Recent Articles

Pilgrimage travel

A fast-growing travel niche is religion-based tourism, which caters to people who want to have a pilgrimage experience during their journey. This NY Times article has more information. Some 16 feet beneath the present-day street level of Damascus, the Syrian capital, just off the Street Called Straight, is a cramped, artificially lighted chapel with roughly cut […]

Lost Girls on the road

Have you heard of the Lost Girls? They’re three twentysomething New York friends who left their jobs and hit the road together for a one-year journey around the world. Along the way, they blogged about the trip and are now back home working on a book about the experience. Sort of like Sex and the […]

Riel World photo – Masai Mara, Kenya


Masai Mara, Kenya I took this photo while on safari in Kenya, in the Masai Mara game reserve. It was the afternoon of the last day of our journey and it was the first time we had gotten this close to a lion. Safari sightings are often as much about luck as anything else. This […]

The American wanderer

Wandering is ingrained in the American soul. There is a transience inherent in the U.S. which is somewhat exhilarating and sad at the same time, as it reflects both the rootlessness of millions of people but also the unique capacity of Americans to do or be almost anything they desire. The NY Times recently published an intriguing […]

Talking travel with Paul Theroux

In 1975, Paul Theroux published a bestselling travel memoir, The Great Railway Bazaar, about a train trip from Europe to Asia. In the years since he has become one of the world’s most successful and best known travel writers. He recently published a new book, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, in which he retraces much of […]

Describing Seattle

Here is another entry for an expanding collection of posts about the character and culture of various cities.  Charles Johnson is a writer and professor who has lived in Seattle since the 1970s, and he described his vision and experience of this city in an essay for Smithsonian Magazine. An excerpt: Former UW president William Gerberding once referred to […]

Riel World photo – Montevideo, Uruguay


Montevideo, Uruguay Produce for sale at a streetside market in Montevideo, Uruguay.

A conversation in Uganda

The best travel experiences are often the most unexpected and they frequently involve chance meetings with locals. Christopher Vourlias recently traveled through Uganda, where he found himself having a conversation about writing and life with a farmer. He wrote about the experience for World Hum. They met on a local bus… I’d met Colin a few […]

Beautiful, desolate Namibia

The southwestern African country of Namibia may not be well-known as a tourist destination, but travelers who have been there often return home raving about the desolate beauty of the place. Elinor Burkett is one of those travelers and she wrote about her Namibian experiences for a recent NY Times story. As the first rays of the sun […]

Clan-based government in Somalia?

The best designed governments are those that build upon the culture of a country, rather than those that try to impose foreign ideas and systems on a people. So I read with interest this recent story in the International Herald Tribune about a movement to re-design the government of Somalia in a way that would emphasize the traditional […]

Obama veepstakes surprise?

This is a bit longer than my typical post, but if you’re interested at all in U.S. politics there is a lot here that will interest you and hopefully provide some food for thought and debate… Speculation over Barack Obama’s vice presidential candidate is reaching a fever pitch this week, with the selection widely expected to […]

Press coverage for “Two Laps Around the World”

I have to take time for a bit of book promotion here, as there was some nice press coverage in today’s Arizona Daily Star newspaper about my travel memoir, Two Laps Around the World. It was the trip of a lifetime. Two trips, actually. In 2002, Bob Riel and Lisa Higgins, wed the year before, embarked […]

    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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