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The world is all about politics. Without politics, there would be no governments, without government, there would be no countries, and without countries, there would be no borders. Rick, we are the same age. How many border changes have we seen in our lifetimes? Politics cannot be avoided. Our first trip abroad was with “Europe Through the Back Door” 35 years ago. Your “back door” philosophy prepared us – and our children – to be constantly amazed and open to everyone and everything. You’re right. It didn’t stop when we returned home. It has influenced the way we engage with others, the way we think and the way we vote. Vote, people! It’s been a wonderful gift to us to share your ever deepening awareness of the connection between travel and critical issues. Through your insights we have been enlightened. Thank you. I totally agree. My first real experience with travel changing my attitudes was the 1976 Bikecentennial at age 20 when I rode my bicycle from the coast of Oregon to Washington DC. Learned a lot about this country and discovered that most folks I met along the way were good folks. In 1982 I made my first trip to Europe for 7 weeks with a backpack and a Eurailpass, staying in hostels and campgrounds. I had the experience you describe here. Discovered that while a lot was different, I saw a lot that I liked. It was like stepping into a parallel universe. My political views and overall values changed significantly after that. Since then, my wife and I have made several more trips over there, exploring new (to us) places and revisiting our favorites to see more. Each time we come home with a fresh perspective. Rick if it wasn’t for you I would have never traveled the world and went to school for political science and international relations. And growing up nearby in Everett I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you a couple of times. Thanks for everything you have done and continue to do!