Friday, November 09, 2007

I've been brainwashed by travel...

I've been brainwashed by travel. I mean, that's only explanation as why I'd sit and listen to Rick Steve's give an hour long speech on NPR, and find myself saying: "Yeah! Tell it like it is, Rick!"

I mean, this is Rick Steves we’re talking about! I used to make fun of this guy! You watch him on his PBS show and presume he's the type of guy who travels around Europe in a manner suitable for a soccer mom who didn't get a chance to do a foreign exchange program in High School. He wears sensible travel clothes like you'd find at REI - with elastic waists and quick-drying fabric!

Yet, there I was eating dinner last night, slowly realizing that he's become someone I respect. I'm not sure if it’s because I'm getting old myself, or because the recent political climate has forced Rick to embrace his inner radical. Maybe a combination of the two. But, whatever the reason, I have to agree with a lot of what he has to say.

Or, at least, I really respect a lot of what he had to say on KUOW's "Speakers Forum" last night.

The speech I was listening to was actually a talk he gave at Seattle's Townhall on September 13th entitled: Travel as a Political Act. In it, he goes into detail about the positive political side effects of travel and -specifically- how his personal and political views have been shaped by travel. And, honestly, I agreed with pretty much everything he had to say. If nothing else, he’d probably make a better foreign representative than most of the people holding similar positions in our current administration.

Plus, he was pissed. Now, granted, a pissed off Rick Steve's is probably about as threatening as an irate hamster. But still, it was a refreshing and interesting change the "this is rreeeeaaaallllyyy special" type comments you usually hear him make on his show.

Rather than go into detail myself about the speech, I'd just suggest you give it a listen yourself. You can listen to it over RealPlayer or Windows Media Player through the link here. Even if you don't agree with all his politics, it’s an interesting talk. And, you can probably all agree that travel does change a person.

As evidenced by the fact that I'm now recommending things from Rick Steves.

1 comment:

ambika said...

I clicked on your blog while watching Rick Steves travel in Kurdish Turkey. While I've always thought he was a dork, he really does get to see parts of the world (due to his connections) that no one else does. And unlike the lonely planet guide you encountered, he seems really engaged by finding those hidden corners and the people in them rather than getting a good shot for his show.