Rick Steves on the Value of Travel

Good ol’ Rick Steves. In an article in
USA Today, the best-selling travel
writer and television personality talks about how few Americans travel, and yet how important it is that we do. I
actually spoke with Rick yesterday in an interview and found him an extremely friendly, thoughtful guy. What concerns
him is that as we move swiftly into a 21st century world largely dominated by America, it behooves us to know more
about the world and the people in it. As he told me over the phone from his office in Edmonds: “Regardless of your
politics, you need to know the big picture. We’re going to be in an increasingly awkward position if we don’t try to
get out there and understand the planet.” Steves should know. He’s spent over a third of his life in Europe, and he
says right now that very few people he talks to there express favor in the administration’s efforts in Iraq and around
the world. Not to get all preachy, but he has a point. Americans SHOULD travel more. It’s ridiculous that we don’t
understand the world better when our place in it cultural speaking is so large.