Category: Off the Couch

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

Essentially Non-Essential: Maintaining Humanity In A Crisis

I first started thinking about this post last week while watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. On the show, Oliver played a clip of an Amazon warehouse worker complaining about having to come into work (especially in unsafe conditions, thanks…

The Smokies and the Need for National Parks

Last summer I was in a crowded classroom, attempting to learn Danish, when the teacher asked us to name the best thing about our home country. For me, there was one clear winner: the US National Parks System. Yellowstone. Yosemite. Grand…

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

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

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…

Lessons From Couchsurfing: More Trust, Less Fear

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…

On Free Education

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

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

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,…