.

I wrote about this idea in the September issue of the Rotarian Magazine. You can read it now here — and be sure to tune in below to hear my conversation with Rotary International.

We chatted with guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves to learn more about getting out of our comfort zones,…

Posted by Rotary International on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Scrubbing the Script: Poop or Pope?

We lovingly fine-tune all our TV shows before they air — and on the final review this time around, producer Simon, editor Risa, and I caught an embarrassing flub that no one had noticed before. When I think about how close this came to being broadcast across the USA, I shudder.

 

 

BTW, we’ve just finished Season 10 of Rick Steves’ Europe. Beginning next month, it will air in virtually every city in the country. Be sure to ask your public television station about your local air times, and don’t miss an episode!

Here’s the lineup for Season 10:

1001  The Heart of England
1002  Lisbon
1003  Portugal’s Heartland
1004  Travel Skills: Cruising
1005  Greek Islands: Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes
1006  European Festivals I
1007  European Festivals II
1008  The Best of Sicily
1009  Sicilian Delights
1010  Scotland’s Highlands
1011  Scotland’s Islands
1012  Glasgow and Scottish Passions

 

 

The Story of Fascism: Lessons and Legacy

The story of fascism in 20th-century Europe teaches us that strong and charismatic leaders can capitalize on fear to lead a society astray. Democracy is fragile. It requires a vigilant and engaged populace. And if you take freedom for granted, you can lose it.

The Story of Fascism: Lessons and Legacy

The story of fascism in 20th-century Europe teaches us that strong and charismatic leaders can capitalize on fear to lead a society astray. Democracy is fragile. It requires a vigilant and engaged populace. And if you take freedom for granted, you can lose it.(This clip is excerpted from my new one-hour special “Rick Steves’ The Story of Fascism in Europe.” Check your local listings for air times — and if you don’t see it, please ask your public television station to add it to their schedule.)

Posted by Rick Steves on Thursday, September 13, 2018

 

This clip is excerpted from my new one-hour special “Rick Steves’ The Story of Fascism in Europe.” Check your local listings for air times — and if you don’t see it, please ask your public television station to add it to their schedule.