Rick Steves got into the travel business by teaching travel classes at the University of Washington in Seattle and working as a tour leader in the summers. His 1979 book Europe Through the Back Door emphasized how to cut costs and encouraged travelers to avoid prepackaged tours and encounter local cultures in a more authentic way. His TV shows about European destinations have aired frequently on public television. Steves, a Lutheran, whose business is based in Edmonds, Washington, just published Travel as a Political Act, a series of “field reports” from Europe, Central America, Asia and the Middle East.
What motivates you to teach people about traveling?