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post #520
bio: jen

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The Travel Show

I’m a bad blogger. The travel show was over a week ago at the convention center, and I’m just getting to it now. Oops.

I had never been to a travel show, but I’m planning to travel soon, and I was hoping to end the day with a lot of cool pens, travel brochures, and maybe an inspiring idea for a new adventure.

Also, Rick Steves was scheduled to appear. Rick Steves has a European travel show on PBS. With his wide-grinning American manner and day pack, he shows middle American tourists places to go in Europe. He also writes guide books and conducts tours, so he has a bit of a travel empire.

When I was planning to go to Paris, his guidebook actually helped me plan some stuff in advance. His tip of buying museum passes online gave me more time to look at art.

I was curious to see this Rick Steves in person. Was he really that nice? Does he really wear glasses and carry a backpack? He actually did have a pack.

I arrived at the Travel Show with a few hours to kill before the Rick show, so I wandered around the booths. Taiwan had a big booth, and I was able to get a pen with Taiwan written on it. There were booths for time shares which annoyed me. I noticed the cruise registration table had a line.

I watched a cooking demonstration by a chef from Belfast who makes the last meal served on the Titanic. Apparently, a new museum about the Titanic is opening in Belfast. Personally, I don’t get the appeal of a ship that sank, but I guess it rocks some people’s boats (metaphorically).

On the Xtreme Adventure travel stage, Leon Logothetis talked about his failed attempt at the Mongol Rally in which participants drive a car ten thousand miles from England to Mongolia. Hmmm. Maybe? Perhaps? Moving on.

After a ten dollar sandwich lunch, I went in early to snag a seat in the front row for the Rick Steves talk. On my right was a hipster couple in their late twenties with nice cell phones. On my left was a lady in her thirties told me that she was recently in Rome for work and had caught the Euro-travel bug. Behind me was a family with a six-year old, and the mother was from Czech Republic. Farther down the row was a couple in their sixties who had taken one of Rick’s tours and was planning to take a second one. As the room filled up, I realized that there was no one age group for the Rick show.

As he was being introduced, I noticed Rick sitting on the stage off to the side with his legs crossed. He looked like he was meditating or doing relaxation exercises. Once he got up to speak, he didn’t stop. He showed slides. He plugged books and tours. He told jokes.

However, the thing that impressed me the most was the attitude he presented. There’s no one way to travel to Europe. If you want to do a tour, do a tour. If you want to go off on your own, do it. It’s okay if you don’t know the language, you can figure it out. Walk around places. See what you can see. And most importantly, pack light. You don’t need to carry so much crap with you. Okay, that last idea is more my words.

After the Rick talk, I had enough of the travel show. I felt like I was caught in a vacuum. I was spinning around and around with bits of dust, but I wasn’t going anywhere. I tossed the brochures in the recycle bin and caught the bus home.

And here are three roads I’ve traveled on:

Island Lane

Road to Top Withins

Bonneville Speedway

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