Since 1973, Rick has spent about four months a year exploring Europe. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Rick produces a best-selling guidebook series, a public television series, and a public radio show, and organizes small-group tours that take over 20,000 travellers to Europe annually. He does all of this with the help of a hardworking, well-traveled staff of 100 at Rick Steves' Europe in Edmonds, Washington, near Seattle. When not on the road, Rick is active in his church and with advocacy groups focused on economic justice, drug policy reform, and ending hunger. To recharge, Rick plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade Mountains, and spends time with his partner Trish, son Andy, and daughter Jackie.Steve Smith manages tour planning for Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door and has been researching guidebooks with Rick for two decades. Fluent in French, he's lived in France on several occasions, starting when he was seven, and has traveled there annually since 1986. Steve's wife, who is an expert on French cuisine and wine, provides invaluable contributions to his books, as do his two children.