Today is a day of deep sorrow. Russia’s offensive is heartbreaking in Ukraine and, at least indirectly, for death, suffering and economic unrest. Here in Rick Steve’s Europe, we hope that a diplomatic solution will be found and that peace will return to that fragile and long-violent part of our world.
Our goal at RSE is to help Americans get to know and understand our neighbors better through travel. But when we bring travelers to other countries, we also bring their dollars – dollars that will support Putin’s aggression. Therefore, to date, we have canceled all 2022 tours, including one stop in Russia.
Of course, we will keep a close eye on the unfolding events and observe the effects of travel in the rest of Europe. But it is important to keep in mind the geographical reality and remember that the war in Ukraine will be as far from our European vacation dream as the war in Guatemala will be from Texas or Florida. For over 40 years now, we’ve lived, worked, and traveled through many periods of tragic war in countries far away from our tour (and some nearby). And at this point, we see no reason to change the rest of our travel and travel plans.
The tragic reality unfolding in Ukraine only reminds me that for Americans to continue traveling and do things that make our world better and more employed citizens. I’m flying to Europe next month for a 40-day trip through a dozen great cities from London to Athens – and I’m proud that thousands of my traveling companions will experience the European journey of their dreams while having a long distance learning experience. A 2022 Rick Steves tour home.
In this time, let us be grateful for our blessings, support the leaders of our nation as they do their best to navigate this crisis and keep the turbulent corners of our world (Ukraine, Russia, Afghanistan and more) in our thoughts and prayers.