Why I (Do Not) Want to Be the Next Rick Steves: I Want To Be Me.

For those of you who don't know who Rick Steves is, he's been the Gold Standard for Americans traveling to Europe for many years now, helping travelers live like a temporary local while abroad.

I've followed Rick around the vast museums of Paris & Florence on his excellent audio tours. I've wandered the back streets of Amsterdam and marveled at famous monuments in Rome with Rick's self-guided walking tours. His podcasts inspire me to keep dreaming when I'm at home and I've lugged his guidebooks —worth their weight in gold—around many, many European cities—though nowadays on a much lighter Kindle!

Rick's always full of quirky bits of history, insightful observations about European culture, and reliable recommendations—often peppered with his endearing (and sometimes eye-rolling) humor.

After all Rick & I have done together I almost feel like we're real friends.

Rick is into a lot of things I am—namely art, history, food, and soaking up that great European vibe like a local.

There's also a few things I'm into that Rick Steves doesn't cover—namely Pilgrimage and Long Walks/Hikes/Treks.

Along the Walker's Haute Route, Switzerland August 2013

Along the Walker's Haute Route, Switzerland August 2013

Rick Steves offers a Travel Consulting Service at his headquarters just north of Seattle. $75 gets you a half-hour phone consultation with one of his travel consultants, $25 for each additional 15 minutes.

I pick up where Rick leaves off in my own Pilgrimage Consulting services. If you are dreaming of a walking pilgrimage, a sabbatical, or just need to some help figuring out where to eat in Paris, I'm available for $80/hour.

I love, Love, LOVE connecting with pilgrims & travelers at whatever stage in the journey they're in!

And as much I love and admire Rick Steves, I don't really want to be Rick. I want to be me. Perhaps one day I'll end up looking a bit like the Rick Steves of Pilgrimage and Long Walks.

I could only hope for as much. Thanks Rick for all you've shown me!