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Rick Steves

What are your experiences of meeting the great man?
Is he as cool as he seems on TV and radio?

Posted by
6069 posts

You might take a look at this thread, if you haven't already seen it. Has some good anecdotes about meeting him.

Posted by
3436 posts

I met him before I stated going on his tours during a PBS fund raiser many years ago. He seemed nice and genuine, was in no hurry, and didn't act like a celebrity at that time.

Posted by
524 posts

Agree with Mark. Mr. Steves was in town to do the PBS fundraiser rounds and he agreed to give a speech at our local library. The library did not have the budget to pay him, from what I understood, at the time, he would be willing to decrease fee for ability to give his "Travel as a Political Act" speech. He seems very genuine and stayed to meet and greet all that wished. He chatted with each person, never seeming to rush them or seem disinterested in what was said. He was even agreeable to photos and autographs.

Posted by
3461 posts

I’ve met him several times at various travel classes at Edmonds. Two experiences stand out. I was on a plane years ago to travel to Iowa and sitting in Economy Plus. I saw his daughter with an Iowa shirt and him board the plane. I assumed First Class for him, but instead they headed to the back of the plane. I liked his humble and gracious attitude with the flight attendants and those who knew him.

The next story is funnier - I signed my husband and I up for the French language RS class. It was bad weather, so we arrived a few minutes late. My husband headed to a row with a couple of people at each end. I listened intently to the teacher throughout the class. Then we were asked to turn to the person next to us and have a basic conversation in French. I turned to see Rick sitting closest to me! I laughed and attempted to speak a few sentences in French and talk about various foods on our class list.

Posted by
2235 posts

I have heard Rick speak many times, in various locations, and have a few times chatted with him individually. He is an excellent speaker, very well-informed, articulate, informal, enthusiastic. A little bit of a ham, but what enthusiastic good speaker is not? Always ready to sign books etc, often for a large number of people at one time. Chatting with me and others, he seems the same, informal and personable. I have a lot of admiration for him, since for 30 years or more, he has developed a very effective and successful travel company, always maintaining his mission and focus on helping Americans, mostly Americans but also Canadians and some other English-speaking people, to get to know European countries and cultures, beyond the most famous sites. He does this through his tours, books, talks, TV and radio programs, always top quality, personable, specific and not fancy, and always presenting just what is promised, or a little more. With considerable personal experience, I’ve become a fan!

Posted by
2016 posts

Jay, thanks for asking. Living close to RS Headquarters and a fan since it's inception, I have had the opportunity to meet Rick at various times at classes & political rallies. I agree with others who describe him as genuine, personable and compassionate. Whenever I visit the travel center I always feel welcome and a sense of comeraderie. I believe this starts at the top. I admire their mission and am proud to be a part of the RS experience.

Posted by
4065 posts

jlschandler, a bit of a follow-up about "it starts at the top." A number of years ago I had a back-and-forth email conversation with someone on the RS staff. I commented on how kind and helpful everyone had been, and she said "Yes! It's a great place to work."

Posted by
2774 posts

The one experience I had with RS that will always stick in my mind was at a Travel Show in Seattle many, many years ago. Long before RS became popular. He was the only one at his booth and was handing out "last years" books to interested folks. I noticed that I was looking him in the eye and I was 6" 3 1/2" tall. I went around to the side of the booth where I could get a better view of him and was looking at his shoes. He saw me and asked if his fly was open. I said no but I did not realize that he was as tall as he is from watching him on TV and attending classes he gave. What a response from a real nice guy. I got hooked and have taken 14 RS tours and will be taking #15 & #16 this coming May and June.

Posted by
3 posts

IMHO, I think he is easy going, easy to get along with, enjoys a good time, does not take himself to seriously, but, he is also a shrewd marketing man who knows his business very well.

His business seems to reflect him very well. I guess that's why I keep coming back for another tour.

Posted by
11 posts

We recently heard him speak - Travel as a Political Act - the day after he spent about 3 hours raising money for Chicago Public TV.

He was exactly like he is in his shows. Sometimes it was deja vu. He came on stage 20 minutes early to answer questions. Just a nice guy.