Saturday, November 10, 2007

Rick Steves @ Augsburg

Yesterday I went to see travel writer Rick Steves speak at Augsburg on the topic "Travel as a Political Act". I appreciate Steves' books and TV show because he does a good job of showing a traveler how to best manage popular tourist spots. In my travels I've found that his book accompanied by another (like Rough Guide or Lonely Planet) makes a complete collection of resources.

Anyways, Steves comes off as a bit of a weenie on his TV show, so I wasn't sure what to expect out of him as a speaker. But the title of his talk was intriguing so I went. And boy am I glad that I did. He surprised me with his strong political views that were mostly centered around how America could be a better place if more Americans understood the rest of the world better by traveling. He didn't pull any punches when espousing his liberal leanings which have been gleaned by years and years of experiencing the rest of the world first-hand.

Oh, if only our politicians had such an understanding of other cultures. What if, instead of spending 2 years getting an MBA from Yale, our future politicians spent 2 years studying or traveling abroad or in the Peace Corps?

The crowd gave him quite an ovation after being treated to 75 minutes of speech, slideshow and Q&A.

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