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Go-to guide Rick Steves talks travel philosophy in Poulsbo

Travel guide Rick Steves will speak on his book
Travel guide Rick Steves will speak on his book 'Travel as a Politcal Act' March 15 in Poulsbo.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Travel guide Rick Steves will take a night off the road to encourage Kitsap to view travel in a new light.

The prolific guide book author and televised tour leader will speak on his book “Travel as a Political Act” at Poulsbo’s North Kitsap Auditorium this Monday, March 15. Steves implores Americans to travel thoughtfully in order to return home with a new, more global connectedness and understanding, using as an example his visit to Iran and the documentary that resulted from it.

Steves, an Edmonds native, spends roughly one-third of each year traveling overseas. His more than 30 guidebooks sell half a million copies each year, and he’s produced nearly 100 television episodes that still air on PBS regularly.

Steves calls travel “one of the last great sources of legal adventure,” and said he hopes to dispel fears of unknown foreign soil.

“People that are conservative, people who don’t have passports, people that are afraid of the rest of the world,” said Steves, listing characteristics of an ideal audience. “If I can help people overcome their fears by travel, that’s a beautiful thing.”

He spoke via phone from Dulles International Airport, where he awaited a flight to Chicago.

Steves aims to encourage Americans to get the most perspective-broadening value from their travels, to become a citizen of the planet and engage with the rest of humanity, despite differences.

“Everyone finds different truths to be self-evident and God-given. It just makes sense to give everyone a little wiggle room,” he said.

Despite the down economy, Americans on vacation in Europe are still high in number. Twelve million travel there from the states in good economic times; nine or 10 in a recession, said Steves. Travel adds a new joy and dimension to a person’s life, and is simply a matter of priority – along with an opportunity to forever become an advocate for those you meet, he added.

Steves speaks against trade policies that keep some developing countries from earning the money they could, and advocates a smarter approach to drug policy in the states, more in vein with Europe’s standards. He works to bring new perspectives home, and also takes travelers to the places those perspectives thrive.

“When we travel we get these kinds of realities in our face,” he said. “I’m speaking up for a kind of travel that doesn’t have any kind of financial incentive to be talked about otherwise.”

Steves will speak at 7 p.m. March 15 at the North Kitsap Auditorium, 1881 NE Hostmark Street. His appearance is part of the Kitsap Regional Library Foundation’s Dinner with an Author series, and is a fundraiser for the Kitsap Regional Library Foundation. Tickets are $25. For tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

Did you know?

Travel guru Rick Steves spends 100 days or more a year in Europe. The Edmonds native hasn’t spent a summer in Seattle since 1972.

Steves packs one shirt per episode when filming overseas, and wears the same shirt for each six-day shoot so all footage matches.

Learn more at www.RickSteves.com.

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