Rick Steves – Europhile and travel-activist kicking down the tolerance

I am a huge fan of travel guru and noted nice guy, Rick Steves. He started with great books (Europe Through the Back Door) after traveling around Europe working as a piano tuner. Now, he’s all over PBS TV and Radio and his radio shows are now podcasted. He is totally in me “hero file.” Not only did build a kind and gracious empire promoting travel, good times and friendship from Edmonds, WA but he is also an outspoken and noble endorser of cannabis use and tolerance and chillaxing in general. He is now a member of the Norml advisory board and his ‘regular American dorky dad’ persona is just what ‘regualr dorky Americans’ need to see to push the cannabis bogey man image out of their minds.

I could go on and on but i was eager to let you know that his podcasts are getting better and better and these two (along with one about Prague i listened to this morning) are great examples. Not just ‘which hotel to stay in’ but real global/local minded discourse on the thoughts and customs which make us humans rather intriguing. The contrast (fairly unintentional) between Netherland’s noble aloofness and the cubicle-bound American makes for great listening and his recounting of the Road to Santiago is a treat with behind the scenes thoughts about ‘why’ along with the ‘wheres and hows.’

Anyhow, here are a few links to smoke errr. digest:Rick on Amsterdam’s Coffeeshops

Decriminalization of Marijuana

Europe Through an Open Door (interview)

Among the groups that Steves, a Christian who’s active in the Lutheran Church, supports are Bread for the World, Greenpeace, and NORML, which advocates the decriminalization of marijuana. His trips to Holland, he says, have shown him there are more compassionate and sane policies for managing marijuana use and prostitution.

Rick on Social Activism

So subscribe to Rick’s podcast ye mateys and/or grab a couple of samples below.

Dutch Tolerance and The Overworked American Airdate: April 28, 2007

Rick chats with tour guide Ton Van Garderen from The Netherlands about how Amsterdam makes its “live and let live” libertine policies work andwhat’s behind the Dutch reputation for being “tolerant.”

We’llalso assess the state of the overworked American with author and documentary producer John DeGraff to see how we can reclaim some of the time we never seem to have enough of.

Additional Links:

John Degraff’s website: www.timeday.org

Pilgrimage on El Camino de Santiago in Spain, Tourism in Iran

Airdate: March 31, 2007

We learn about El Camino de Santiago de Compostela from a man who takes tourists on updated versions of this medieval pilgrimage route and catch up with a Lonely Planet Iran researcher who finds that, despite the country’s heavy-handed rulers, the Iranian people are some of the most welcoming you’ll find anywhere. Plus we have a new round of listeners’ travel haiku to share.

Additional Links:

Note: I am fascinated by the Camino de Santiago where pilgrims walk for thousands of miles to get near the (alleged) bones of St. James as we learned arriving their the day the Pope JP2 died. The next day were impromptu parades and masses at the giant cathedral (my first Catholic mass too). I did a wee bit of writing a few painting too – maybe i’ll finish them sometime – here’s a photo in the meantime.

Rick Steves Europe: Travel with Rick Steves: Program Archives

Whatcha think?