Travel expert and Public Broadcasting host Rick Steves likes to encourage Americans to explore the world as much as their time and budget allows.
Steves spoke at an event sponsored by WXXI at the Hochstein School last night.
He says sensational commercial media reports about unrest around the world cause some people to abandon their travel plans.
Steves says those fears can be distorted. He recently traveled to Egypt, Russia and Turkey. He’s scheduled to be in Israel and Palestine soon. “And when you get there, you feel almost smug, because you weren’t cowed by media hysteria and naive loved ones here to change your travel plans and go back to Orlando again. If you know the statistics, you literally are safer overseas than in many American destinations, but Americans have to get a grip on fear.”
Steves says while the cost of airfare has been higher in recent years, once you arrive in Europe it can be almost as inexpensive as traveling in the United States if you know where to go.
He says he believes travel is an invaluable way to expand one’s view of the world and shed the ethnocentric views Americans tend to have. "We're not smarter, they're not smarter. We're not right, they're not wrong. They're not right, we're not wrong. We're all struggling how to figure things out. I love the thought we have the American dream, and as an American I embrace the American dream, but Norwegians have the Norwegian dream, and Moroccans have the Moroccan dream, and they all embrace their passions."