Who wouldn’t want to go to Paris? Or New York? Two destinations that come to mind when thinking about where to go. The City of Lights? Or the City that Never Sleeps?
But what if there was more? Other interesting places? How about a trip off the beaten path, through the backdoor?
A few years ago when I started planning and researching my trips, I was looking for podcasts about travel in iTunes, I stumbled upon a podcast called “Travel with Rick Steves”.
And it turned out that Rick was into the kind of cultural travel I like!
Everything to do with history, culture and art, which are some of my favorite subjects and something I look for when planning my own trips.
Rick Steves is an American world traveller, travel writer, columnist, TV personality and lecturer who specializes in travel to Europe.
Rick started traveling to the Old Continent very young and after graduating with degrees in business administration and European history, he started his own company related to travel.
I love that Rick is respectful of other cultures, he’s open minded, knows the history of a place and recommends you do your homework to find it out.
He speaks in a way that makes me realize that we owe it to ourselves to travel, to see the world, to recognize ourselves in other people, to broaden our horizons, to be multipliers of our own culture, ambassadors of our country and that we need to learn about the history and see it for ourselves, in order to become people who can help with the issues of our current world.
To me knowledge, education, learning are the keys to creating more compassionate societies, cultures that strive for progress, a human race that doesn’t destroy itself and the planet it inhabits, but rather helps it grow and thrive and Rick is a great example of somebody who is bringing people together, uniting nations and cultures, giving life to ruins and old cathedrals through history and inspiring people like me to try to do the same.
I want to be like Rick when I grow up! (Ahem, let’s keep some level of professionalism, here…)
Rick Steves’ Europe through the back door
Rick’s company has every product you need for your travels to Europe, including guided tours, travel guidebooks, travel gear, travel apps (for iPhone or Android), free travel podcasts and free travel videos, free audio guides, DVDs, plus the massive amount of free information shared on his website about travel tips, tourist traps and forums.
Steves also has a TV show called Rick Steve’s Europe which airs in national television in the United States.
But in this post I want to focus on Rick’s videos, which are an amazing source of travel inspiration, from breathtaking landscapes to beautifully historical cities, appreciating the food, the culture and all the idiosyncrasies of the people.
As far as I can tell, there are four kinds of videos:
Videos about interesting places
These short videos show you a highlight of a place, something interesting about a city, or a destination you hadn’t thought would be worth visiting. But trust me, our world is so vast, that I don’t think you could ever run out of interesting destinations.
Vienna, Austria. The massive St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the Gothic needle around which Vienna spins. While heavily damaged in WWII, the church survived. Today it symbolizes the city’s freedom and proud spirit.
Milan, Italy: Epitome of Renaissance genius, Leonardo da Vinci spent some of his most productive years in Milan, enjoying the patronage of the Sforza family. In fact, Leonardo is identified with Milan more than any other Italian city, and contributed to Milan’s reputation for design and aesthetics.
Videos about travel skills
Which always come in handy, he’s got great tips to make the most of your trips, saving money, time and stress.
Travel Skills: Rick explains how developing a thoughtful itinerary not only helps make the most of a trip, it also helps nurture travel dreams.
Which are recordings of different conferences Rick has done, I thoroughly enjoy the one called “Travel as a political act”. In this 80-minute lecture, Rick Steves explains why a travel writer would have something to say about politics.
I really appreciate that about Rick, that he’s worldly enough to recognize how much we all need to learn from other cultures and how much they’ve influenced us.
There’s one series of small videos about Christmas in several countries in Europe, which I find just so touching. It makes me enjoy Christmas even more, to see families all over Europe, with snow up to their ears still following their Christmas traditions!
Rick Steves’ European Christmas Part 4: Norway Rick travels to Drøbak, Norway’s self-proclaimed capital of Christmas, for Santa Lucia Day, and enjoys a Norwegian Girls’ Choir concert in Oslo.
I do encourage you to go and visit all of Rick Steves channels, because you’re going to find a never-ending wealth of information and get your traveling bug up and running!
Do you know of other inspiring resources?
Have you followed Rick throughout the years? How has Rick influenced you and the way you travel!
Share your thoughts in our comments field!
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