4 In Europe/ Travel

Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Germany

Landing in Germany

So, yeah… I’m moving to Germany.

I’ve been sitting around, trying to think of some elegant or exciting way to reveal the news. Instead, I’m going with the direct approach.

Here’s what’s happening.

I got a job at trivago. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? At the very least, you should recognize their dusty-haired spokesman with the voice of a nighttime jazz radio hostTrivago Guy.

Trivago is based out of Düsseldorf, which is over in western Germany slightly north of Cologne and just east of the Dutch border. I’ll be relocating there at the end of the month with my wife Melanie and the magnificent Moses Cleaveland of Wall Street Journal fame.

You know how you get hungry, then famished, then time passes and your stomach kinda accepts that food isn’t on the way, so your hunger disappears? My excitement for this move has followed a similar trajectory. At this point, I’m failing to string together the right words that perfectly articulate my excitement. Instead, please enjoy this word vomit of synonyms I looked up online.


And we’re back.

I wasn’t necessarily looking for something to take me out of the country in the immediate future. After all, I’ve quite enjoyed and have been exceedingly fortunate to do what I do and travel where I’ve traveled. Sure, we imagined ourselves living abroad again. The lifestyle suits us, and Europe has especially appealed to us for a number of reasonsnamely the superior transportation infrastructure that makes living car-free an unremarkable decision.

We also dig being close to so many different languages and cultures. I’ve often wondered what life would be like in the States if going from Ohio to Indiana meant learning a new tongue. Watching shows like Turned: Washington’s Spies and last year’s The Revenant featuring multi-lingual Americans speaking Native American languages has often left me fantasizing of an alternative United States where history turned out very differently and all of our cultures truly did mix together without any kind of supremacy over the other. I mean, how cool would it be if growing up in Northeast Ohio meant that English and, say, Iroquois were my default languages by birth?

I’ve left enamored with Europe each and every time I’ve traveled to the continent thanks largely to its cacophony of languages prevalent on the streets of any major city. Most recently I think of being in London, hearing everything from Spanish to Arabic on an afternoon stroll. English, oddly enough, seemed to be the minority at times.

Like in Costa Rica, we’ll use this unique opportunity to further explore the world and different cultures. We’re exceptionally thrilled that we can do it all without a car. Venlo, Netherlands, for instance, will be just a few hours away by bike. How freaking cool is that? We’ll be crossing national borders by bike and it will be a completely normal thing to do. If the weather isn’t on our side, we can always take a train. Major metropolitan or humble village, it doesn’t seem to matter. They’re all reasonably accessible by public transport.

It goes without saying I’m doubly thrilled for the opportunity to work at a company like trivago. In short, my mission will be to develop content for the U.S. market using the colleagues I’ve acquired over the years working as a travel writer. So although I’ll be an ocean away, the States will remain a constant in my mind. Not only for my forthcoming professional responsibilities, but more obviously for the friends and family who won’t quite fit into my suitcase, which is unfortunate considering none of this would be possible without their constant support and encouragement. At least we can offer free lodging in Düsseldorf.

Now let me rest of your nerves by swiftly and definitively answering the question that has surely been weighing heavily on your mind.

Yes, this website will of course continue. I can’t say for certain I’ll be able to keep up with two posts a week. Instead, I might just update when I feel especially compelled to share some recent travels with you. That’s the way it should be anyway, right? Stories are most interesting when the storyteller is excited to share them. Everything else is small talk, and I for one don’t find small talk particularly enthralling. Do you?

I’ll also be looking to continue the Without A Path podcast. Sadly, Laura won’t be joining me in Germany either, so we’ll look to record a farewell episode of sorts before my departure. You may have noticed that we haven’t uploaded a new episode in some time. That’s been a combination of my traveling to the Twin Cities to finish Best Outdoor Adventures Near Minneapolis and Saint Paul; Laura traveling to Colombia for some exciting developments that I’ll let her share; this job and the upcoming international move; and my focusing all creative energies on completing my Costa Rica/Central America travelogue (which you can expect to hear more about shortly). But moving forward, Without A Path will (mostly) return to its roots, featuring conversations with fellow travelers, writers and photographers. Working at trivago and being based in Germany, I suspect I’ll have no shortage of folks to invite on the show.

That about does it! You are officially informed, dear Reader. Thanks for sticking with me this far, and I hope you’ll continue following along.

Moving to Germany

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  • Shibani Faehnle
    August 11, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Congratulations and safe travels!

    • Joe
      August 11, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks very much!

  • rogerzender
    August 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Nothing about missing Cleveland?? 😉 😛

    • Joe
      August 23, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Of course I’ll always miss home.