Margaret and I are big fans of European travel writer Rick Steves.  If you’re not familiar with Rick, he has been traveling to and writing about European travel for many many years.  His philosophy is to explore travel destinations as if you were a local; stay at mom-and-pop lodgings, eat where the locals eat, take public transportation to experience life as if you lived in the city, town or village you’re visiting.  In other words have an authentic experience in your travels.

When we travel to Europe we use the Rick Steves travel guides as our bible.  Before our trip we consult the guide for lodging suggestions (no chain hotels suggested here!) and tips on transportation between destinations.  Once we arrive at our destination the travel guides are great for dining suggestions, short cuts for avoiding long lines at tourist sites plus suggestions on entertainment that is authentic to the region.  Rick takes great care to enhance your travel experience while saving you money.

If you love to travel or just like to read about interesting places subscribe to the Rick Steves on-line newsletter that features stories from Europe and other destinations.  His website is full of great information about European travel and includes a great readers forum to answer questions on every country in Europe by travelers with first hand knowledge.  And even though Rick Steves has become an industry with his guidebooks, tours, DVD’s, travel products, PBS broadcasts, webinars and seminars, he has kept true to his core value which is providing travelers with the tools to have a great experience while traveling in Europe.

So why is this Blog’s titled “The Hamster Wheel States of America“?  This is reference to an article-travel-news-02-15-corporate-hamster-wheelarticle in Rick Steves’ most recent newsletter.  What struck me about this article is Rick’s perspective on the world and America’s place in it.  As he states in the article “There’s no question that, economically, we are firmly established on top of the world. Yet, we are never reminded that half of humanity is struggling to live on $2 a day.”  Here’s a link to the entire article…..let me know what you think about it;  http://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/travel-news/february-2015/the-hamster-wheel-states-of-america

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