Rick Steves is boss.

Last time I acted this giddy I was at a Prince concert.

When I talk to people about writing, a usual piece of advice is to read the crap out of writers whose work you admire. Study what they do. Emulate it, and add their chops to your own repertoire.

In addition to using his guides for my own travels, I admire Rick Steves for his work ethic. I heard him speak a few months ago, and he talked about being on the road constantly, updating his guidebooks and recommendations. He checks out everything he lists in his guides, keenly reviewing lodging, restaurants and attractions, and reporting ways to travel better, cheaper, and more efficiently.

Not many travel journalists do this anymore (except for the food part … everybody’s a foodie now!). There are a number of reasons for this. The main one would be that magazines usually don’t pay trip expenses, newspapers never did, and freelance travel writers can’t go into the hole just to do their job, so many stories are just written from internet research.

Thus, travel journalism gets a bad rap, much of it deserved, but Rick Steves is one of the few and the proud carrying the torch. He does it, simply, because he believes the more we travel, the better the world will be. (In addition to relentless travel reporting, Steves has also built a shelter for homeless women and children with his retirement money, advocates for pot legalization, and is an active and outspoken member for the Lutheran ELCA church.)

When I got an email saying Steves wanted to interview me about Running Away to Home for his radio show, I was so excited I couldn’t breathe right. That excitement continued until the first few seconds in the radio booth. But soon I relaxed into his intelligent and thoughtful questions. He’s such a pro.

Then I marveled at Rick Steves for a new thing: His mad interviewing skills.

Here’s the link to the interview. Enjoy! I know I did.


Short URL: http://bit.ly/Lom7We