Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meeting Rick Steves!

My weekend was amazing. Not only did I enjoy an extra day off work, I also met my travel hero, Rick Steves, over the weekend. I was super excited about the whole experience, and didn't really start feeling nervous until Saturday morning. Robbie wasn't able to come with me for the first lecture, but was planning on meeting me there for the actual meet and greet. Luckily, my roommate Sarah and friend Sobrina were able to join me from the start.

Once we arrived, Sarah and I planned on heading straight to the Travel & Adventure theater to get good seats. As soon as we walked in, Sarah said, "There's Rick Steves". I freaked out! I couldn't help myself. The thought of being in the same room made it all the more real. It turns out that he was conducting an improv Q&A session before his lecture and was taking questions from the audience. There were already a ton of people there, but I was somehow able to score a seat in the second row! (Disclaimer: it was a solo seat and I totally ditched my friends for it. I realize it is horrible, but at the time I couldn't walk away. I was making eye-contact with the man for goodness sake! )

His first lecture was on traveling Europe effectively, while still on a budget. To be honest, I had actually heard a lot of his advice before from his DVD series. Since the girls and I had been separated, Sarah decided to get in the meet in greet line before his lecture actually ended. Genius! By the time he wrapped up and I made my way over, Robbie had found us and we were only ten people back. I had brought two DVDs and Sarah had a travel journal for him to sign; I was responsible for all three. I put Sarah in charge of taking pictures and Robbie was there for moral support (plus, I think he was most excited to see my reaction).

Even Robbie was thrilled for me! Haha!
a) Look at the excitement on my face and b) Check out the Tech issue of Content in his hands!
I was completely nervous as I approached his autograph table. I had an idea of what I wanted to say, but was suddenly second guessing it. Before I realized it, the time had come. I was face-to-face with the man whose television show I watch on an almost weekly basis. As he began to autograph my items, I just started to speak. I told him that I loved his shows and that he is an inspiration to me. I gave him a business card for my blog (I would LOVE it if he read it) and told him I was practicing some of the advice he offers on his website. He says (as paraphrased in my mind), "Write about what you love and make it available for free. Eventually people will pay for your writing". I concluded our meeting by gifting him with the Tech issue of Content magazine.

All in all, it was a really great day and an exciting interaction. I can't believe I met my hero and was able to give him examples of my work. Robbie and the girls were extremely supportive and helped me laugh off my nervousness after. It was such a fun afternoon!

I'll be back for part 2 tomorrow with highlights from his lecture!

What do you say when you are meeting your hero?
(All photos taken for Short Story Long)


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