Hi, I’m Rick Steves. And for almost 20 years, I’ve been taking PBS viewers like you along with me on tours of Europe’s most incredible destinations—from its bustling ancient cities and breathtaking monuments, to its alluring seaside hamlets, enchanting trattorias, and downright bonable cog railways.
But after a bit of soul searching, preceded by rather a lot of ayahuasca in a Christopher Street loft last Friday night, I’ve decided that it’s time to radically restructure my tours. So from here on out, I’ll be taking you on a series of guided explorations of my inner field of consciousness, not Europe.
I’m so excited for you to join me as I traverse the magnificent underbrush of my interior beinghood!
Like many of you, I used to seek out meaning externally—mostly by finding really good travel deals. But it turns out that true meaning lies, not in a group rate bed and breakfast in the cozy historic town of Chartres, but within the lush uncharted forests of my inward awareness.
All the answers are right here. No more searching out there—not even in the half-timbered, many-steepled medieval townscape of Erfurt.
Thanks to my newfound spiritual guide and ayahuasquero, Kevin, I’ve discovered that the river which gurgles merrily throughout that quaint, unspoiled German village is nothing compared to the winding inner pathways of my own unconscious. The Cold War may explain the relative obscurity of Erfurt among American travelers today, but there’s no such excuse for my unfamiliarity with the splendorous terrain of our universal soul!
I realize that some of you probably tuned in to this PBS pledge drive expecting highlights from my best-selling Italian phrasebook, or tips on how to pack light.
But what are expectations? Expectations are simply an imposition of past subjective experiences onto the unknowable future. Friends, all that exists is right now. No past, no potentiality, and certainly no useful Venetian colloquialisms for the hungry backpacker on a budget.
Language, currency, the concept of a place being “untouristy”—it’s all an illusion!
That said, we at PBS do desperately need your money.
Like the Montagues and the Capulets, Michelangelo and da Vinci, Kevin and the other ayahuasquero on Christopher Street—such is the epochal rivalry between public broadcasting and commercial television.
You don’t want corporate advertisers dictating what you and your family get to watch on a Saturday afternoon. You want us doing that.
The documentary about The Carpenters we just saw twice, all those waltzes, this three-and-a-half-hour narrated account of my first psychonautic jaunt—none of it would be possible without ongoing member support from PBS viewers like you.
Which is why I’m here today with Deepak Chopra, the Aging Backwards lady, and my ayahuasquero, Kevin, asking you to join your local PBS station at the $150 level or above. As a thank you gift, you’ll receive four invitations to Kevin’s loft so you can witness my next inward expedition in person, an empty guidebook for you to chart a map of your own inner field of consciousness, plus this lovely framed picture of that river in Erfurt.
Any amount helps.
Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a babbling brook deep within the recesses of my interior mind-self that’s calling my name. Literally.