About me

Hi, I’m Rachel. Rachel’s Ruminations is a travel blog focused on independent travel with an emphasis on cultural and historical sites/sights. I also occasionally write about life as an expatriate. If you’re looking for more information about the blog, here is my media kit.

I live in Groningen, in the northeast of the Netherlands, but come from Connecticut originally. I’ve lived here long enough to feel like it’s home—most of the time, at least. My husband, Albert, is Dutch, which is why I’m here. We have two kids: a daughter who isn’t a kid anymore and is a graphic designer, and a son who’s at university in Scotland.

What I especially love to do, of course, is travel, and I love the combination of writing and traveling. Now that the kids are mostly out of the house, I have more time to devote to travel and writing about it.

So that’s me in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy what I post here; feel free to leave comments!

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Copyright notice: Except for occasional guest posts as indicated, all text on this website is copyright Rachel Heller. The photos are copyright Rachel Heller unless otherwise indicated. Please use the contact form below to request permission to use any photos or text, specifying which one you are interested in.


  • Valerie

    March 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Hi Rachel. I’m loving your ruminations! I came across you on Twitter and noticed we have a tiny bit of simpatico going on – you’re an American from Connecticut living in Nederland; I’m an American married to a Dutchman living in Connecticut! Good to see you’re enjoying life in the land of the Dutch!

  • rachel75

    March 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Nice to “meet” you, Valerie! Where in CT do you live? I grew up in Westport. Thanks for commenting!


    March 11, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Consider also visiting Kenya so that you can also learn a lot more about the culture of the maasai in Narok county and the Ogiek in mt. Elgon(Chepkitale. I am Sospeter.

    • Rachel

      March 12, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Sospeter! I’ve been to Kenya, but it was a very long time ago, before I was blogging. I saw Nairobi and took a 3-day safari, and I also went to Mombasa years later on a business trip. It’s a fascinating country and I’d love to go again!

  • jesh stg

    April 27, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Coming from Tanama tales …hello landgenoot! Am Dutch but lived 3+ decades in California, because our kids married here and established their own families, after I got done with my training. Great to see you have made yourself at home in Groningen. It’s close to where my brother lives (Veendam).

    • Rachel

      September 9, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      I do have a good life. I’m very aware of that, and I won’t apologize for it, or try to show how my life isn’t good. I admit, though, that the word “average” stings. I don’t write about my life on this blog; I write about my travels. What I’m trying to do is give an intelligent description of each place and my reaction to it, along with useful information for people who are considering visiting that place. I find that many “average” blogs don’t give enough detail; they’re all about how a place is “awesome” and “must-see” and “ultimate” but don’t actually tell me enough. I’m trying not to be like that. So if this is average, I’d love to know what travel blogs you’re looking at that are above average, so I can read them too and improve!