If you’re missing travel right now, know that you’re not alone. Just head over to Rick Steves’ Instagram page to see what we mean.
On Thursday, the famed travel expert shared what can only be described as the absolute perfect travel throwback image with his 191,000 followers.
“Here I am, heading off to Europe the day after high school graduation in 1973 — with a budget of $3 a day, a ten-week Eurail pass in my pocket, and the biggest backpack I could find, jam-packed,” Steves wrote in the photo’s caption. “I came home with no money, a malnourished body, and an enduring love of Europe.”
In the image, Steves looks every bit the ‘70s teen with his bootcut cords, plaid T-shirt, and a backpack that is clearly a few sizes too big. The only thing that has stayed the same since taking this image is Steves’ iconic oversized glasses. And his love of travel, of course.
Since the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the world earlier this year, Steves has stopped all his travel and is instead spending time at home.
"I care as much about the economy as anybody, and I think we should lock it all down until we whoop the virus and then we can come out of it smartly," Steves told the Puget Sound Business Journal during a virtual event on the future of travel.
As for how he’s spending his time now, Steves revealed to The Atlantic: “I never cooked until this year — literally never made pasta, never used olive oil, never cared that there are different kinds of potatoes.” He added, “Now, like someone experiencing the delights of Europe for the first time, I thrill at the sensation of a knife cutting through a crisp onion.”
Along the way, he’s taking care of his people, too. In October, Steves announced he pivoted many of his longtime employees away from their normal duties and turned them into local leaders instead.
"…We have created the Rick Steves’ Volunteer Corps (RSVC). My vision is to have the flexibility within our staff to accommodate personal needs and our company needs while offering a reliable and consistent workforce for the needs of the community projects we’re supporting," Steves explained of his new venture to NBC affiliate station King5. This means, rather than laying off his staff, his employees are now out in the Snohomish County community in Washington state working with local food banks, cleaning up hiking trails, and lending their talents to those in need.
"We’d like to be sure the people running those programs can count on steady, substantial, and reliable help from us, rather than wonder if tomorrow’s shift will be covered," Steves said. Hopefully, he’ll keep serving us all too with more excellent throwback images to help spark our future wanderlust.
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