Nomad Life - Ruth's Haus

Natural beauty, niche history that's not so niche, and over-tourism

This edition of The Storied Scrolls features a new Nomad Life story title, “Ruth’s Haus.”

Skutull, Shelby, and I recently treated ourselves to a vacation (a vacation within our vacation, if you will) in Hallstatt, Austria to relax and recuperate after the stress of moving to Europe.

Below is a story about Hallstatt’s natural beauty, niche history that’s not so niche, and battle with over-tourism.

Let’s break the wax seal and unroll the scroll…


Ruth’s Haus

CHAPTER 10 of Nomad Life

I drank our remaining oat milk from the carton while looking out over the Main River in Frankfurt one last time. The sunrise was orange and already bikers were funneling onto the river path below. 

The main train station was a fifteen-minute drive from our apartment. We still had forty-five minutes until our scheduled departure to Hallstatt by way of Linz, so we weren’t in a rush. I shoved my square European-style pillow into my suitcase, closed the sides like a book, then pressed my weight down on top of my bag and zipped it shut. 

When we arrived in Frankfurt eight days earlier, Skutull wasn’t a fan of elevators. To him, they were magical contraptions that teleport you to another dimension. Or possibly giant industrial monsters that eat puppies. Every time the elevator moved, he would lay down on the ground and swivel his head back and forth searching for an escape route that didn’t exist…

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Where in the World are Zack, Shelby, and Skutull

Current location: 📍Šibenik, Croatia

What we’ve been up to: Nurturing Skutull’s peepee back to health. He had a bladder infection and there was a lot of puss down there for a few days, but he has made a full recovery.

Top travel tips learned:

  • Take a video of your rental car when you pick it up and drop it off. If there are any disputes, you can show the car rental agency the video.

  • All EU car rentals are required by law to include insurance so that the max damages you can pay out-of-pocket is €1300. In addition, your car insurance back home and your credit card likely include some coverage. So when the employees try to push you to add extra insurance, it’s really not worth it in Europe.

  • You often need an EU bank account with an IBAN to pay for services in Europe (such as a cell phone plan), but there are strict residency requirements for Americans to open accounts at physical banks in the EU. Wise is a company that offers a multi-currency account that works anywhere in the world and I’ve found it to be extremely useful.

Miles traveled: 23,478 (0.94x 🌎)

Days nomadic: 249 (0.68x ☀️)

📜 Our Story | 🗺️ Map of Our Journey | 🌄 Future Itinerary


Supplemental Travel Material

⛏️ Learn niche history that’s not so niche: Hallstatt Culture Wikipedia page

⛰️ Discover more about the city of Hallstatt: Hallstatt, Austria Wikipedia page


According to Skutull

Mom and Dad told me on Halloween that they were taking me to a haunted house. When we arrived, I was surrounded by animals I’ve never smelled before. I came face-to-face with what Dad called a lion—there was nothing but a chain-link fence between us, but I didn’t care. I met a pack of wolves. I even found a type of cat I like. Mom said it was a leopard. She sat up on a perch just a few feet from me, wagging her tail and pawing at me. I whined and wagged my tail because I wanted to play with her.

There were some scary parts to the haunted house, like when I made friends with a tiny, white dog, who then went straight up to the fence and started sniffing the wolves. The entire pack swarmed the fence and it seemed like I was the only one who believed they were going to eat my new friend. I barked and got in trouble, so then I just had to watch and hope for the best.

The elephant I liked because he played with a ball like me. The tiger I liked because he was eating a big bone and I like bones. The leopard I liked because she wanted to play with me. But I did not like the wolves. They did not seem nice or well-behaved. They were a stain on the good dog name.

Skutull's Instagram

Enjoy the journey,