Rachel Heller

writer, blogger, teacher

I am a writer, blogger and teacher-trainer living in Groningen, the Netherlands. Born and raised in the US, I met my Dutch husband while I was in the Peace Corps in Malawi. I blog at Rachel's Ruminations (rachelsruminations.com) 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

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...

Rachel's Ruminations

A Tourist to the DMZ

DMZ stands for the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, which is anything but demilitarized. It's a wide strip of no-man's-land that embodies the tension that...

Rachel's Ruminations

Masada and the Israeli Army

The story of Masada is treasured by the Israelis today: the people of Masada are national heroes.

Rachel's Ruminations

The Jane Hotel: Nautical Flair

A hotel review. When I entered the lobby and spotted the stuffed peacocks on the wall, mounted vertically with their faded tail feathers dangling, I knew the Jane Hotel wasn't...

Rachel's Ruminations

Nikko's Breathtaking World Heritage Sites

Nikko, Japan, nestled in the mountains north of Tokyo, is a small town, but is home to an incomparable assemblage of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Top Odd Sights in the North Netherlands

13+ slightly weird, definitely quirky, very off-the-beaten-tracks things to see in the North Netherlands

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...

Ten to Twenty Parenting

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.

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...

Extra Newsfeed

Why I renounced my US citizenship (Hint: it's not because I'm avoiding taxes!)

After my American Studies lectures, amid the clamor of students packing up and making their way out of a crowded lecture hall, a few students often line up to ask me individual...

Rachel's Ruminations

Is Black Pete racist?

A post discussing the racist Dutch tradition of Zwarte Piet.

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

Israel and Palestine: Toddlers in a Sandbox

an opinion piece about Israel and Palestine

Rachel's Ruminations

Shaken convictions

“Yes! That’s just what they deserve, and the sooner the better!”

Rachel's Ruminations

Emotional Blackmail via Facebook

This blog post discusses the frequent emotional blackmail implied in many viral facebook posts.