Get Ready, Get Set, and Go!
Guide Federico Garcia Barroso exemplifies the travel-lover's spirit, both at play in India (top) and at work in Europe (bottom).
One of my Spain guides, Federico, just sent me a photo of him in India. He's in his bathing suit, riding an elephant as if they are going through a car wash together. That's a travel thrill. Back here, after seeing a movie last night with friends, we all decided we must hike Rialto Beach on Washington's wild and desolate Pacific Coast. Just last week, my daughter and I met up in New Orleans — our first time for both of us — for jazz and gumbo together. Spring opens us up to new possibilities. It's time to travel.
I'm still spinning with images from this past month's 20 cities in 20 days road trip lecture tour from Seattle to Tallahassee. I met little kids who knew Paris like their back yard, with parents navigating them into world citizenship. I met people approaching retirement who had never seen an ocean, excitedly planning their first trip to Europe. I met globe-trotters in wheelchairs who let nothing get in the way of their wanderlust. And I saw lots of Americans who, through no fault of their own, lacked the wherewithal, and were going nowhere.
If you are blessed with the freedom and resources to turn your travel dreams into reality, don't wait. I've never met anyone who, after properly planning a trip, regretted taking the time and money to make that experience happen — not to mention the years of wonderful memories that sprang from it.
In this month's Travel News, we can help nudge your dreams toward reality with articles on what's new in Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia for 2012; chateaux-hopping near Paris; and the good news that the Cinque Terre towns of Vernazza and Monterosso are open for business. You'll also find travel tales from a pair of women who recently toured "post-revolution" Egypt; a readers' debate on my new rolling backpack; and a video that gives you a painless 2-minute history lesson on the 230-foot long Bayeux Tapestry.
On Sunday I'll fly to Lisbon to kick off another season of travel. I'll be updating my Portugal, Spain, and Italy guidebooks, with special emphasis on Barcelona (time for its own Rick Steves city guidebook and pocket guide), and the Cinque Terre (to learn about their post-disaster recovery). I'll cap the trip in Venice, meeting my film crew to create two new TV shows for this coming fall. Then I'll fly from Europe to Washington DC for my daughter's graduation at Georgetown. That's a lot, but it's spring. It's time.
So get ready, make sure you're set, and then go. You'll be glad you did.