"Some travel guides are way too impersonal (do I need to know about 150 different hotels?), while some travel diaries are a little too personal and unrelatable. What a pleasure to find a travel book that strikes a balance between the two! Cameron Hewitt has worked for years with Rick Steeves, writing those guides, leading the tours, and living that life. The book has some practical matters - some advice of what to look for in hotels and restaurants - but its strength is how evocative it is. I've never (alas) been to a Sicilian street market or a Polish communal feast, or been to the Balkans at all, but Hewitt made me feel like I've been. It will have to do until I get back over there, I suppose..."
Write guidebooks, make travel TV, lead bus tours? Cameron Hewitt has been Rick Steves’ right hand for more than 20 years, doing just that.
The Temporary European is a collection of vivid, entertaining travel tales from across Europe. Cameron zips you into his backpack for engaging and inspiring experiences: sampling spleen sandwiches at a Palermo street market; hiking alone with the cows high in the Swiss Alps; simmering in Budapest’s thermal baths; trekking across an English moor to a stone circle; hand-rolling pasta at a Tuscan agriturismo; shivering through Highland games in a soggy Scottish village; and much more.
Along the way, Cameron introduces us to his favorite Europeans. In Mostar, Alma demonstrates how Bosnian coffee isn’t just a drink, but a social ritual. In France, Mathilde explains that the true mastery of a fromager isn’t making cheese, but aging it. In Spain, Fran proudly eats acorns, but never corn on the cob.
While personal, the stories also tap into the universal joy of travel. Cameron’s travel motto (inspired by a globetrotting auntie) is "Jams Are Fun"—the fondest memories arrive when your best-laid plans go sideways. And he encourages travelers to stow their phones and guidebooks, slow down, and savor those magic moments that arrive between stops on a busy itinerary.
The stories are packed with inspiration and insights for your next trip, including how to find the best gelato in Italy, how to select the best produce at a Provençal market, how to navigate Spain’s confusing tapas scene, and how to survive the experience of driving in Sicily (hint: just go numb).
And you’ll get a reality check for every traveler’s "dream job": researching and writing guidebooks; guiding busloads of Americans on tours around Europe; scouting and producing a travel TV show; and working with Rick Steves and his merry band of travelers. It’s a candid account of how the sausage gets made in the travel business—told with warts-and-all honesty and a sense of humor.
For Rick Steves fans, or anyone who loves Europe, The Temporary European is inspiring, insightful, and fun.