Travel Writer Rick Steves Adjusts to Life Indoors during the Pandemic
Rick Steves has made a career out of taking people to places and getting them intrigued about new destinations. Even though Steves is a businessman, he prefers to prioritize his staff and customers rather than profit, which he believes is the reason he is successful. However, the pandemic caused the travel enthusiast to shut down his business and hunker down.
But Steves didn’t moan about not getting to travel. Instead, he used the time to expand his knowledge about things and try activities out that he either had no time or interest in while he was busy at work.
Effect of Pandemic on Steves' Business
Rick Steves has a reported net worth of around $10 million that results from his travel business. His travel business, Rick Steves’ Europe, used to take over 30000 people to Europe annually, bringing around $100 million in revenue per annum before the pandemic.
However, the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown hit Steves hard as his travel business could not operate. It has about 100 office staff, currently with millions of dollars in expenses and no revenue. As there was no surety about when the world would get back to normalcy, Steves cut the payroll dramatically to fund the company for two years or longer with no revenue. He even fully refunded trip payments to all prepaid customers for 2020.
Rick Steves Is Exploring His Life without Travelling
As an adventurous person, the current situation has compelled him to be interested in things that he had neglected in his life. He learned to cook and playing the piano, which he didn’t have time for or interest in.
Steves seems optimistic, even in the time of crisis. He expanded on the way he was looking at his life without travel, saying, “So I am proving to myself that the way travel gives more colors to your palette, staying home with a traveler’s mindset can bring more colors to your palette as well.”
Steves Fell in Love with Traveling at Young Age
Steves' first traveled to Europe with his parents at 14, intending to improve their piano store. However, the trip changed the way he viewed traveling, and he was hooked instantly.
Instead of going into his family business, he went with traveling. He started teaching travel classes to spread his love for exploration. In 1979, Steve wrote his first book, Europe Through the Back Door.
In 2000 he started his second travel show, Rick Steves’ Europe, where he shared tips about traveling on a budget, finding hidden gems of Europe, and sharing information about countries he traveled. The show became popular and is still running.
Steves has a unique philosophy on travel, which makes him stand out from others; he believes that you have to become a temporary local to truly experience a destination. He recommends drifting away from the touristy places and visiting small villages and restaurants.
He Spends Four Months a Year in Europe
Steves’ passion for traveling can be seen in his lifestyle. He spends four months a year in Europe, researching guidebooks, improving his tour programs, filming his TV show, and discovering new and hidden gems of Europe.
His Europe tours are famous for prioritizing small businesses, family-owned restaurants, people-to-people interactions, and activities that encourage friendship with locals. So far, he has published over 50 guidebooks, Rick Steves’ Europe is in its 11th season, he hosts a public radio show, and he is a prolific writer for a newspaper.