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Rachel Heller

writer, blogger

Location icon Netherlands

I am a writer, blogger and teacher-trainer living in Groningen, the Netherlands. Born and raised in the US and educated at Yale, I met my Dutch husband while I was in the Peace Corps in Malawi. I blog at Rachel's Ruminations ( about travel and occasionally other topics that interest me.

I am available for content writing--blog posts, for example, and articles--but also for copywriting and content editing. In addition, I am looking for opportunities to collaborate through my blog by writing sponsored posts or through other forms of social media work.

While I am based in the Netherlands, I write in English and my biggest audience is in the US.


Travel writing

Rachel's Ruminations
Lankayan Island Resort in Malaysian Borneo

Slowly surfacing from a deep sleep, I gaze up at the dim outlines of the canopy above us, draped with a white mosquito net. A sliver of gray light peeks through the gap in the curtains to my right, the direction of the sunrise. I

Amateur Traveler Podcast

Listen to Amateur Traveler Podcast episodes free, on demand. Amateur Traveler is an award winning audio travel show that focuses primarily on the question: "where should you go next and what should you see, do and eat there?".

Rachel's Ruminations
A maritime-themed weekend in Hamburg

I've visited Amsterdam - about two and a half hours from home - more times than I can count. Hamburg is only slightly further away - three hours by car - and I'd never been there. It was time. This photo taken in Hamburg includes the new Elbphilharmonie

Once In A Lifetime Journey
Guide to Malawi: Everything you need to visit independently

Malawi, known as "The Warm Heart of Africa," has held a special place in my heart ever since I served in the Peace Corps there back in the 1980's. A small land-locked country in southeastern Africa, Malawi stretches along Lake Malawi - the third largest lake in Africa - on the southern end of the Great Rift Valley.

Rachel's Ruminations
TWA Hotel Review

My first thought on seeing the new TWA Hotel at JFK Airport was "Wow, this is much smaller than I remember." I have vague memories from my childhood of passing through the TWA terminal: clutching my mother's hand, overwhelmed by the size of the soaring white

Ten to Twenty Parenting
Planning a Vacation with Teenagers

Planning a Vacation with Teenagers "Can I bring my Nintendo?" This was my then-14-year-old son's first question when we announced that we were taking a trip to Malawi, East Africa. Traveling with teenagers is a completely different experience than traveling with children. Sometimes they seem like a whole different species.

Ten to Twenty Parenting
7+ Tips For Traveling with Teens!

7+ Tips For Traveling with Teens! In an earlier article on Ten to Twenty about traveling with teens, I addressed planning a vacation with teenagers. Now that you've built your vacation at least partly around your teenager's interests, here are some tips that might help both you and your child to enjoy it.

Rachel's Ruminations
Groningen walking tour

Groningen is the perfect place for an off-the-beaten-track weekend escape. Home to a world-class university, its young population makes it dynamic and hip, yet its small size keeps it friendly and relaxed. This walking tour could last from two hours, if you just stroll, to all day, if you take your time and stop to see everything.

Expatriate Life

Classroom culture in the Netherlands

This post discusses how to handle arriving as a teacher at a new international school and finding that it has a very different school culture than your own.

Rachel's Ruminations
The accidental expat

There are two kinds of expatriates: the kind who move to a foreign country to seize an opportunity for a job or education, and the kind who move to a foreign country for love. A sponsored post.

Dutch, the Magazine
How NOT to learn Dutch

An advice article about learning a language as an expat in a new country

An expert expat's experience of life in the Netherlands

"I think the quality is the same in the Netherlands as it is in the U.S.. The difference is that it's used more efficiently in the Netherlands so money isn't wasted on unnecessary treatments or on specialists treating simple illnesses." "I do feel comfortable talking about mental health issues, but I've always been pretty open about myself.

Other Topics

Dutch, the magazine
The Wrong Choice

an article about a Dutchman, my father-in-law, who fought for the Germans in World War II.

Rachel's Ruminations
´╗┐Don't tar all "influencers" with the same brush.

I hate the word "influencer." It has taken on a bad connotation: young people, generally female and white, who claim "influence" through pretty poses on Instagram. Articles circulating on social media accuse them of all sorts of bad behavior: buying followers and demanding free rooms

Morning coffee Archives - NomadWomen

As you may know, Morning Coffee is my thing. But a good cup of chai is never a bad thing either. So in this edition of our regular "Morning Coffee" posts, guest writer Rachel Heller takes us to David Rio Chai Bar in San Francisco to show us how important such places have become in our modern lives.

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