Hi from Rick: Traveling to Iran Next Week
|This month's TV special gives a mysterious nation many human faces.|
In a sense I'm returning to Iran next week — and I'm taking you along — as public television stations across the country air my hour-long special: Rick Steves' Iran. If you've been reading my blog you already know what an eye-opening adventure it was to film there. To learn more about the show — including air times for your city — see this month's Travel News. As soon as the Iran special airs on TV, we'll offer a DVD version (with a bonus lecture and interview) in our Travel Store.
The year has just begun and I'm already swimming in travel. Adding to the excitement of the Iran show airing, my family and I have just returned from a tremendous week in Costa Rica (see my blog for the story). In the next few days our radio studio will be humming as we record a bunch of new "Travel with Rick Steves" radio shows with a special focus on Europe. We'd love to have you email or call with your questions, comments and experiences — learn more on our radio site.
Just up the street, on January 17th, we're hosting a huge reunion party for all our tour alums, along with a series of fun Test Drive a Tour Guide presentations throughout the day (these will be filmed and posted to our website, so people who'd rather spend their money flying to Europe instead of Edmonds can also enjoy the talks).
The next day, Anne and I will fly to D.C. for the inauguration of our new president. Then, a couple weeks later, in recognition of the work we've done introducing the rest of the world to America, I'll return there to receive the "citizen diplomat" award. It's humbling and a true honor for a mere travel writer to join any list that includes legends like William J. Fulbright and Maya Angelou.
In addition to all this, 2009 is starting with trend-bucking optimism around here, fueled by a very successful holiday retail season (thank you!) and a sudden surge in what had been slow tour sign-ups. The dollar is up, airfares are down, and Europe beckons. Whether you're exploring Iran with me on TV, thinking of taking one of our tours, or planning the independent trip of your dreams — thanks for starting the year with us.
Happy New Year and Happy Travels in 2009,