Why WE Travel: Expats

On our second day of ¨why we travel¨we are going to take a look at Expats.  The writer today is Andrew Couch, and this is why he travels:

Travel is about two things for me. First it is about meeting people and hearing their stories and sharing yours. Secondly it is about opportunities for personal growth and mental change.

The most memorable travel experiences for me involve conversations with other people. Places are great and so are sights, but I bind most of those places and sights with people. Yeah, I remember the Tower of Pisa but I really remember talking to the mother-daughter travel pair about their trip. In Prague I had a blast in the hostel bar talking to the bartender about her life and books we have both read. Sitting on trains or boats or in bars chatting with people is what makes a trip worthwhile for me.

I am quite introspective and the mental aspects of travel fascinate me. How I can change my entire outlook and get a different perspective on life just by going somewhere else. This is often put as “travel helps you find yourself.” Travel provides so many ways to look at your own ideas and mind. A normal daily routine ends up directing a lot of our minds towards dealing with those normal things. By blindsiding all of that in travel with a completely different set of stresses, you get to see what is really you.

Slower travel is a big theme for me, take your time get to know yourself and meet others rather than running to tick off a sight from your list. So in the end it is about relating. Relating with people you come in contact with and relating with yourself.

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Bio

Andrew Couch is in his early 30s and an American expat living in Germany for 2.5 years now. He explores Europe from his new home base with the train system having not been on an airplane in 10 years. He blogs about the expat life and the mental aspects of travel.

Current Location: Freiburg, Germany

Check out Andrew’s page: http://www.groundedtraveler.com


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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5 Comments

  1. Your travel philosophy is exactly like mine! Well, minus slower travel, sadly I don’t have time for slower travel. But, it’s all about meeting people and the conversations and interactions that I have with them. Those are the most memorable parts for me!!!

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  2. I so agree about slow travel Andrew. Travel is all about creating memories at the places you go. Rushing through a place to check it off your list limits your ability to create a long-lasting memory that exists in a place other than a digital snapshot. And you are right, it’s the people you meet along the way at the tourist destinations that linger in your mind for so much longer, and who help contribute to your personal growth. Great post Andrew!

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  3. I too love getting to know people as much as possible. It is so rewarding. I lived abroad in the late 90s and it was travel at its best– I got to know the culture better than I had expected, did lots of little and big trips with my new town as a home base, and I still have great friends there. You may love it so much that you won’t leave! 🙂

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  4. I too love getting to know people as much as possible. It is so rewarding. I lived abroad in the late 90s and it was travel at its best– I got to know the culture better than I had expected, did lots of little and big trips with my new town as a home base, and I still have great friends there. You may love it so much that you won’t leave! 🙂

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  5. Completely agree with Andrew on this. It’s not about checking places off a list as much as it creating experiences with people you meet. In all of my travels, my best memories are with people I have met or gone with. Rarely does a place or a museum or a famous monument top the list. It’s always special unexpected and unplanned moments that mean the most to me when I travel.

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