Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
author, tour operator, television and radio personality who was recently named
Travel Journalist of the Year by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.
Twitter/website: Ricksteves.com and @RickSteves
Born in: Edmonds, Washington
Currently living in: Seattle, Washington
would you rather be right now?
Right where I am. I’ve been on the road
for five of the last seven months, and I’m happy to be home.
2. Famous person (dead or alive, real or
fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
With Napoleon to Russia… perhaps to
Moscow for Christmas.
3. Everyone asks what’s #1 on your list of
places you want to go before you die. But what’s your #3?
The cruise from Seattle to Alaska
4. You’d be mortified if people knew you
did what when you travelled?
Steal lunch from the breakfast buffet
5. Your most stranded, “oh-my-[deity]”
On the overnight ferry ride from Norway
to Denmark, I slept through Denmark and woke up halfway back to Norway. I was
very tired. It was embarrassing to go downstairs to the ferry car deck and see
my car being the only one out of a hundred facing the other way. It cost me a
day of my itinerary… but gave me a fun memory.
6. Best (or worst) person/people you’ve
had to sit next to while travelling:
I was surrounded by a bunch of very
frightening Russian no-necks on a flight from Tallinn in Estonia. One got a
phone call and his ringtone was the sound of a rifle being cocked. They made me
want to crawl into the place under my seat where the life jacket is stowed.
7. Strangest meal abroad:
Sitting at a cafeteria in Kabul, I was
joined by an Afghan professor who took it upon himself to spend the entire meal
explaining to me that “one third of the people on this planet eat with spoons
and forks like you, one third eat with chopsticks, and one third eat with their
fingers like me and we’re all civilized just the same.”
8. If someone was visiting your town,
what’s the one thing you’d show them?
I’d take them to the baseball stadium
and show them a good time with really American food.
9. Travel-related invention you wish
A powder that would wash your clothes
simply by the rubbing action that comes with wearing it.
10. Your most embarrassing travel faux
Having the exciting opportunity to have
lunch with a big city travel editor when I was just getting started, reviewing
the menu and upon seeing quiche, asking “What’s kwee-shee ?”
11. Material thing you miss the most when
away from home:
12. Most unique souvenir:
The horns of a bull I saw killed in the
ring in Seville and then slaughtered out back.
13. Best celebrity encounter while
Being in a crypt surrounded by urns
filled with the vital organs of centuries of Hapsburg kings and queens.
14. Most unusual item you have travelled
Mukluks (Eskimo wool slippers with
Coolest mode of transport you’ve taken:
A Trenino on the Italian Riviera (the
tiny mono-rail train that takes vintners up the hills when working their
16. Travel-related film or book that
inspires you to pack your bags:
Movies: Yol for Turkey, Singing
Revolution for Estonia, The Way for Galicia in northwest Spain, and three
movies by Deepa Mehta for India: Water, Fire and Earth.
17. The travel story you’ll never stop
How I got to give the Christkind (the
Bavarian princess of Christmas… and quite a celebrity over there) a kiss on the
18. Lay on us a few priceless bits of
travel advice or wisdom:
If you equip yourself with good
information and expect yourself to travel smart, you can. There are two types of
European travellers: those who wait in lines and those
who don’t wait in lines. Fear is for people who don’t get out much.