Recent Articles

Rajasthan with a nine-year-old

Rajasthan has a reputation as one of the stars of the Indian travel circuit. There are vibrant colors, stunning desert landscapes, camel treks and lively bazaars. Amanda Jones recently embarked on a visit to Rajasthan, but with a twist – she made the journey with her nine-year-old daughter and then wrote about the experience for the Los Angeles Times. […]

Southeast Asia’s most romantic town

That would be Luang Prabang, Laos. At least according to Tim Patterson, who wrote an article for the San Francisco Chronicle about his experiences there. Here is an excerpt: My first hour in Luang Prabang was magical. The electricity was out, and in every wooden house, market stall and temple window, townspeople were lighting candles. […]

Coffee and spirituality in Ethiopia

Those are two of the main attractions of Harar, an ancient Ethiopian city that is trying to make its way onto the world’s crowded tourist map, according to this travel article. For 1,000 years, this city on a hilltop has been a center of Islamic faith in the Horn of Africa, with a forbidding, 13-foot […]

Cappadocian moonscape

The landscape of Cappadocia in central Turkey has often been described as lunar-like. Travelers have long marveled at the whimsical rock formations that have been carved by nature, and the homes and churches that have been carved by people into the soft stone terrain. Gisela Williams recently experienced this scene for herself, which she wrote about […]

Two sides of Calcutta

When I was in Calcutta a few years ago, I was intrigued to discover that local residents alternately revered and resented Mother Teresa. They revered her, rightly, for the remarkable and selfless work she did in tending to the poor and the sick. But they also resented her work to some degree because the media […]

The Iranian paradox

It’s often been said that Iran has pehaps the most Western-oriented society in the Middle East, albeit one that is kept under wraps by one of the more repressive governments in the region. British writer Anne Penketh got an inside look at this Iranian paradox during a recent visit to the country. She wrote about […]

Exploring the Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are one of the world’s natural wonders and are rightly famous for the part they played in helping Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution. Carol Stogsdill recently visited several of the islands that make up the Galapagos and wrote about her experiences for the Los Angeles Times. The synonym […]

Saying what you don’t mean

There was an interesting cultural snippet in a recent NY Times interview of novelist Dalia Sofer, who was born in Iran but now lives in New York. It came when Sofer discussed the communication style of Iranians. I would think that Iranian-born women see memoir-writing as a kind of protest against a society that demands […]

Arctic tourism

The Arctic climate of Greenland hasn’t traditionally been a big tourist attraction, but interest is growing. Climate change, ironically, is one of the factors behind a rise in tourism to Greenland, as this Associated Press article notes: Hunting is the central element of the Inuit culture in Greenland, a semiautonomous Danish territory, but that immutable […]

Even maps are subjective

Most of us grew up believing that maps and globes were accurate, objective portrayals of reality. At some point, though, we discovered that maps can be as subjective as anything else in the world of politics and diplomacy. That point is explained nicely in a recent article in the International Herald Tribune, about the cartography challenges faced by […]

The American road trip

The American road trip is a classic journey. Many is the person who has either completed or dreamed of a drive across the United States. The latest such individual is Matt Gross, who reported on his cross-country driving adventures for the NY Times. Here is an excerpt from the tail end of his journey: “Nothing but […]

Nomadic traditions influence politics

It’s easy to dismiss ancient nomadic traditions as quaint relics of the past. But researchers are now discovering that these tribal traditions are not only the building blocks of Central Asian cultures but are also representative of values that continue to influence contemporary politics. Some of these insights were discussed in a recent article in the International […]

    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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