If you’re a Nashvillian who gets excited about an author lecture, there’s a pretty good chance you’re a fan of public television, and you even might have gone on an imaginary trip with the affable and intelligent Rick Steves. When he’s not on the radio or penning his travel guides, the popular public television host of Rick Steves’ Europe gives viewers the inside scoop on out-of-the-way spots without getting all snobby about it. There’s more to the man than friendly travel tips, however. Tonight Steves will lecture on “Travel as a Political Act,” arguing that when we leave the confines of our comfortable societies and surroundings, we’re forced to challenge our personal and often prejudiced truths. Steves will talk about how his own political activism has grown from experiences of seeing America from the outside, through the eyes of others. Earlier in the afternoon, Steves will be reading and signing books at Parnassus. Both events are free. Happy travels!