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Travelers Café

High school grads in the Alps, a "monk chat" in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and under the pillow in a Scottish B&B. There's a lot going on in our Travelers Café where I collect my favorite blogs.
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High school grads in the Alps, a "monk chat" in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and under the pillow in a Scottish B&B. There's a lot going on in our Travelers Café where I collect my favorite blogs.

At Rick Steves' Europe, we've been at this long enough that our veteran guides and travel writers have kids venturing off to Europe on their own. Skyla (daughter of Rich and Risa -- writers in my office and former lead guides) and her friend Gabby are a week into their high school graduation adventure, and Skyla is blogging intimately about the experience. Reading Skyla's report takes me back to my first solo trip -- which I fondly recall as "Europe Through the Gutter" -- as an 18-year-old. Skyla jokes that she should title her blog "Train Station Mishaps with Skyla." It struck me that, for a teenager, the joy of travel is not the sights and not necessarily doing it right -- it's having fun with the process, being wonderstruck with a wider world, laughing through the mistakes and learning from them, and making friends along the way. That's what Skyla is reporting on. They've figured out Paris, hiked the Alps, and are now sorting through the trains to Venice. If you have teens and are wondering about helping make the world their oyster, be sure to travel along with Skyla.

My kids, Jackie and Andy, are now in Thailand. Jackie reports that on her first day in the city of Chiang Mai, it's already her favorite stop (beating out Bali and Vietnam). Andy and Jackie are learning about Buddhism with a program for travelers known as "monk chat."

And my right-hand man in the guidebook-writing corner, Cameron Hewitt, continues to blog from Scotland. Scotland is a very hot destination these days (our Snapshot: Scotland guide easily outsells our England guidebook). And our Scotland tours may even be rivaling the sales of our Ireland tours. Cameron reports on the B&B scene as he searches Edinburgh for the very best places to include in our new, full-fledged Scotland guidebook. And he realizes how fascinating traditional Scottish candies are -- checking out Chelsea Whoppers and other goodies at Lickety Splits.

And I'm heading for the south coast of England, blogging daily from there until I meet the TV crew again for more shows in Germany.

Thanks for traveling with us.