Recent Articles

Explore Australia by train

Sydney Australia

Australia is a vast land and a two-week vacation just doesn’t cut it if you’re intent on truly experiencing the place. But a few months during a career break? Now you’re talking. And if you have the time, it’d be a shame to fly from destination to destination and miss the true majesty of the continent. Luckily, Australia has an excellent train system and some of the most famous and breathtaking rail journeys in the world.

Volcanic tour of the Pacific Northwest

Mount Hood

There are stunning calderas, lava tube caves and and bubbling hot springs throughout the Pacific Northwest – all connected to the area’s volcanic activity. And the Cascade Range is home to a 700-mile string of active volcanoes, from Mount Rainier to Mount Hood to Mount Shasta. As a result, it’s possible to put together a road trip that takes in some of the continent’s most spectacular volcanic scenery.

Unlearning conformity in Egypt


It’s common throughout the Middle East, Asia, and some other regions of the world for a culture to value conformity over individualism, and memorization over creativity in education. This topic is covered in a recent article I came across, which discusses how the educational style at the American University in Cairo differs significantly from the typical Egyptian classroom.

Riel World photo – Colonia, Uruguay

Colonia Uruguay

Colonia, Uruguay Flowering jacaranda trees over a cobblestoned lane in the charming seaside town of Colonia, Uruguay.

Seven awe-inspiring walks

Uluru Australia

You don’t have to tackle the Inca Trail or Mt. Kilimanjaro in order to enjoy a hike through some magnificent landscapes. Here are seven awe-inspiring walks that can each be completed in a few hours.

How geography can become destiny

The geography of Greece.

How much influence does geography have on a nation’s culture? Quite a bit, actually, and not only for the reasons you might initially consider…While pivoting off the current Greek debt crisis, he suggests that Greece’s geography has, in many ways, determined its destiny.

If you like architecture, here are some cities for you


Architecture is fascinating, particularly as you make your way around the world and take in the shapes, colors and functions of buildings in different cultures. A great thing to remember as you travel, in fact, is to look up periodically and to absorb the details of the buildings around you. The architecture of our lives […]

Riel World photo – San Juan Capistrano, California

Riel World photo – San Juan Capistrano, California

San Juan Capistrano, California Spring begins tomorrow, March 20! That means flowers will be in full bloom before we know it. This flower-laden photo was taken at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano in southern California.

Riel World photo – Ladakh, India

Riel World photo – Ladakh, India

  Ladakh, India Two monks at a Buddhist gompa near the city of Leh, in the Ladakh region of India.

Transformational trips

You have the time. You have the money. And you want to do something different: take a trip that will transform your life. Or at least give you the sense that you’ve had a life-changing adventure. Travel & Leisure and MSNBC recently published a story about what they called midlife crisis trips, but the journeys […]

Dreams of Cascadia

Ever heard of Cascadia? Or Ecotopia? This is the geographical and cultural region – both real and mythical at the same time, it seems – that stretches from the Pacific Northwest up through British Columbia and includes such cities as Seattle, Portland and Vancouver. The NY Times recently published a story on the region. And, […]

Extraordinary islands

There is something almost indescribably mysterious and beautiful about islands. Unmoored from any large land mass, they seem to float amidst the seas, many of them with their own unique landscape and identity. Frommer’s was on to something recently when it published the book 500 Extraordinary Islands, which profiles some of the most fascinating islands in […]

    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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