Road Scholar in Kansas City, Missouri
Photos from Road Scholar's recent program, "Kansas City Here I Come: Truman, Jazz, History and Art in the Heartland."

“Road Scholar” Steve Stevens credits CIE program for keeping him young


Road Scholar is a national education and travel organization, providing adult learners with opportunities to travel while learning about history, nature, music, art and much more. Since 1990, Continuing & Innovative Education (CIE) has hosted Road Scholar on our campus and in the Austin community. CIE’s Road Scholar recently offered a travel program called "Kansas City Here I Come: Truman, Jazz, History and Art in the Heartland". Steve Stevens, an active Road Scholar member, made this trip to Kansas City, Missouri with 33 fellow "Road Scholars" to tour the American Jazz Museum, enjoy live music in the historic 18th and Vine District, explore contemporary art at the Kemper Museum, and take in a painting/drawing class at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Steve offered his thoughts below on the Road Scholar program. (Road Scholar was previously called Elderhostel, then Exploritas before adopting the name Road Scholar in June).

“My Love Affair with the 'Double E’s': Elderhostel and Exploritas

Simply stated, they’ve kept me young.

Sometime in the 1980’s, my wife and I did our first Elderhostel, at Bluefield College in West Virginia. Subsequently, we followed up with another four, in each of the five staying in college dorms, eating on campus. That was the norm in those days, colleges had available space.

Then, unfortunately, my wife developed a lingering terminal illness, passing away at the beginning of 2000, at which point I transitioned from caregiver to Elderhostel devotee. And now, I’ve just finished my 72nd “Double E” experience. I’ve tallied more than 65 trips in less than 10 years. Oh I know there are no doubt scores of folks out there who can match that number and raise me quite a few. But are they later-on octogenarians? Are three of their next four Exploritas on bicycles, all of them outside of the USA (in Canada, Europe and Mexico)?

Still, not all of my past Double E’s were active, outdoor trips. I’ve loved the 'Signature City' trips (New York, Kansas City, New Orleans and San Francisco) and special experiences such as Christmas time in Natchez and the Asolo Theater in Sarasota.

And always for me it’s the people who make each program come alive [and become] meaningful – the presenters and the many hundreds of my fellow Explorers. I’ve made some lasting friendships along the way. And, every once in a while, someone turns up with whom I’ve shared one or more previous programs. Those are special times.

I should have ‘grown old,’ slowed down, long ago. But with so many new Exploritas [programs] to pursue, I’ll never have to. “ – Richard (Steve) Stevens

Learn more about Road Scholar and its wealth of exciting programs on the CIE Road Scholar Web site.


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