Without A Path
North America / North Carolina / ohio / pennsylvania / travel / United States / Washington D.C.

Why You Need to Ditch the Car and Ride Amtrak

Bridge over river in Pennsylvania

It was two in the morning when the Amtrak train finally pulled into the station. Truthfully, calling what we have in Cleveland a “station” is incredibly forgiving. In reality Cleveland is cursed with a glorified slab of concrete held up by a couple of pillars next to the train tracks. City Lab rightfully called it one of the saddest stations in the country. Continue reading

Colombia / Europe / germany / international / podcast / South America / travel

Cultural Travels Through Colombia and Thuringia, Germany

Cultural travels through Colombia and Thuringia, Germany are the focus of the last Without A Path travel podcast with co-host Laura Watilo Blake of Far-Flung Travels before Joe moves to Düsseldorf, Germany. Laura shares her experiences adopting a daughter in Colombia as well as traveling through Bogotá and some lesser-known corners of the country. Then Joe takes over to share his trip to the German state of Thuringia, arguably the heart of German culture and enlightenment. This is where Bach was born and Martin Luther started his famous reformation. Not quite as well known, it’s also where Joe crashed a bike and bloodied his ankle.

Without A Path will be back as soon as possible out of Düsseldorf, Germany.

Subscribe to Without A Path. Continue reading

Europe / germany / travel

Everything you need to know about my 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. Continue reading

North America / pennsylvania / travel / United States

The Wonderful Pain of Hiking in the Allegheny National Forest

Camping at Willow Bay Campgrounds in Pennsylvania

I woke up feeling stuffy with a bit of a headache. That seems to be the norm for me on the first night on any camping trip. Something about whatever allergens are in the air or the fact that I almost always forget to bring a proper pillow that would keep my head tilted just right so fluids don’t build up in my head. (Our bodies are weird.) Continue reading

North America / pennsylvania / travel / United States


I learned to hate Pittsburgh at a young age. Growing up in exurban Cleveland, not quite far away enough from the city limits to avoid the flaccid grip of the Browns’ television radius, I suffered irrational fandom. This fandom taught me to loathe a city 134 miles away because of an event that happens twice a year — the Cleveland Browns playing the Pittsburgh Steelers for 60 minutes of professional football.

Embarrassingly, it took me until adulthood to realize how indescribably silly it is to judge any city off of sports alone, let alone a one-sided rivalry that — fantasy land car commercials and male anatomy-hardening ads aside — happens annually for 120 minutes. Yet there I was in my youth, referring to Pittsburgh as “Pittspuke” with the same vitriolic hatred I should have reserved for Shredder like a normal kid.

Boy, how wrong I was about Pittsburgh. Continue reading