Rick Steves

The travel expert presents a cure for xenophobia

Growing up in the very southern tip of Texas, my ideas of traveling were shattered into small, miniscule pieces of hope. My only outlet for wanderlust was Rick Steves’ Europe on the local PBS station, and my German language class in high school, in which I was transported to another place for two hours a week. Through the latter, I eventually got my chance, and went gallivanting about Germany the summer after graduation, drinking beer at 17 and wondering if I would run into Rick Steves’ travel group. For the past 25 years, the Edmonds local has wandered about the vast and culturally stunning countries in Europe 120 days a year. During this weekend’s Festival, Steves will share the knowledge gleaned from all those international relations in his lecture “Travel as a Political Act.” You’ll learn how the rest of the world currently perceives our nation (ha, ha), and how to become a more thoughtful traveler. The lecture caps a day of useful travel tips from a host of his gurus, in which everything from art history to packing light will be discussed. Glückliche Reise (Happy travels)! Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N., Edmonds. Free; sign up at www.ricksteves.com/festival. 7:30 p.m. JESSICA RAMIREZ

Sat., Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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