Two Laps Around the World: Tales and Insights from a Life Sabbatical

by Bob Riel


One life sabbatical. Two laps around the world.

After being married for a year, Bob Riel and his wife, Lisa, decided to take a chance in life. They took time off from their careers and embarked on a round-the-world journey, intent on having an adventure before starting a family. Then, two-and-a-half years later, when the children hadn’t arrived and the travel bug hadn’t left, they set out on another voyage to resume their sabbatical experience.

During their two journeys, they faced the shock of a terrorist bombing in Egypt, met a Turkish carpet dealer who trained acrobatic pigeons, discussed life with Masai tribesmen, visited a Japanese family whose mother thought she knew them in another lifetime, and watched the sunrise from a boat on the Ganges River and from atop Mount Sinai.

Lyrical and humorous, Two Laps Around the World is a testament to the possibilities of travel and is certain to arouse wanderlust in every reader.


What others are saying about Two Laps Around the World:

“Riel has a painter’s eye”

“As a writer, Riel has a painter’s eye for the color and mood of life on the road. Here, for instance, is his description of an African sunset: ‘It began with streaks of light shooting down from thick clouds. As if the heavens had opened and hundreds of golden Masai spears were thrust down into the pale green dusk of the plain. Then a sunset exploded across the sky in streaks of mango and purple.’

“As a result, veteran travelers will enjoy revisiting favorite places through his prose, while other passages can serve as a primer for your wish list of destinations…Riel lets his own story unfold slowly through the book, which correspondingly ‘grows’ on you with a series of anecdotes and vignettes. If you love that sub-genre of armchair travel that involves stories of everyday adventurers circling the globe, then Two Laps Around the World is a keeper.”
Robert Downes, in a review on Rolf Potts’ “Vagabonding” website

“Fascinating cross-cultural insights”

“I found this book filled with fascinating cross-cultural insights…Two Laps Around the World is an entertaining read. I recommend it for any actual or armchair traveler interested in how we fit in the broader world.”
– from an Amazon review

“A book to revisit often”

“Bob and Lisa lead us to a deeper level in their global journeys. They seek to meet and talk to the people, to understand the culture, religions, and then reflect so beautifully on the differences–and sameness. They indeed challenge us to break out of the safe “tourist bubble.” I enjoyed the Life Lessons and Global Rules noted throughout the book. This would be a great gift for any traveler… and a book to revisit often.”
– from an Amazon review

Excerpts from some fan letters:

“I am hooked and reading everything”

“Bob, Your ‘Two Laps Around the World’ is wonderful!!! … I am hooked and reading everything. Your book is much more than a travelogue, as you have brought your cultural awareness and observations with each step. I am savoring your book!”
– Mary Jo S.

“Up past 2 a.m., not wanting to put the book down”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the book! There were a few nights I found myself up past 2 a.m., not wanting to put the book down as I was excited to learn about your next journey.”
– Paul R.

“A joy to read”

“What a joy to read. You have captured for me what I felt so many years ago on my first travel adventure…It did my heart good to know you had picked up on many different philosophies that I found.”
– Stan and Ned P.


For more information:

Interview with Bob on Andy Hayes’ Sharing Travel Experiences website.

– The page for Two Laps Around the World.

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    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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