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A Travel Angel at the Vatican: Exploring the Papal City-State with the Wife of a Swiss Guard

So often when I travel, I feel like the universe conspires in my favor. Perhaps I’m inclined to be more open to adventure and opportunities that come my way, or maybe, because I seek those moments, I recognize them more readily. Or perhaps there truly is a divine hand at work that guides me towards people and circumstances that stretch and shape me for the better. Whatever the reason, in that chapel and in that moment, I knew precisely how fortunate I was, and I was grateful.

Architecture · Art · Culture · Entertainment · Europe · Family-friendly · Food · History · Italy · tours · Travel Philosophy · Videos

Italian Experiences with Rick Steves

It’s been more than Rick Steves has led one of our Rick Steves’ Europe Tours, but you’d never know it. His enthusiasm, energy, stamina, knowledge, and love of Europe seems only to have increased with those passing years.  Along with 28 happy tour members, my guide colleague Ben Cameron and I (we’re Rick’s assistants on… Continue reading Italian Experiences with Rick Steves

Adventure · Education · Entertainment · Germany · Logistics · packing · Planes · Religion · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Germany

Confession time: I’m a last-minute packer, sometimes finishing up just hours before a flight. Fortunately, I pack so often that I’ve got my incomprehensible-to-most system down pat. On most trips, procrastination serves as stimulus to “get ‘er done.” Rare is it that something needed is forgotten at home. I get to the airport with sufficient… Continue reading A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Germany

Adventure · Europe · Hiking · Switzerland · The Great Outdoors · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

“Please don’t rain yet. Please don’t rain yet. Please don’t rain yet.” My mind looped this mantra, and I plastered an everything’s-alright smile, hoping my face wouldn’t betray my anxiety. Twenty-eight people were following me through the cobblestone streets of Paris, and I didn’t want their only two days with me in my favorite European… Continue reading The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Adventure · Americas · Architecture · Art · Tourist · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills · USA

New York, NY Part 3: NYC for the Culture Vulture

My partner Rick and I recently took trip to New York with a large part of the Steves Family: his son Andy, daughter Jackie, sister Linda, youngest niece Caleigh, and eldest niece (and amazing artist) Nicolina. Part family vacation, part art tour of Nicolina’s works, we got to know the city better than we ever… Continue reading New York, NY Part 3: NYC for the Culture Vulture

Americas · Culture · Europe · Food · The Great Outdoors · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills · USA · Videos

Scenes from a Guide Summit

Name 20 countries from the European Union. Imagine the “typical” citizens of those countries–their features, their demeanors, their gestures, their accents. Now picture a collection of 120 people from those countries who are passionate aficionados on the history, art, culture, politics, and people of those motherlands all descending on a small town just north of… Continue reading Scenes from a Guide Summit

Adventure · Culture · Europe · France · Health · Politics · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

Is There a Doctor in l’Hôtel?

You know that tickle-throat, on-the-verge-of-a-festering-cold feeling?  The one that tells you “If you ignore me, it can only go horribly wrong from here”?  Yeah, it sucks.  But you know what’s worse?  Ignoring it while you’re traveling abroad. Such was my lot seven weeks into a nine-week stint on the road, earlier this year.  I had… Continue reading Is There a Doctor in l’Hôtel?