Recent Articles

Many sides of Bolivia

Bolivia is a fascinating nation – one of the highest altitude countries in the world and a place where past and present co-exist in various interesting ways. That’s what Patrick Symmes discovered during a recent visit, which he wrote about for the NY Times travel magazine. Bolivia is the poorest and highest country in South […]

Four Seasons in Rome

I just finished reading a book called “Four Seasons in Rome,” by Anthony Doerr. One the surface, it’s the tale of a husband and wife who move to Rome for a year (for a writing fellowship) with their two children. The catch is that the children are twins and are only a few months old […]

How the French see America

It’s no surprise that the French have a complicated relationship with the United States. One that is certainly reciprocated, as the Americans and the French seem to both love and detest what is most unique about the other’s country. This love-hate dynamic is uniquely examined through the prism of politics in a recent essayby Steven Erlanger in the […]

Sabbaticals and mini-retirements

Since I’ve long been an advocate of sabbaticals, I was intrigued to come across this article on the Brazen Careerist website. The piece is titled “10 Ways Generation Y Will Change the Workplace,” and sitting there at number four is – “We’ll Redefine Retirement.” How? Through a series of sabbaticals, or mini-retirements, throughout one’s lifetime. Retirement is […]

The medieval magic of Fes

The city of Fes, Morocco, has enchanted many a traveler. Tahir Shah was spellbound by the medieval magic of Fes and wrote about the city for the U.K. Guardian. Walk through the bustle of Fes’s medina and it’s impossible not to be catapulted back in time. It is as if the old city is on a […]

Discovering Eritrea

Eritrea is not a well-touristed place, nor even a very well known country. But Jeffrey Gettleman went there recently with his wife and found it to be a rather interesting destination, with a taste of old Italy mixed with Africa. He wrote about his trip for the NY Times. Eritrea, for better and for worse, is […]

The culture of Italian food

I came across a great article about a movement that has sprung up in Italy to preserve the country’s culture of cooking and serving good food. Ah, but Italian food is always good, you might say. Perhaps, but the members of the Home Food movement contend that something of the country’s heritage is being lost – […]

Tribes and clans in Afghanistan

There is a short but thoughtful article in The Atlantic about the current U.S. engagement with Afghanistan and the story contains some useful pieces of information about Afghan culture. Specifically, it speaks about the tremendous importance of tribes and clans in the nation’s social structure, while suggesting that the U.S. strategy is on the wrong track […]

The Indonesian wonder of the world

One of the most impressive but least known sites in the world is the Indonesian monument of Borobudur. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on this stunning edifice, which is considered the largest Buddhist monument in existence. Making lists of the world’s most impressive monuments is an irrational and ultimately pointless enterprise: Who has seen all […]

The changing face of travel

There is an interesting and in-depth interview with travel writer Rolf Potts on World Hum. Potts covers a variety of topics and it’s worth checking out the entire piece, especially if you’re interested in travel writing. But here is a small excerpt from the interview about the transformation of travel in recent decades. What major changes have […]

Riel World photo – Machu Picchu, Peru


Machu Picchu, Peru The classic view of Machu Picchu, taken from a hill above the Inca ruins. Still one of the most incredible places I’ve visited.

Ancient civilizations in the American Midwest

When one thinks of ancient civilizations in the Americas, it tends to be of those societies that left behind spectacular ruins. The Incas of Peru, the Mayans of Mexico and Central America, or even the Pueblo people of the U.S. Southwest who built the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde. Not many minds conjure up images […]

    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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