My email to Rick Steves – I didn’t know he is famous.


It all started with the morning routine…newspaper reading. This compelled me to write an email to Rick Steves:

Hi Rick!

I read your article: Planes beat trains when travelling to Europe.

I was intrigued, informed and pleased.

Europe is my next travel destination so I’m taking you up on your suggestions.

I am most intrigued by your chosen path. You changed your mindset about travelling, well at least that’s how I perceived it from your article, I thought that was great!

I also wonder what led you to be a writer of European travel guidebooks?

Anyhow, thanks for writing what you wrote.

Lo and behold, they wrote back (well, because he is famous of course a staff member replied to me):

Hi Mahal,

Thanks for your email. We’re glad you enjoyed Rick’s article!

If you are interested in travel writing, of course, you must travel. Learn to travel on a budget and look for interesting and unusual features with which you can hone your writing skills. Humor usually works.


From Rick Steves:

How I got started:

“I traveled each summer back when I was a piano teacher. On a super-tight budget I made lots of mistakes and learned the hard way. My passion for travel showed itself in a powerful interest in teaching others from my mistakes. Eventually I was giving talks about budget travel at the University of Washington, throughout Seattle and even using my piano studio recital hall more for travel lectures than for piano concerts. I finally had to decide: teach piano or teach travel. I chose travel, and the rest is one very well used passport.”

How to get into TV production:

“Breaking into TV production requires lots of money and something viable enough to make it onto TV. I don’t think you can want to produce TV first. You need to have accidentally been preparing to produce TV without knowing it for a decade and then proceed. The equation for making TV production a viable business is nearly impossible without lots of hard work, luck, and money.”

How to become a travel writer:

“The key to becoming a travel writer is to travel for the love of travel, with lots of sniffing out maximum experiences and writing while on the road. Back home, get your writing out any way you can (for free). Your publicity stunt must be your commitment to smart travel. Impress people with the quality of your work by making it available widely and for free. Eventually, people will pay for your writing. (But keep your day job if you ever want to afford another plane ticket.)”

There you go, so I learned that: success comes from humble beginnings….and its possible.

And how I became aware he is famous? My husband reminded me of the European travel shows he was showing me to watch, that was Rick Steves. Gosh, I didn’t know. Now I do.


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