- 45% response rate
- Last login about 5 hours ago
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Notes about hosting:
Mi casa es su casa! (Estoy aprendiendo espanol en estos días. Entonces, preferire conocer gente que hable espanol.). While I would prefer to host Spanish-speakers these days because of the language exchange, note that this is just a preference. I could host you too, if you were:
1) From a country that is very exotic to me, or have been to a country that is very exotic and/or on my travel list.
2) If you have eclectic tastes, in photography, movie-making, or are generally a creative soul.
3) If you like long walks! (London is amazing on foot!)
So, send me a request! But do remember that hosting is not guaranteed. (Also, I travel quite a bit too, so cant confirm that i will be london for the dates that you are here.)
Now, a little bit about me. Grew up in Oman. Worked and lived in Philippines/Singapore/India for 15 years. And just moved to London from Dec 2022.
I love travelling and have spent nearly 4 years of my life on the road, just solo and slow-travelling. These days, i have decided to focus on my corporate job (ask me about it. I work/worked at some interesting places :)), so stopped the long-term travel and decided to do vacations like normal people. Boring, I know :-(
As of Dec 2022, I have been to 89 countries, and I would like to eventually visit all the 197 countries in the world. But I want to do this slow without rushing through it. If you are from one of the countries which I havent been to, I am definitely hosting you!
I used to be a crazy party-surfer, but I guess I have decided to age maturely and left the party-life. So, have been living an extremely healthy life for the past 5 years. Quit smoking (still vape) and drink very rarely. Also not a huge fan of clubs/pubs anymore. (I could still dance to some baile funk or Reggaeton if the mood/vibe is good, and dont need alcohol for that :) I am a non-vegetarian, but if you are veg/vegan, I would be happy to join your diet for a few days to detox myself :)
I have been told by people that I disappoint them with my level of 'Indianness'. I am not spiritual, I don't plan to get married - arranged or not - or have kids (I am strongly anti-natalist, especially in context of the Indian population), I dont enjoy mainstream bollywood, I am not communal, I can survive without spices forever, prefer vodka to yoga, and I don't prefer to watch cricket.
I am a traveller, and belong to the Peter Pan generation, simply refusing to grow up. But rest assured, I am just your average next-door-guy who who can hack my neighbour's wifi bandwidth, and even gives him/her a wink at times . Just like this ;-)
Below is my instagram for further verification, if you need to. (I used to be a travel influencer, but gave up that life. Hence dont post very frequently these days :))
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
1) Primarily for the language exchange. I am learning Spanish, Tagalog and Russian. (mostly Spanish these days) If you speak any of these, I'd love to meet you. I have a love of all languages, so would be glad to meet you if you speak other languages too.
2) I couchsurf to meet people different from me, so that I can expand my knowledge and awareness of the world. I've hosted 75-year grandmas, 19-year old kids, speech and hearing disabled travellers, all spectrum of the LGBT community, and all kinds of professions. (I once hosted a hooker, who explained to me the sex industry like no documentary ever could!)
3) I dont do a lot of events these days (its just not enough time to meet and know someone well), but login to hangouts once in a while to meet interesting people.
1) Certified shutterbug. I love taking pictures (I have a fear that one day, I will forget the beautiful places/people I have seen, so want to save it all to images)
2) I love to play quizmaster, and the Singapore quizzing community can attest to that. If I am in your country, let me know if you want me to set up a quiz for you. ;-)
3) Getting inked. 13 and counting. Havent had motivation for a new tattoo in the last 5 years, so maybe you could provide one?
4) Taking long walks. It started off as a way to get 10K steps every day, but these days, it helps me explore London so well!
5) Working out. Also, I am generally very sporty, and will try any sport with you. (If you like beach volleyball, I am your best friend). Love to play obscure sports like bossaball, tchoukball etc.
6) Any beach. Although i know to swim, I have a fear of swimming. :( So, end up often just playing beach volleyball.
- solo travel
Music, Movies, and Books
All movies of Tarantino. Park Wan Chook's vengeance trilogy. All movies by Luc Besson. City of god. Among Indian movies, I like all movies of Mani Ratnam, Vishal Bharadwaj, Anurag Kashyap and Fahad Fasil.
My travels have hugely affected my taste in music. Go through my playlist, and you will find everything from Kurdish rap, Berber rock, Brazilian baile funk, Balkan beatbox, Korean hiphop and German bands like seeed and gentleman.
As for books, generally love all books by by Puzo, Leon uris and Khaled Hossieni. So, you can say that I love fiction, which also teaches you about a particular cultural history.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Plenty to recall, but cant really call some of them as achievements though :-D
1) Did a K2K2K ride in India. Rode a motorbike for 4 months, and 12000 KMs, from the South of India (Kerala) to Kathmandu (Nepal) and Bhutan, finishing in Kolkata. I think my ass pretty much died after that ride. As if that was not enough, I did another K2K2K ride within a year, riding from Kibithu to Kanyakumari to Koteshwar. That's the easternmost, southernmost and westernmost points of India!
2) Love riding a motorbike, and rode some really long and difficult terrains in East Timor, raced against the rain in Bolaven Plateau (Laos), taught the vietnamese how an Indian rides a motorbike, and rode 1400kms in Bali before getting pulled up for riding without a license. And also rode through Srinagar (Kashmir) in 2014, in the middle of the worst flood that the state has ever seen.
3) At one age, I used to love crowds and festivals (Since Itaewon, not anymore). Been to the Rio carnival, the canal gay pride (amsterdam), Tori ni ichi (Tokyo), Galungan (Bali), Panagbenga (Philippines), Songkran (Thailand), Kumbhmela (India), Masskara (Philippines) and the Thaipusam festival every year in Singapore.
4) Travelled through Chernobyl and Pripyat for 2 days, the only time that I have handled a Geiger counter in my entire life!
5) Getting lost in the rice terraces of Banaue, Philippines in the dark, and being assisted out of it by NPA members. (A rebel army outfit in the Philippines)
6) Witnessing Silom Rd in Bangkok during the songkran festival, narrowly escaping a stampede after a bomb-scare.
7) Doing a road-trip (in a car, thank god!) through Southern/Midlands England, right in the midst of storm Imogen. The folks at Stonehenge must have thought we were nutters.
8) Stayed in an illegal hostel in Dubai, slept on the hotel lobby in India (multiple times), slept in a car park in Germany (yeah, it was illegal), slept in an empty hostel in Budapest (not even a receptionist) and couchsurfed in a bedouin cave in Wadi Musa, Jordan. Actually, I insisted on sleeping OUTSIDE the cave, because i wanted to sleep under the stars. It was probably the best night of my life.
9) Despite all warnings of rockfall, visited the Taroko gorge in Hualien, Taiwan during the rainy season, and walked through the TG national park, narrowly missing several small rocks that were falling.
10) Getting stranded in Karachi, Pakistan due to flight issues for a day, while travelling from Oman to India. This was during the Kargil war between India and Pakistan, so almost shat myself during my stay there.
11) Listened to the pope speaking at St. Peter's basilica. I am not religious or anything, but that guy has the most soothing voice you can ever think of!
12) Eating turtle testicles in the Hua Xi night market in Taipei, Balut and shipworms (tamilok) in the Philippines, crocodile meat in Singapore, horse meat in South Korea and Kazakhstan, Camel meat in Qatar and Frogs/spiders/scorpions in Cambodia.
13) Visiting Dresden in Germany during the heights of the Pegida episode (Pegida started in Dresden), engaging in staring matches with some Germans, and being showered so much love by others.
14) Being confused for a gypsy in Romania, a bedouin in Jordan, a daily-wage labourer in Qatar, a CEO in Riga, a loanshark in Thailand, and a media photographer in many festivals of the Philippines earning myself front-row seats. We browns are stupendously versatile, I tell you!
15) Chartered a boat to see the smaller islands of Singapore, and it ended up crashing head-first into another boat. Worse, it happened to be a coast-guard boat!
16) Travelled to a completely wrong place. (Indonesia has many islands which have the same name)
17) Once visited a country in the middle of the pacific for just 10 minutes, just to smoke a cigarette. Thats a story for when we meet :)
Teach, Learn, Share
I work in Product Ops at a famous tech company (You definitely know it!). So, can teach you a thing or two about startup culture from San Francisco to Bangalore, and how to crack into the FAANG organizations.
I can teach travel photography :-) (I once used to sell my photos, so you know its good!) And how to set up wordpress blogs.
I am a geek at heart. Ask me to conduct a quiz, and you are almost giving me an orgasm.
How to dance the chicken-dance and make it look like salsa, forro or Reggaeton.
How to thumb-gun a beer. (a shot-gun's so passe, people!). :-D
What I Can Share with Hosts
I am not much of a party-person anymore, and my relationship with alcohol has pretty much died. I won't impose this on you, however I would be much more comfortable doing long walks around the city and exploring it together. (Whenever I am free from work, of course)
Countries I’ve Visited
Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, England, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Micronesia, Federated States of, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Réunion, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu, Vatican City State, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Countries I’ve Lived In
India, Oman, Philippines, Singapore, United Kingdom