On Tuesday, April 13 GetSetUp hosted a special fireside chat with Rick Steves. Guest Speaker Rick Steves spoke on Why We Travel cover topics such as his favorite travel destinations, activism in traveling, and the future of travel. Through a raffle 30 GetSetUp Learners were selected to join the live event in the “virtual front row” where many of them had the opportunity to ask Rick questions live.
In addition to our front row learners, many other participants tuned in to watch the event live through GetSetUp TV, YouTube, and Facebook. For those of you who couldn’t check it out be sure to sign up for GetSetUp at www.getsetup.org as we will be playing the chat back for our community on GetSetUp TV atGetSetUp TV
Traveling To Be A Better World Citizen
Rick spoke about the benefits of learning from traveling. He highlighted that learning really helps create better citizens and being able to be exposed to multiple cultures and communities is a real blessing.
Despite all of his travels to Europe and elsewhere he never sees himself moving from Seattle (“unless the weather gets really good" he joked). While he definitely misses traveling he’s not planning to get back out on the road until it is safe for everyone involved. In the meantime he has developed a love for cooking and even invested in a great set of cooking knives.
“I never understood how people could spend the same price as a flight to Europe on knives until now,” he said.
Rick has seen the pandemic as an opportunity to really slow down and learn to enjoy what is around him. He’s spending time with his girlfriend and walking his dogs. But he hasn’t lost his passion for travel. He is keeping in touch with his travel community by hosting a weekly Monday Night Travel event, where the community explores new places together.
Tips for Traveling Responsibly
Rick has made a real investment in both his travel team and making sure to neutralize his carbon footprint. He has kept his local guides on payroll and continued to donate to the organizations his team has selected to help mitigate their carbon footprint despite not having traveled now with his business for over a year. His passion for travel has also made him a dedicated citizen of the world.
He believes that “Travel makes it harder for propaganda to dehumanize others.”
Once we relate to others through exploring their communities and getting to know them we can see a more human side to people and issues. He thinks that by learning together and exploring communities and cultures we can have a greater impact.
“Travel can be a force for peace.”
For those planning their next big travel experience when it is safe and possible his greatest advice is:
“Embrace the local tempo.”
He believes we truly travel and explore a place through getting involved in local customs, daily life, and experiences, whether that is a nip of whiskey at the end of the night in Scotland, or watching the sunset with the local liquor, ouzo, in Greece. Rick thinks travelers should strive to find what is meaningful in each country to experience and truly live. Every country for him has a local tradition and ritual that he truly believes brings it to life. Small things that he doesn’t do at home, but always does there.
For example, “[In Greece] every sunset is a devotional.”
For those looking to travel a bit more like Rick he has a couple key recommendations:
- Value Your Time: If possible value your time traveling over savings. We have so little time to really travel. Rather than saving 5 dollars but spending an extra 2 hours to go by train rather than rent a car, plan to splurge a bit on your next trip. Most importantly value your time!
- Hire A Local Guide: Rick thinks local guides are well worth the price. They allow travelers to really experience the culture and explore, especially in less touristic places or where you may not speak the same language. Joining together with other travelers to offset the costs of local guides can be a great way to get a local experience for a great price!
- Travel For People: Who makes all the difference in travel is who you know, not always what you see. People are the experiences we tend to remember from a trip so take the opportunities to really learn from the local people. That’s what will make the most meaningful memories.
Not everyone has as much experience meeting people as Rick Steves so he offered some advice to those traveling who want to get to know locals.
“Sit at the bar. They will know you are there to talk.”
In many countries he notes that the bar is a local community center. People tend to leave you alone if you grab a table but understand that you are open to talk if you are at the bar. This can be a great way to get to know people.
To learn more sign up for GetSetUp to see a rerun of the chat GetSetUp TV at:GetSetUp TV
Rick loved the great questions from GetSetUp learners and stayed an extra half an hour chatting with Co-Founder Lawrence and Virtual Front Row Participants.
This month we have a special travel theme every day with a new topic each week. You can see the curated classes at https://www.getsetup.io/series/travelJoin the GetSetUp Travel Series Classes
- Monday: Island Hopping In Europe
- Tuesday: Great European Festivals
- Wednesday: Cuisine Across Europe
- Thursday: European Art Museums
- Friday: History Of Europe
- Saturday: Outdoor Weekends
Join one or all of these travel nights - right from your living room.Join the GetSetUp Travel Series Classes