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Old 04-03-2019, 08:08 PM
 
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Rick Steves Wants to Save the World, One Vacation at a Time

“You know, you’re not very different than you are on your show.”

Rick Steves desperately wants you to leave America. The tiniest exposure to the outside world, he believes, will change your entire life. Travel, Steves likes to say, “wallops your ethnocentricity” and “carbonates your experience” and “rearranges your cultural furniture.”

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...vel-world.html
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Portugal
5,916 posts, read 2,883,413 times
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I'd be curious to see the logic chain behind the notion that the tiniest exposure to the outside will will change someone's entire life. Not saying it's right/wrong, just seems a bit over the top. Is it even necessary to leave America?

For example:
Person A who has lived all over USA in big cosmopolitan cities like NYC and San Francisco travels to London for the first time.
Person B who grew up and has always lived in rural Montana travels to New Orleans or Hawaii for the first time.

Who has the more eye opening experience? What about Person C, who's exposure to the outside world (weird term) was from a cruise ship where they got in the van to see the waterfalls in Jamaica and took the little boat to go snorkeling with the sting rays in Belize? Was their life changed forever due to this outside world exposure?
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,361 posts, read 1,657,079 times
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Who are the viewers of these shows? Is it actually people who travel and seek ideas on where to go, and tips un how? Or stay-at-homes who are fascinated by the exotic? I suspect more of the latter.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:19 AM
 
629 posts, read 491,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
I'd be curious to see the logic chain behind the notion that the tiniest exposure to the outside will will change someone's entire life. Not saying it's right/wrong, just seems a bit over the top. Is it even necessary to leave America?

For example:
Person A who has lived all over USA in big cosmopolitan cities like NYC and San Francisco travels to London for the first time.
Person B who grew up and has always lived in rural Montana travels to New Orleans or Hawaii for the first time.

Who has the more eye opening experience? What about Person C, who's exposure to the outside world (weird term) was from a cruise ship where they got in the van to see the waterfalls in Jamaica and took the little boat to go snorkeling with the sting rays in Belize? Was their life changed forever due to this outside world exposure?

Excellent post. I generally buy into the idea that it's impossible to have a thick passport and a narrow mind, but as you noted, it's all about the specific experiences. You can go to the Dominican Republic or Jamaica and sit in an all-inclusive resort for a week, and learn absolutely nothing about the world at large. Visiting a reservation in New Mexico would be a million times more enlightening in my view.


And it's not just about the specific destination. My ignoramus cousins went on one of those cruises that stops in like 6 different European countries, each for about 6-8 hours so that you can go to a gift shop and see one or two famous attractions before you get back onto the boat and eat American food. In my view, your passport might show that you've visited many different countries, but you'd learn a heck of a lot more by spending a week or two in a single foreign country and engaging with locals and eating indigenous food, etc.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:26 AM
 
Location: NYC
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I suspect it's largely folks who haven't traveled much outside of organized group vacations & want to understand how to do it cheaper & more independently should they go abroad again. It seems to be working since the percentage of Yanks who have passports has risen from 10% to 42% in recent years although I suspect a fair amount of that is due to the tighter border restrictions between the US & Canada & Mexico.

I always thought Steves was doing the same thing the Wheelers (Lonely Planet) did, & Frommer a generation earlier, by demystifying overseas travel for independent minded folks on a budget. The internet, I suspect particularly Youtube, is democratizing international travel now for millenials who are the main demographic for the increase in passport ownership.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:50 AM
 
12,252 posts, read 18,390,529 times
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I like the guy, used his travel books before, but it's almost like a paint by numbers type of traveling approach - "go here at noon talk to this guy, at 4PM visit this lodge, at 7PM have dinner here..."

As far as saving the world via traveling, well that's his business. He personally benifits from that concept. I don't know if it's life changing, but it's life expanding. Expands the horizons of ones thoughts. Ironically, it might be more fulfilling to leave one of his travel books at home and just branch out independently in your travel activities.
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Old 04-04-2019, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,678 posts, read 16,089,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
Who are the viewers of these shows? Is it actually people who travel and seek ideas on where to go, and tips un how? Or stay-at-homes who are fascinated by the exotic? I suspect more of the latter.
IMO, Rick's show is kind of like the travel version of 'Mr. Roger's Neighborhood'- calm and pleasant and trying to show you something both interesting and educational. I'll put an episode on when I'm in the mood to watch that kind of thing.

His larger viewership is likely people who are curious about Europe (90%+ of his shows are filmed there) but find the idea of that kind of trip to be intimidating. And he comes across as helpful and encouraging and genuinely wanting to help people give independent travel in Europe a try.
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Old 04-04-2019, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,511 posts, read 8,751,470 times
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To be fair, many people just don't have the money to vacation in the US, let alone Europe. It's not a sign of ignorance or lack of imagination.

Rick Steves is an OK guy with good tips for the people he targets. I was on the Danish island of Æro last year and even saw a Rick Steves tour bus. It's a gem of a place for older, moderately well-off people, and to my mind it's a "do not miss place" on any tour of Denmark.
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Old 04-04-2019, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,289 posts, read 4,145,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
IMO, Rick's show is kind of like the travel version of 'Mr. Roger's Neighborhood'- calm and pleasant and trying to show you something both interesting and educational. I'll put an episode on when I'm in the mood to watch that kind of thing.
LOL, what a perfect description!

I like his show, too. When I'm home to watch it (which isn't often, unfortunately), I find it relaxing and a good way to learn a bit about places in Europe I've not visited yet. I've bumped a few spots up higher on my want-to-go-there list based on things I've seen in his shows.
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:21 AM
 
629 posts, read 491,655 times
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Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
LOL, what a perfect description!

I like his show, too. When I'm home to watch it (which isn't often, unfortunately), I find it relaxing and a good way to learn a bit about places in Europe I've not visited yet. I've bumped a few spots up higher on my want-to-go-there list based on things I've seen in his shows.

Lol yes except that Rick Steves is a huge pot head and marijuana advocate. Very different from Fred Rogers in that respect.
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