Category: Off the Couch

Life is an adventure, time to get off the couch and experience the world!

Tour du Mont Blanc: Feet on the Ground, Head in the Clouds

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The first day left us questioning whether we could complete the next ten. Everything hurt. Feet, calves, thighs, feet, shoulders, backs, feet, necks, feet, feet and every muscle in between. Muscles hurt that we didn’t even know we had. Did…

Scotland: Wrong Lanes, Right Places

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A year ago, the whirlwind tour with my family and in-laws that surrounded our wedding was winding down. From the 22 or so people who attended our cozy cabin in the Smokies, there were only 4 left: me, my wife…

Disconnected, Disconnecting: Stepping Away from Technology

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For someone who has taken very public stances against technological encroachments and smart phones in particular, I find myself just as addicted as anyone else to my phone. This addiction was recently highlighted on a three-day camping trip when Christine and…

Travel Wise: The Cautionary Tale of North Korea

The view from behind our apartments. Everything past the river is North Korea. Photo by Kate Zeis.

I have a friend, who, for the purposes of this blog we’ll call Derek (not his real name). A few years ago, Derek traveled to Laos. It’s a beautiful–if secluded–country and a real gem when traveling through Southeast Asia. One…

Lessons From Couchsurfing: More Trust, Less Fear

Couchsurfing party on a much more hopeful election night in 2008.

I’m writing this in the wake of the United Kingdom’s referendum to leave the European Union. No one really knows the full implications of what this means for the future of Britain, the EU, or the global economy. The one…

Overcoming Fear and Standing For Our Values

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Author’s Note: I started writing this post on January 10, 2016 after being stopped at the border between Denmark and Sweden. I wrote it purely for some peace of mind, and then revisited it with some new thoughts in March. The day…

On Free Education

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There’s a reason I ended up in Eastern Finland, and it’s not for the weather or abundance of mid-winter sunlight. No, it’s to study. While the program–Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Law–was appealing, the price tag was even more…

Driving a Tesla

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Before I even managed to utter my first syllable of appreciation I was cut short, “You can’t say anything about his Tesla. He’s our competitor.” Christine and I were on our way into the her parents’ restaurant, Glashuset, and a shiny new…

Bluebird Cafe, Nashville

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Nashville, long renowned as a hotbed of musical talent, has gained another feather in its hat in recent years–a network prime-time drama by the same name. I’ve never watched the show. I never really wanted to watch the show. Christine, however,…

80 Couches: 200 and Counting…

To the next adventure: Finland!

This is my 200th published post on 80couches.com! When I started this blog five years ago prior to my move to Korea, I had no idea where my random brain-droppings would take me, or where I would take myself. Since…

The Strange Places I’ve Called Home: Munich, Germany

Starkbierfest. Bavarians can throw a hell of a party (with great beer, no less)!

Check out the other seven parts in this series here. In a way, we’ve come full circle. I started thinking about this series last year when a strange thought crossed my mind while getting off the train. After two years…