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Reckless Traveler

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Reckless Traveler: an autobiographical novel of adventuring in South America, sure to delight anyone with a passport.

Perú and beyond: Through the alchemy of travel, youthful folly may bring disaster or wisdom . . . and more.

The instructional travel guide for aspiring backpackers: learn how to bribe police, avoid malaria, and find employment abroad -- and what to do (and n
Paperback, 318 pages
Published June 14th 2015 by Perseid Press
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Average rating 4.55  · 
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S.E. Lindberg
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A South American - Magical Mystery Tour
"Travel helps separate what is real from what is not. Travel is education without agenda."- Walter Rhein

Walter Rhein’s introductory chapter to Reckless Traveler, available online and in the eBook preview, trapped me as quick as I glanced at it. I did not set out to read a travel biography, but a chance crossing of a Facebook post had me ensnared. Equally concerned for Walter’s health and excited about what he experienced, I had no choice but to neglect
Travis Ludvigson
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A free-spirited American immerses himself in the wilds of the Peruvian landscape to learn about a foreign culture and ultimately, about himself.

Reckless Traveler by Walter Rhein is an exciting adventure as seen through the eyes of the author. Rhein instantly got my attention as AK-47 wielding Militia converged on his bus, and he held it all the way through the end of the book.

I caught myself laughing aloud at the (spoiler alert) peanut butter and jelly diagnosis as well as his unique dinner se
Don Leach
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had stumbled across Walter Rhein’s blog, Streets Of Lima, several years ago in a search for something related to American expats living in Peru, which I wished could happen with me. Why? I am married to a Peruvian and although at the time I had only visited Peru once I was quite taken with the country and the people and I felt drawn there. Streets Of Lima was a fun and interesting destination for me where I could at least see someone living where and as I wished I could. My wife doesn’t wish t ...more
Lori Myers
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Walter is a storyteller at heart. You can see that in his words. No matter how badly you want to stay on the fringes and just watch, he snags you and pulls you in, sets you at the table and buys you a drink. The next thing you know you are addicted to the story and need to hear more. And by need, I mean a deep seated need, one that means more than your next breath.
I have learned that reading Walter's books takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. Fear, wonder, excitement, peace...I ran them al
Rodney Dodig
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From the first paragraph to the last, author Walther Rhein, takes you on a page-turning journey through his ten years of living in the South American Country of Peru. Guerrillas, thieves, friends, archaeological wonders, folk medicine, and the daily humdrum of living life as an expat plus much more fill the chapters of the great read. He takes you on an adventure in a Peru, with its capital city Lima, which is rapidly changing from the one he left. There is humor in his trials to learn the local ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: r, 2015

Reckless Traveler: an autobiographical novel of adventuring in South America, sure to delight anyone with a passport. > > Perú and beyond: Through the alchemy of travel, youthful folly may bring disaster or wisdom . . . and more. > > The instructional travel guide for aspiring backpackers: learn how to bribe police, avoid malaria, and find employment abroad -- and what to do (and not to do) when armed mercenaries detain your charter bus. > > Awaken your inner explorer with Walte
Janne Swearengen
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reckless Traveler by Walter Rhein
5 stars

OK—when an acquaintance suggested this book to me, I was so NOT interested. It’s completely out of my usual reading genres, so the appeal was just not there. Two things, though, intrigued me enough to read a sample. First, I have been fascinated with Peru (especially Machu Picchu) for a very long time and second, the cover was really cool. After reading the first chapter, I still wasn’t sold…the book is referred to as a novel yet was pretty much a totally
Donadee's Corner
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All age groups
Reckless Traveler by Walter Rhein Review 2/7/17 ARC from the Author

Travel with an edge!

Reckless Traveler: an autobiographical novel of adventuring in South America, sure to delight anyone with a passport. Perú and beyond: Through the alchemy of travel, youthful folly may bring disaster or wisdom . . . and more. The instructional travel guide for aspiring backpackers: learn how to bribe police, avoid malaria, and find employment abroad -- and what to do (and not to do) when armed mercenaries deta
Alison Acheson
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great read.

It has just been graduation time of year, in a year that has left people in limbo, with compromised job situations, or no job at all, and limited opportunities to travel. Young people are either not returning to school, or are unsure about their next step.

I read Walter Rhein’s Reckless Traveler, and mourn the inability to just GO somewhere, away. And am simultaneously grateful for our literary world, which means people can share their stories and others can read and experience.

In ou
Happy Booker
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reckless Traveler is a travel autobiographical book written about how Walter Rhein recklessly travels through South America, with no set plans. His adventures take him to Venezuela and Chile, with him having visa issues, encountering cockroaches, bribery, murder, being robbed, and more. His words also have a philosophical description and an in-depth view which separates this book from others in its genre.

What I particularly enjoyed was the transformation of the character and how traveling had in
Carl Alves
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Reckless Traveler is one man’s decade-long journey living in Peru and travelling throughout South America. It’s not so much a travel book. It’s more of a guide as to what it might take to live in a foreign country. For someone looking to live abroad, especially say in South or Central America instead of Europe or Canada, this would be a really useful book to have with you. There are many practical elements that are dealt with in this book, things that one might not ordinarily think about. Th ...more
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all people
This book is awesome. It’s different from the traditional guide book or a book about tourism. It’s funny, interesting and made me laugh. It will surprise you with a way to cure a kidney stone, talks about teaching and learning a foreign language. Also it describes the magic of Lima and the Peruvian people, it awakens the desire to travel to Machu Picchu. Also its a way to identify with the feeling that besides all our differences, we are living in a world where all the politics are the same, esp ...more
Danielle Urban
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Reckless Traveler by Walter Rhein is definitely a must read. For those who want to travel far and experience another country...well, here's the chance. Inside this brilliant well-written autobiography, Walter Rhein takes readers, into the world full of action, danger, and suspense. I didn't know quite what to expect...well maybe things like trouble speaking a foreign language and surviving the hardships that pop up when one travels so far from home. This nonfiction book was highly entertaini ...more
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an amusing account of the author's time in South America. The chapters are short and I went to bed intending to read just a couple and found myself reading the whole book in one go. It offers an insight into the South American mentality - I can quite understand how Walter initially planned to stay for a few months and ended up spending ten years there. His advice on dealing with bureaucracy will no doubt ring a bell with many travellers the world over - if in doubt photocopy everything f ...more
Bryanna Plog
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an enjoyable, informative read. It can be difficult to write a book about a whole decade of life and travels, but the book works. Rhein balances stories from his daily life, travels to "tourist spots," teaching, and life lessons learned along the way mostly very well. I also appreciated his respect for locals and local customs, lessons other travels can learn from him. I have also lived in South America and traveled to Peru, and enjoyed his perspective on many aspects of daily life, but ...more
Joe Bonadonna
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
Reckless Traveler is a wonderful book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to travel, to all of us armchair travelers, and to everyone who likes to read a great story. Walter Rhein took off one day from the Wisconsin badlands and spent nearly a decade living, traveling and working in Lima, Peru, and traveling throughout the country. A couple of years ago he chose to write of his adventures . . . but in the form of a novel. So what we get here is no dry travelogue, but a real story f ...more
Sabrina Kaye Fox
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Title: Reckless Traveler
Author: Walter Rhein
Publisher: Perseid Press
Pages: 318
Rating: 5/5

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own.

Synopsis from Amazon: Reckless Traveler: an autobiographical novel of adventuring in South America, sure to delight anyone with a passport. Perú and beyond: Through the alchemy of travel, youthful folly may bring disaster or wisdom . . . and more.
The instructional travel guide for aspiring backpackers: learn
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When residing in a foreign country, how does one adapt?

Although the author declared his book to be fiction, it is my understanding that he is describing many of his adventures when he didn’t live in the U.S. for ten years. In this book, he first goes to Peru. He can speak very little Spanish, which is one of the areas it was important for him to learn. This was not only a new language, but a new way of life. Peruvians live much differently that Americans do. He recklessly jumped into experiences
Jeff Dawson
Sep 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Glad it was free

This story had moments of brilliance and those not so much. It has occasions of humor and attempts that failed. It starts out with a heart pounding scene as the bus “our reckless traveler” is riding on appears to be hijacked by local rebels. From that heart pounding beginning, I lost count how many times I needed to be defibrillated to stay awake.

Chapter 3 is exceedingly slow. Chapter 4 came across as filler. Who cares about bedbugs? Chapter 6 is another one that needs to be del
Sergiu Pobereznic
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I will begin by saying that Mr. Rhein is a storyteller with great mastery of his craft. There is a great polish to his writing. It is also the perfect example of WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. It felt real and tangible. He took me on a rollercoaster ride of encounters, findings and emotions.

I won’t compare his travels to Bill Bryson’s (one of my all time favourites), because they are vastly different. This author has his own unique narrative voice, and all the better for it. You can sense the youth in his
Rae Phillips
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well written and very enjoyable

Reckless Traveler is a very enjoyable memoir of the author’s years spent travelling in South America.

I spent a few months backpacking myself around South East Asia but was never brave enough to tackle South America and Walter Rhein’s book appealed to my sense of wanderlust.

Rhein has a laid back personality which comes across in his writing and he has a gift for storytelling, he brings alive both the Peruvian landscape and the warmth of the people. The narrative is
R.A. McCandless
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Walther Rhein’s RECKLESS TRAVELLER doesn’t just tell about Peru, he takes you along for the ride. From thieves to bureaucrats to new friends to wondrous historical sites, this American in Peru fully expands and grows as his journey takes him from the capital in Lima around the country. Even if readers have no background whatsoever in Peru or South America, they are in for a real treat through Rhein’s experiences.

Rhein adds humor and insight throughout his travels, although not everything is suns
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Given To Me For An Honest Review

Reckless Traveler by Walter Rhein is a book that you really need to put your seatbelt on because you're about to go on one fun and fantastic ride with the Reckless Traveler. Once you begin reading you won't put it down until you finish reading it. As you read it, it will feel like you are being drawn in and you are experiencing all the adventures with Walter. The reading is very smooth and easy to read. I found that this book will make you again think about doing
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Special thanks to Walter Rhein for providing me the book for a fair review.

As a traveler, it is always a good idea to learn from other people's mistakes and tips. Walter's life in Lima, Peru is full of adventures and problems that would make even a seasoned traveler look amateurish.

I am not one who usually reads travel books, because I like the thrill of learning, but Walter's book has triggered a want to travel to Lima, the cultures and the sights worth travelling half way around the world to.

Jae Park
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great book with so many interesting stories about living in Peru and travelling the surrounding areas. The author, Walter Rhein, spent about ten years living and teaching English in Lima. He details his adventures (and misadventures!) with great humor and skill.
My favorite part is the trip he takes to Machu Picchu, and the descriptions are amazing. He compares it to the Elven villages in the Lord of the Rings and describes the wind and mountain views so well you feel like you are there.
Lynelle Clark
I received this book from the author for an honest review.

The author's adventure while travelling Peru gave me a better understanding of the culture and the way of life in this country well known for the Inca heritage and its beautiful mountains. His lively story telling made it interesting getting to know the country and its people through his eyes.
His life, the people he met, his work and the countless trips to Machu Picchu left me in wonder and I learn to appreciate his travels. His fluent
Feb 27, 2016 added it
Shelves: reviewed, own
Even though I had sat it aside as life kinda got in the way, once I picked it up I couldn't stop reading!
He takes you on a fantastic journey through Peru and learning a whole new culture and exploring some awesome places made this book so enjoyable! He shows what determination and spirit can do, and I loved the way he made you feel like you were there too. My first expat read, and I am really glad it was this one!!
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful set of travel stories!I was sucked in by page one and it was hard to put down.The fact that the traveler can be laid back and yet be aware is wonderful.When traveling to foreign places we have to observe their customs and not always rely on ours.The narrator did this in a grand fashion and that helped him to learn in a everyday kind of way.He stayed a lot longer than he planned and in doing so has many memorable moments.It was funny and helpful.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed Reckless Traveler, which I won in a GoodReads Giveaway. Walter Rhein is a great storyteller and by the end of the book I felt like I had lived in Peru for 10 years. His experiences are interesting and well told, his advice how to get around some rules priceless. Thanks you Walter for the Goodread, hope to see more from you.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Let me start by saying I won this book through the good reads giveaways. I was really excited to win and the book didn't let down either. I thoroughly enjoyed Reckless Traveler. Walter Rhein is a wonderful story teller. I was completely wrapped up in his stories and travels of Peru. This book left me wanting to travel more! ...more
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Walter Rhein was born in northern Wisconsin. After earning a degree in English literature, he began traveling and teaching English in various parts of the world. He currently splits his time between South America and Wisconsin and may be contacted at: Be sure to check out his blog at ...more

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