Auditor and World Explorer: Meet Andrew Belz
Andrew Belz is an Audit Manager here at PKM. When he isn’t working, his favorite pastime is to learn about different cultures and explore different cities. Since he was young, he has always had a passion and curiosity for travel and as he’s gotten older has been able to make this dream a reality.
Andrew was born in Columbus, Ohio, and attended school at The Ohio State University – “Go Buckeyes!” After graduating from OSU, Andrew moved to Atlanta in 2012 to start his first full-time job after a Google Search of “Best Accounting Firms to work for in Atlanta” led him to PKM. He also has an older sister that lives in Roswell, GA which made his transition down south a little bit easier. In the nearly six years that he has been in Atlanta, he has seen most of the city parks, been to a number of concerts, festivals and restaurants and has enjoyed visiting almost all of surrounding cities.
While Andrew would say he loves Atlanta, that hasn’t taken his mind off visiting other countries and meeting new people. In May 2017, he went on a back-packing trip for 26 days with fellow “PKMer,” Michael Moch. They visited seven countries with no real plans as to where they were going and only a general idea of the places they wanted to see. So, with no hotels, flights, trains, or itineraries booked, they embarked on their 26-day journey with a single flight to Barcelona and backpack of essentials each. Once they arrived in Barcelona, they stayed in a hostel with 14 other people they had never met. While they visited many classic tourist attractions, they also took the time to explore places “off the beaten path” where they quickly became friends with the locals and began to learn more about the Spanish culture. Andrew and Michael even taught their new friends a few “American games” (some of which have involved a pint or two.)
On their fourth day in Spain, they sat down and booked a flight to London where they met up with some of Andrew’s friends from college and were able to take advantage of their apartment as opposed to staying in a hostel. In London, they embarked on several walking tours, saw “Big Ben” and experienced the night life of London. Next, they hopped on a short flight over to Amsterdam where they enjoyed the Heineken Factory, The Ann Frank House and The Van Gough Museum as well as a canal tour of the city. From the canal tour, they went straight to the train station and headed over to Berlin, Germany. They roamed Berlin at night, soaked up some history and then,going off recommendations from a few locals, decided to board the next available train to the city of Prague. They devoted their time in Prague to many walking tours, visiting the St. Vitus Cathedral and seeing much of the esteemed gothic architecture that the city is known for. After a few days of relaxation, they boarded a train to what Andrew and others refer to as “The Vegas of Eastern Europe,” so we’re guessing “What Happens in Budapest, stays in Budapest.”
After Budapest, came a flight to Malta, Italy where they were able to add another “PKMer” to their trip – Carrie Connell. Carrie was on her own vacation to Italy at the same time and Andrew and Michael were able to spend the last two days of their journey with her. In Malta, they visited many of the places featured in the TV show, “Game of Thrones” and chartered a boat on their last day which was closed out with cliff jumping in the beautiful waters and enjoying fine Italian wine.
Since coming back to the states, Andrew has invested his time in charity runs and races, recently participating in the Savannah half marathon, discovering new restaurants along the beltline and, of course, watching all things Ohio State. While his back-packing trip was a full 26 days, Andrew says he’s already ready to travel again and started thinking about his next big adventure! We are proud of Andrew’s passion and curiosity for exploring new cultures and are happy to have him as a part of our PKM Family!