Last Call: In Praise Of Rick Steves

On Valentine's night, my wife and I celebrated our love by eating Popeye's fried chicken and watching a Rick Steves travel show.

My admiration for Rick Steves—the guidebook writer and the man who made European travel approachable—knows no bounds. As a college sophomore, I backpacked across Europe for two months and the "Rick-tionary" was my trusty companion. He's a fellow Washingtonian. He's an outspoken supporter for marijuana legalization. Most importantly, Steves advocates traveling as a way of achieving empathy, and how by stepping out of our silos we can broaden perspectives.

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Beyond Steves' advocacy, his travel shows are a soothing balm in our frenetic world. I may have watched every episode he's ever produced. There's much to love: That "Saturday afternoon PBS" soundtrack, his accessible and erudite narration, those picturesque destinations—it's all pumping ASMR directly into my carotid artery. Enjoy 30 minutes of Steves in Tuscany:

... in Basque Country...

... and an hour-long special in Andalucia:

Thank you, Rick, for the hundreds of hours of entertainment, guidance, and good cheer you've provided.

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