Hinsdale woman's book helps travelers capture memories

Looking back on her adventures is one of the many things that Barbara Riegger loves about travel. But sometimes, photos and videos just don't tell the story.

"I wanted a journal that is easy to use and doesn't take a huge amount of time to fill with content," said Riegger. Instead of simply wishing for the perfect travel journal, she decided to use her vast experience as a traveler to create one of her own.

"Travel. Experience. REMEMBER: A fun and inspirational travel diary," is full of places to capture the moments and memories that can't be found in photos and videos and to help them last far beyond any trip's itinerary. There are places to recall travel schedules, favorite meals and friends met along the way.

With 50 of its 145 pages dedicated to memories, the book is designed as a place to store the best moments from several different adventures.

Sometimes, travel memories aren't just for the people who experienced the trip. Riegger said her book makes it easy for travelers to record tips and advice to share with others who might be planning an adventure of their own.

She also has decided to donate proceeds for the book to No Plastic Drinks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing pollution caused by plastic containers.

Riegger said she has always enjoyed collecting memories by exploring new places and experiencing new cultures.

"My whole life I've been a passionate traveler," she said. Rather than simply visit, she made her home in Germany, South Africa, France and Ireland before making her way to the United States.

"I've taken every opportunity I could get to get to know different places," she said. At each place she lived as a tourist, exploring the popular spots but also taking time to learn about the area's lesser-known, hidden gems.

Due to the pandemic, Riegger hasn't spent much time exploring Chicago, but she has found beautiful places to hike and walk her dog. She and her family enjoy Starved Rock State Park, Fullersburg Woods and Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. When you are willing to explore, you don't have to travel far from home to find a place worth visiting, Riegger said.

The Riegger family typically plans an international trip to a new destination every year. But with travel restricted since early 2020, they substituted an RV for an airplane last year, driving west to see several national parks.

"I wish I would have had my book there," Riegger said.

While some travelers like to follow a detailed itinerary, Riegger said she prefers a less rigid travel schedule.

"I like to explore things and take things as they come," she said. And whether she is visiting a cosmopolitan city or traipsing through a forest preserve, Riegger said travel is good for her heart and her soul.

"I find peace in traveling, definitely," she said.

- story by Sandy Illian Bosch, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean