Chapter 5 of Rick Steves’ Travel as a Political Act is about Denmark. I visited Denmark in 2012 and really fell in love with it. I didn’t look upon my visit to Denmark as a political act, so it was interesting to get Rick’s perspective.

(This is the fourth part of my series of chapter-by-chapter reviews of Rick’s book. See the tag Travel as a Political Act for my reviews of other chapters.)
Continue reading “Denmark: Highly Taxed and Highly Content”

Chapter 3 of Rick Steves’ Travel as a Political Act covers a broad range of topics: economics, diversity and immigration, the refugee crisis, sex, drugs, alcohol, nudity, and the wide range of European passions for their culture. I will only touch on a few of these topics here.

(This is the third part of my series of chapter-by-chapter reviews of Rick’s book. See the tag Travel as a Political Act for my reviews of other chapters.)
Continue reading “Europe Unites: Successes and Struggles”

In 2014 I traveled in the former Yugoslavia. I wrote about my walking tour of Sarajevo with someone who had grown up during the siege there in the 1990s. And I wrote about three of the local people I met in Mostar, people who almost made me forget about the beautiful bridge that is the sightseeing star of that city.

(This is the second part of my series of chapter-by-chapter reviews of Rick’s book. See the tag Travel as a Political Act for my reviews of other chapters.)
Continue reading “Lessons from the Former Yugoslavia”

I recently finished reading Rick Steves’ Travel as a Political Act. Originally published in 2009, its third edition was released last month. I found the book provocative and illuminating. I learned a lot and found much to ponder.

This is the first part of my series of chapter-by-chapter reviews of Rick’s book. See the tag Travel as a Political Act for my reviews of other chapters as I add them. I think these will be more a series of takeaways than reviews. I want to share what I think were the key points, chapter by chapter, adding my own perspective as appropriate. Of course I am much less experienced than Rick Steves as a traveler and as a travel writer, so I don’t pretend that I can offer anything more than a whetting of the appetite. I would urge all travelers, arm-chair travelers, and would-be travelers to read Rick’s book.
Continue reading “Travel as a Political Act”

Worrying

I’m a worrier.

I don’t know why I’m a worrier, and I’m not going to worry about why, because I have enough other things to worry about.

But here I am, just about two weeks from my next big trip, and I’ve got all these things I’m worried about. Will I pack efficiently? Will I forget anything? What if the airline loses my luggage? What if I don’t get along with the other people on the tour? I might not enjoy the tour. I might get sick. On and on it goes…

Continue reading “Worrying”

Rainbow Flag in the Castro, San Francisco

Is there is a difference between being a gay traveler and traveling while gay?

One of the blogs I most enjoy reading is called “Travels of Adam.” Adam Groffman started his blog in 2009, when he was still working as a graphic designer in Boston. He was on the verge of turning 25, and he was also on the verge of quitting his job and embarking on a trip around the world. Since 2011 he’s been living in Berlin. In addition to writing his blog, Adam has a series of Hipster City Guides that highlight what he considers the cool places to go in each of fourteen (mostly European) cities.

If you visit Travels of Adam, you will be struck by his glorious homepage banner.
Continue reading “Traveling While Gay”

Okay, my trip is still more than seven months away, and I’m obsessing about luggage. I think it’s because it’s a tour, and I don’t have any other plans to make. Still, I’m pretty sure I’ve taken it too far.

I returned the bag I got from eBags. I decided it was too big. And I’ve bought three new bags, one of which will definitely go on the trip with me.
Continue reading “New Luggage, Part Two”

I will never forget the huge suitcase I brought along on my first trip to Europe, a ten-day tour in the middle of the summer to Austria, Germany, and Hungary.

Gradually in my travels I have reduced the size of my luggage, and on my four independent Europe trips (Italy in 2009, Nordic countries in 2012, Balkans in 2014, and Beltherway in 2016), I brought only carry-on luggage.
Continue reading “New Luggage”

My first trip outside North America was in 1989. It was a choir tour to Germany, Austria, and Hungary, but we flew through Paris, where we had an eight-hour layover, so we arranged for a quick tour around the city. There was maybe just enough time for a quick photo stop in front of Notre Dame, but otherwise we spent most of the time seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Arch de Triomphe through the bus window while stuck in traffic.

So the first place in Europe where I set my feet was Paris.
Continue reading “Paris je t’aime”