Stefan without backpack,

Spot the Austrian Abroad

In How I got Here, Slow Travel by CarlyLeave a Comment

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My Austrian mister, though very beloved, is a bit of a dork. He may have the cool job at a German startup and snappy fashion sense at family occasions, but when we travel, his real inner dork comes out and wondrous photo opportunities such as this arise:

Stefan with Backpack Austrian Adaptation

That, is my ever so stylish mister hiking around the über cool streets of Shoreditch in London in his checkered shirt, backpack and what could safely be classified as hiking boots.

In London.

On a Tuesday afternoon.

Surrounded by edgy hipsters, stores & cafe’s oozing cool, my delightful mister was oblivious and completely happy to be an obvious tourist. Better yet, an overly-obvious Germanic looking tourist. We were only missing the Beer and Pretzel to complete the cartoon, bless his heart.

Nothing keeps you grounded better than walking beside a living cliché – who is completely comfortable in being a cliché.

Stefan with Backpack Austrian Adaptation

Note the judgey look on my sisters face here, even as he embraced the cliché!

I can in no way claim to be cool  – there’s a reason this is a narrative expat & travel blog about our crazy lives, and not a whimsical fashion blog full of inspirational images (can you even imagine? No.) Mainly, because I always spill my toothpaste or lunch on an outfit and am overly excitable in photos.

But the sheer lack of pretension in a man who can stroll the streets of London, completely unaware of the wonderful cliché he embodies is a delight.

Lest you think this was a one-off occasion and I caught him on a bad day – just two months later, in Barcelona, the care-free tourist outfit was whipped out again.

Stefan with Backpack Austrian Adaptation

Park Guell, Barcelona. This is actually one of my favourite photos

Despite a temperature increase of about 20 degrees, he preserved in the practical backpack and serviceable checkered shirt. Part of me really, really wants to start a photo series in multiple destinations of my ‘Austrian Abroad’, repping this style across the world.

So I searched back through our pics and found this:

Zell am See – checkers hidden by hoodie but the theme remains

And this:

Stefan with backpack

Cassis, France. Backpack and hat in their rightful place

And this:

Stefan without backpack,

No checkers but the European vibe remains in Mallorca, Spain.

He’s a beautiful dork. Certified, unembarrassed and entirely himself.

For a girl who spends way too much time on travel blogs, scanning Instagram for drool-worthy travel pics and generally seeing only airbrushed versions of travel, this guy keeps me grounded in reality, bless him. He’s also the one kicking my ass to keep moving, stop looking at my phone and enjoy where we are, in the moment. So, of the two of us, he’s probably got his priorities right!

Is it only my Austrian Abroad who pulls this off? Let me know in the comments if your travel buddy keeps you grounded with their fashion sense. I’d love to hear your best ‘omg no they didn’t wear that here’ stories of travelling!


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