Ansley Sawyer

Philadelphia, PA, United States

Wants to Meet Up

  • Last login 4 days ago

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  • Fluent in English, French; learning Arabic, Greek (modern), Italian, Spanish
  • 24, Female
  • Member since 2010
  • Producer, filmaker, singer, sailor, Trekkie
  • Ecole Lecoq (Paris); UPenn (Philadelphia, grad)
  • No hometown listed
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me


Sing, sun, sail, lose the sole of my shoes.


I love to travel, cook, sail, climb mountains, breathe deep, and meet new kindred spirits.
I'm all about the next adventure: I've worked as a sailor and chef in Greece, Turkey, and Mexico, worked as an au pair in Paris, couchsurfed for 7-weeks down the West Coast, roadtripped across the States, and studied in France while traveling EVERYWHERE in Europe on the weekends.
Self-funded, self-propelled, and about to explore this world by getting to know as many of you as possible.

Not sure how couchsurfing decided why my response rate should go from 100% to less than 50% -- so let it be known, I actively respond!


The most noble human pursuit is to find meaning in life. Obvious, but true -- I do it by connecting with people and their ideas. I want to learn how we fit into this world together.
Take a hot shower and a nap before making big decisions.
Food and music make everything better.
Ask me more!

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


Traveling as much as possible. The less planned the trip, the better.
Singing, hiking, sailing, boating, cooking, and learning new languages.
New obsession: video technology. Doing the best I can with what I have, but I'd love to learn better. If you know, can you teach me?

UPDATE: I've been experimenting with this a lot, and have made some travel compilation videos. Check out my most recent one on my blog here (
...and another from my Canada -> Tijuana adventure (


Conversations on top of mountains, in taxis at midnight, photoshoots in Chinatown, hitchhiking across the Iberian Peninsula, eating homemade tamales, learning how to make real Chinese tea, hiking and living with retirees in California, meeting expats in sun-soaked cities, learning to trust truckers more than yuppies, exploring granddaddy dives, washing every dish I see, forgetting which language I'm supposed to speak in.

2010: I couchsurfed for the first time in Thessaloniki, Greece. We went to the Temple of Poseidon, and swam in the coastal baths with the locals.
2011: My longest couchsurfing trip so far -- 2 months from Vancouver, BC down the West Coast to Tijuana, Mexico.
2012: Traveling every weekend while living in Lyon. Amsterdam, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, Spain, France, Slovenia, Serbia, Groningen, Reggio Emilia.
2013: Spring break in Northern California. Hosting travelers and happy hours in Philly and Hartford while working to earn money to move to Paris.
2014: Hitchhiking from Paris to Portugal, and back. Hosting friends in Paris! Working and living in Mykonos post-Paris, traveling from Greece through the Balkans north, exploring the lands between Bohemia and Scandinavia before returning back to Philadelphia in October.
2015: Another year of adventure! Started the spring off by captaining a yacht from Mexico -> Cancun, and after working/sailing in the Gulf of Mexico for some time headed back to the States. Spent the summer travelling through my home country, then started working full-time as a digital nomad. Travelling 100% now. Just leaving Mongolia for a short film, and headed to Europe for the fall. Hit me up if you're nearby!

I have to stress that I don't use couchsurfing as a dating website. I'm sure there are a lot of lovely men out there who'd be interested in hosting me just for a "fun time," but please -- and I'm serious here -- think twice before you accept me or surf with me on those grounds.


Learning things that I don't know how to do.
Going places I've never been to before.
Dancing. Everyday.
Thyme tea. Honey. Lemon.
Music is central. I'm an impulsive singer, finding harmonies in new songs, constantly studying music in new languages and genres.
Water: sailing, swimming, fishing, rafting, and the beach. Throw in hiking and camping and I'm a happy lady.
Pastel de nata.
Devised and physical theatre, acrobatics, circus performers, agility sports.
Collecting street posters, business cards, and postcards for my travel wall.
Orange marmalade with butter on toast.
Learning how to thrive with less burden and material objects, and more interaction. 20 kilos or less.
While I like to eat out, I prefer to make my own food or taste your style, and explore new places through local markets. Some of my best experiences have been in hostels with other travellers or in someone's kitchen, learning how they use a specific ingredient or dish, their way.

Music, Movies, and Books

Ry X, Jose Gonzalez, Fleet Foxes, Patty Griffin, Amalia Rodrigues, Iron and Wine, Junip, Nick Drake, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Queen, Tom Petty, Simon and Garfunkel, Debussy, Mimicking Birds, Schubert, Dry the River, Ray LaMontagne, Joe Purdy, Ryan Adams, We Are Scientists, Bison, Antonin Dvorak, Laura Marling, Bon Iver, Billie Holiday, Ravi Shankar, Eva Cassidy, James Vincent McMorrow, Gipsy Kings, Gregory Alan Isakov.
Anything with a good guitar part, intense harmonies, or a lot of soul. I'm not good at passively listening to music. If you turn the radio/stereo on, I'm listening. Unless it's Gregorian chant or mindless indie covers, I can't really multi-task (unless the task is less important than listening to the music).
I love a good book, and I'm a film buff (especially the classics). At the moment I'm finishing up Neruda's classics, loving Rumi, Jane Hirshfeld, D.H. Lawrence, Daniel Quinn, am still head over heels for Hemingway, and my current favorite is Murakami. I read his books over and over and still find a way to love them more.
I write short verse poetry, and I'm learning how to draw again.
I'm rather nostalgic. Name the movie from the 40s-60s, and I've likely seen it. In fact, I'd sooner watch an old movie than a new one, and as a result seem to have a bit of a gap with "new movies": I hadn't seen "Home Alone" or "Bladerunner" until just over a year ago.
Ask me about Italian neorealism. That's where things get interesting.
Honestly, this is just a starting point. This is such a big question that you'll just have to ask me about it over coffee or on your couch!

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Drinking from the spring of Dionysus on my way to the top of Mount Olympus. After hitch-hiking with a Polish Catholic priest, I ended up meeting a group of Athenian mountain climbers on their way to the top. I joined their group and ascended to Mitykas, where I traversed the throne of the gods and had goat soup and a cappuccino.
Hitchhiking in France and Spain, stockpiling European cheese and wine to send back to the states for a massive Euro-themed party.
Learning how to lucid dream.
Growing up amongst the Amish.
Living in West Philly.
Falling in love with stupid and beautiful things.
Living in Seattle.
Making crazy and impossible plans, and doing half of them.
Life as an actor and singer in Paris.
Hitchhiking more than 5,500 km around the Iberian Peninsula with 35 cars and MANY generous couchsurfing hosts in 16 days.
Traversing (and camping) the Romanian Transfăgărășan Road in a 1982 Mercedes station wagon with a friend, and continuing on to travel more than 5,000 km with a new friend.
Seeing the remarkable result of a little empathy in cases of misunderstanding.

Teach, Learn, Share

How to cook, sing and harmonize, play tennis, how to sail or boat, how to speak French or English, how to dance anywhere with any music, how to plan your trip more efficiently, how to instantly find your way or remember things better, how to smile, how to make a stunning, steaming cup of chai, how to properly tie your shoes, how to pick a good book, how to make jam, how to sit in the sun, and how to see the world as a more beautiful place.

Countries I’ve Visited

Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State

Countries I’ve Lived In

France, Greece, United States

Old School Badges

  • Vouches
    10 Vouches
  • Pioneer
    Pioneer Badge

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