Archive for the ‘All About Travel’ Category

The 17,000 foot train ride

What’s it like to ride the world’s highest railway?  John Flinn of the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on his experience aboard the Lhasa Express to Tibet.  He returned with some interesting stories. Strange things are starting to happen as the Lhasa Express chuffs across the rooftop of the world. Outside the double-glazed, UV-blocking windows, I […]

The coca leaf in South America

When I was in Peru a few years ago, a common drink served at every restaurant and small hotel at high altitude was coca tea.  It has a mild stimulant affect, very much like the caffeine in coffee or black tea, and is said to be especially helpful for dealing with the physical effects of altitude.  […]

Travel writing and writers

If you enjoy travel writing, you might want to check out Rolf Potts’ collection of interviews with travel writers on his website.  He’s been publishing an interview with a different writer every month for six years now.  It’s an interesting site to wander through, reading interviews with your favorite travel writers and with others you may […]

Road tripping

The American road trip has long been a rite of passage for travelers, though for many people this journey may not strike the same romantic chord that it once did. World Hum, though, recently suggested that we may actually be in the midst of a new golden age of the cross-country road trip. The 1940s and 1950s are generally considered […]

The question of Latin America

Is Latin America an integratedÂregion, or a diverse group of peoples and cultures?  There are those, such as Simon Bolivar and Che Guevara, who have dreamed in the past of unifying all the peoples of Latin America.  That sentiment was given expression again in the 2004 movie The Motorcycle Diaries (a nice travel movie, by the way), when the character of a […]

The decline of machismo?

In Latin cultures, both in southern Europe and in Latin America, there is a long tradition of machismo.  This can take many forms, from a strong sense of masculinity that manifests in a certain physical appearance or swagger to an acceptance of extramarital affairs to a more overt domination of women in the home or workplace.  In some […]

The evolution of the European family

Time Magazine recently had an interesting article on the changing nature of the family in Europe.  The nuclear family is less central to life than it used to be, according to the story.  Although the traditional structure is still common, many other types of family have arisen, as Europeans choose to have children outside of marriage, to […]

Changed by a journey to Africa

In the spring, I wrote about a contest sponsored by NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in which he decided to take a student with him on an African reporting trip.  Part of Kristof’s motivation was a belief that Americans don’t understand the rest of the world very well because they don’t travel enough or at […]

Traveling to learn

The magazine Transitions Abroad is published for travelers who want to learn about the world through their experiences on the road.  It focuses not only on independent travel, but also on studying, working and living abroad.  The magazine was founded in 1977 by teacher and journalist Clay Hubbs.  This month, he is a featured interviewee […]

Discovering Ethiopia

Although it isn’t on many lists of popular travel destinations, Ethiopia offers an intriguing culture and some of the most spectacular sights in Africa, in particular the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.  Joshua Hammer wrote an article for the New York Times about a recent visit to Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, the per capita income is $120 a year; tuberculosis and […]

Changing our stereotypes about Iran

As the Iran edges closer to becoming the new face of evil for many Americans, it wouldn’t hurt to remind ourselves that there is often a considerable difference between people and government.  And the Iranian people, in fact, for the most part tend to be friendly towards America.  That is the conclusion drawn by Steven Knipp, who wrote about […]

Round-the-world travel

Sure, a round-the-world trip can sound daunting.  But it can done more cheaply than you might imagine, and a few months (or more) on the road and away from home is a great way to reinvigorate yourself while having a few adventures and discovering a thing or two about our planet.  Now, the NY Times seems […]

    Meet Bob Riel

    Bob Riel is a writer and a traveler. Go here to read more about Bob, his work and the Travels in the Riel World blog.

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