Tapping Into That Vagabond Magic

When you look back on your life as a traveler, which trip do you remember the most? For a lot of us, our happiest travels were the ones we did on a shoestring, slumming around with a backpack. Why? Because these were real adventures: riding serendipity like the wind, taking risks, and enjoying how having no money forced us into the arms of strangers.

I’ve been thinking today about 1973, when my friend Gene and I first experienced “Europe Through the Gutter.” In so many ways, this trip — starting the day after my high school graduation — established the foundation of our entire Rick Steves’ Europe program. Now that we’re adults, we travel with more money, comforts, and reservations than the vagabonds we used to be…but we still tap into the magic that made those early backpacking adventures the best trips ever.

You can hear the story of our 1973 trip in this 26-minute audio clip:

As you listen, consider how you can splice some of that vagabond magic into your next trip. Then, share your thoughts in the comments here or on Facebook, so we can inspire each other to travel with a youthful vigor at any age.