Program 294a: Pico Iyer: A Traveler's Home is a Verb; Cape Town, South Africa

Release Date: 08-10-2013

On Air Description

Pico Iyer still doesn't own a cellphone.  On this week's Travel with Rick Steves, the celebrated author shares how going it alone can actually clue you in to the global village that already surrounds you.

And travel writer Will Hide tells us why Cape Town, South Africa is one of his favorite  getaways — where a pleasant climate, easy access to outdoor adventures, and friendly people are just an overnight flight from London.

Recharge your travel dreams for an hour each week. . . on Travel with Rick Steves. 

Notes to Stations

This is a re-edit of Pgm #294, which first aired July 21, 2012


  • Pico Iyer, author of "The Man Within My Head" (Knopf)
  • Travel writer Will Hide

Related Links


  • Caller describes how recognizing unique senses of spirituality can resonate with places one visits alone.  Discusses with Pico the benefits of solo travel in opening yourself up to  transforming moments.   (Jean in Terre Haute, Indiana)
  • "How often does Pico travel now?  Does he still find travel to be a physical catalyst to fire the neurons of the brain to walk new paths?  What places have special meaning for him? Where does he consider home and why?"  (Ilene in Bonney Lake, Washington)
  • Suggestions for sightseeing like a local in Cape Town, including getting to Hermanus for the Whale Festival.  "Planning to tour South Africa (including Kruger and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Parks) and will be in Cape Town for a few days.  Want to not have to rent a car because I'm sure I can't drive on the 'other' side of the road."   (Judy on Cape Cod, Massachusetts)
  • "The surprise about our tour guide on Robben Island was that he was a former prisoner with Mandela. Very powerful.  Also the chopper pilot who took us around the Cape from Victoria and Alfred warned surfers of approaching sharks."   (Neil in Bayside, Wisconsin)

Incidental Music

  • Reinbert de Leeuw, “Petit ouverture a danser (Satie),”  Erik Satie:  Gymnopédies, Ogives, Trois Sarabandes, Petite ouverture à danser / Decca (Netherlands)
  • Monks of the Nyingmapa Order, "Turning of the Bhutanese Dramnyen," Tibetan Buddhist Rites from the Monasteries of Bhutan, vol. 4 / Lyrichord
  • Evergreen Ensemble, "Evocation Gentle Rain Falling,"  O Bali / CBC Records
  • Simply Jeff, "Mission to Earth," Japanese Homegrown Beats (collection) / Tower Records Japan
  • Nobukazu Takemura, "Child and Animals in the Forest," Japanese Homegrown Beats (collection) / Tower Records Japan
  • Thomas Otten, "Underdown Aperture," Close to Silence / Virgin (France)
  • * Pat Metheney Group, "So May It Secretly Begin," Still Life / Nonesuch
  • Yo Yo Ma, "'Prelude' from ‘Solo Cello Suite No.1’ (JS Bach),"  Creating the Perfect Atmosphere (sampler) / Sony Classical
  • Choeur d'enfants de la Maîtrise de Notre-Dame de Paris, "Grégorien:  Ad te levavi," Musique Sacrée à Notre-Dame de Paris / RCA Victor Red Seal-BMG France
  • Takahashi Hirayasu with Chuei Yoshijakawa, "Asadoya Yunta," Asian Dreamland (collection) / Putumayo
  • Bruce Springsteen, "Paradise," The Rising / Columbia
  • * Kenny Garrett, "Charlie Brown Goes to South Africa," Simply Said / Warner Jazz
  • Itay Pearl, "Chipopo," Israel (collection) / Putumayo
  • Maia, "Time to Boogie, South Africa," Introducing Maia / M’Ladiah Productions
  • Intuit, "Wewa," Impala Lounge II (collection) / Wagram
  • Hugh Masekela, "Mama (Metro Area Birthday Dub)," Verve Remixed  (collection) / Verve    
  • Chris Joris, "Bihogo,"  Cross Over the World (collection) / Tinder Production
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo, "Nkosi Sikelela 1989," Live at Montreaux 1987-1989-2000 / Eagle Records
  • Enoch Mankayi Sontonga, et al., “South Africa National Anthem,”  National Anthems of the World / Marco Polo
  • Hugh Masekela, "Languta," Hope / Worldly-Triloka

Dated References

  • Rick notes at 7:13 that the weather is pleasant in Cape Town, "even in July, the depth of their southern hemisphere winter." 
  • In his open to segment A, and first question, Rick notes that "The Man Within My Head" is Pico Iyer's latest book.  Pico adds at 11:54  that his "last" book, "The Open Road," was about the Dalai Lama.    He adds he's been spending time in Jerusalem, starting at 13:40.  Rick notes this again in his re-set at 15:00. 
  • At 12:51, Rick notes that Pico "lives in Japan now," and Pico responds later that he also spends a lot of time in California. 
  • Pico says at 27:55 that he doesn't recommend anybody visit North Korea, tho' he has done so to see it for himself. 
  • At 28:45, Pico says he's just about to take his first trip to Iran. 
  • Will Hide notes at 41:20 that Cape Town is in the middle of summer when London experiences winter, and is an overnight flight south, which minimizes the effects of jet lag.  Will adds that he tries to get there each year between November and March. 
  • Caller Judy says at 46:37 she will be in Cape Town in time for the Hermanus Whale Festival, which Will notes is held each September, when whales swim close to shore. 
  • At 49:20, Will says costs in South Africa are generally less than in the UK or the US.