Happy New Year of Travels!

Rick Steves 1978

In 1978, I befriended a Communist worker in Yugoslavia, and the seed of an idea began to grow: “We’re all in this together.”


Some people clean house to start the New Year. I clean up old folders of photographs, taken over the years, that document my travels. Last night, doing just that, I got swallowed up in an amazing decade of trip memories — natural wonders, taste treats, artistic eurekas, faraway friends, and inspirations. I pondered what an integral part of my life these travel experiences are. I suppose other people — like an avid painter, a football star, or a beloved pastor — have similarly powerful life stories contributing to the weave of who they are. For me, it’s travel.

The tapestry of my life is made strong and colorful by the rich rewards of travel: The hikes — cut-glass peaks shouting their glory to the heavens; the taste treats — dipping the eagerly ripped bits of baguette into the garlic sauce for my “snail chaser”; the artistic triumphs — swizzled into a gravity-defying Russian/Jewish/child-of-God/French cocktail of life in a gallery full of Marc Chagall murals; the new friends — like my private whisky coach in the Edinburgh pub, who spent an entire evening showing me how a wee dram can be a very good friend; and the lessons learned — like how our world is filled with joy, love, and people…beautiful both inside and out, and eager to meet us.

If you traveled with Rick Steves’ Europe in any way in 2017, thanks so much. If you are blessed with the opportunity to travel in 2018, I hope we can be of some help. In so many ways, we’re all in this together…and I think that’ll be my theme in the New Year.

Best wishes, and Happy Travels in 2018!