Americas · Culture · Travel Tips & Skills · USA

A Star-struck Traveler

In the previous article, I shared what it was like to be at a travel show.  But I left out one really fun thing:  meeting travel celebrities.

I admit that I get star-struck pretty easily.  Sometimes my neck gets sweaty, my heart feels like my body must be doing a 100-yard dash, and my ears get beet red.  But after seeing and spending time with some of these industry experts at several different shows, it’s refreshing to know that they are all down-to-earth, inquisitive, thoughtful, and intriguing yet “regular” people who happen to follow their passion for a living…and do it well.

More often than not, I don’t have my camera ready or even with me when we meet these people because we’re busy working, promoting our tours at the Rick Steves’ Europe booth.  But I have managed to snap a few pix every now and again. Here are some fun photos with travel show guests that Rick and I have met and have had the pleasure of getting to know at some recent conventions.

Samantha Brown (host: Passport to Europe, Passport to Latin America, Samantha Brown’s Asia)

Samantha Brown is as cute and lively in person as she is on TV.
Samantha Brown is as cute and lively in person as she is on TV.
Rick and I palling around with Samantha Brown and her husband and manager Kevin.
Rick and I palling around with Samantha Brown and her husband and manager Kevin.

Rudy Maxa (host: Rudy Maxa’s World)

My two favorite public television/radio travel show hosts: Rick Steves and Rudy Maxa.  Rudy is a genuinely kind gentleman, and Rick is simply the best (yes, I'm biased).
My two favorite public television/radio travel show hosts: Rick Steves and Rudy Maxa. Rudy is a genuinely kind gentleman and savvy traveler, and Rick is simply the best (yes, I’m biased).

Josh Gates (host: Destination Truth; producer: Stranded)

Josh Gates (here with his lovely and witty partner, Hallie) is funny, charming, and just so dang clever.
Josh Gates (here with his lovely and witty partner, Hallie) is funny, charming, and just so dang clever.

Andrew McCarthy (actor, director, travel writer)

John Discala, a.k.a Johnny Jet (travel expert, editor-in-chief: JohnnyJet.com)

After the guest speakers' dinner, we took a moment for a photo opp with Andrew McCarthy.  Johnny Jet joined us for a photo bomb.
After the guest speakers’ dinner, we took a moment for a photo opp with Andrew McCarthy. Johnny Jet joined us for a photo bomb.

Chris Harrison (host: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette)

Chris Harrison (host of "The Bachelor") has some amazing stories about his show-related travels, but above all, he's a really nice guy and so easy to talk to.
Chris Harrison has some amazing stories about his show-related travels, but above all, he’s a really nice guy to chat with.

Wally Shawn (playwright; actor: The Princess Bride, Clueless, Toy Story)

Bonus photo:  OK, this isn't at a travel show, but I had to put this up.  I met Wally Shawn (The Princess Bride, Clueless, Toy Story) on a night train to Berlin, and he was so gracious to me and my students.  "Inconceivable!"
Bonus photo: OK, this isn’t at a travel show, but I had to put this up. I met Wally Shawn on a night train to Berlin, and he was so gracious with me and my students. “Inconceivable!”

10 thoughts on “A Star-struck Traveler

  1. I’m with you on being easily star-struck. Even if someone is an acquaintance of someone famous, I get excited. Really, though, I can’t imagine what I would say to someone I greatly admired. “Hey, how is life treating you?” I would probably jump out of my skin to meet Rick Steves, lucky girl!

    P.S. The Wally Shawn photo is great. He looks the same!

    1. Haha! I’m glad I’m not alone in being easily star-struck. Oftentimes I wonder if the stars ever get star-struck by one another or if they just have to play it cool.
      I just downloaded the first chapter of your book and am looking forward to reading it. Best wishes to you!

      1. That’s a very good question! I suppose that even stars have to have their “idols.”

        Thank you for checking out my book, Trish! I certainly hope that you enjoy it.

  2. I’m with you on being easily star-struck. Even if someone is an acquaintance of someone famous, I get excited. Really, though, I can’t imagine what I would say to someone I greatly admired. “Hey, how is life treating you?” I would probably jump out of my skin to meet Rick Steves, lucky girl!

    P.S. The Wally Shawn photo is great. He looks the same!

  3. Trish, I would love to meet Rick Steves and Rudy Maxa for some exciting conversation since I am also a traveller who teaches both French and Spanish.

  4. The folks are normal folks, for sure. They put their pants on the same way the rest of us do. No need to deify them, and they , for the most part, dont want that. Almost got punched out once by Lee Marvin after meeting him at a hotel, and saying hi and asking for his autograph (ok, he was stoned drunk..Chuck Norris actually apologized on his behalf…)

  5. Girl I was WITH you when we met Wally in our “the universe has blessed us for some reason” First Class cabin!!! Remember jumping up and down while silent screaming with Princess Bride excitement?? Still one of my favorite stories. Inconceivable!!!!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s