For the first summer in 30 years, Rick Steves is home instead of savoring Europe. It's an adjustment. He doesn't know what's next for travel after the pandemic any more than the rest of us do, he told the Washington Post in an interview. But he knows what the future of travel isn't, at least for him. "I'm not going to morph into something else," Steves said. "I'm not going to start doing gourmet river rafting tours in Idaho." Social distancing has no place in his brand of travel—the "Rick Steves kind of Europe," he called it. "I don’t want to take people to Amsterdam and have them eat in little bubbles," he said. "You go to an Irish pub to sit next to a stranger and drink beer. You go to France to have your cheeks kissed." Steves expects his kind of Europe to return, but if it doesn't, "people staying six feet apart and wearing masks is not my idea of travel."
Given the issues the nation is wrestling with, Steves said, we could all use a bit of travel now. "We gain understanding when we travel," he said, adding, "If everybody traveled, we would be able to celebrate diversity instead of being afraid of it." The host of TV's Rick Steves’ Europe is riding out the pandemic at home near Seattle. One way he's filling time is by learning to cook, per Rewire. "It's amazing that I haven't made rice or pasta for 40 years," he said. "I've had an oven for 10 years in this house and never turned it on." And he's playing his piano more. At sunset, Steves performs a lockdown ritual all his own. "I get out my trumpet and I stand out here on my little balcony, overlooking my town, and play taps," he said. "It's an eccentric thing to do. And every night, all over the town, people clap." (Steves decided to charge his company a carbon tax.)