Candace Van Chen

San Francisco, CA, USA

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About Me


Been in the world for a spell, I'd like to walk it a while


All about me, huh? Well, I'm Californian, which means I'm fairly liberal when it comes to the environment. I studied in England for a year and determined that I've wasted too much time. I'm hellbent on seeing and experiencing the world. Normally, my complete lack of an internal compass might be especially problematic, but I'm of the belief that you live more when you do away with expectations and take the moment as it is.

That makes me sound a bit...wispy, doesn't it? Erm...that's perhaps a bit misleading as I'm a very grounded individual, I just don't happen to think the two are mutually exclusive is all.


While I'm all too aware of the difference between a philosophy in theory and a philosophy in action, I guess I want to take in as much as I can and try and figure out how to pass along the good bits to everyone else. It might be through writing, it might be an initiative of preservation or it might be active political and social change, but I had the opportunity to fall asleep in London and wake up in Paris or Venice or Dusseldorf. How could I spend my time doing anything else?

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


I love CS and CSing. It's a beautiful concept that is even more awkward and enriching in execution.

My current home base houses lovely individuals who don't share this belief, but one day I hope to be in the fortunate position of a host. Until then I'll surf, meet and mingle as much as possible.


One wonderful surfing experience in Utrecht where I discovered exactly why advice from the locals trumps the guidebook and the memory of that day (and those scrumptious vittles) will be with me for a long, long time.

And a emergency save in Cambridge where I had some milestone moments and lovely, lovely memories. In no small part due to the American/English couple who taught me how to play Scrabble.


TV, which is a horrible hobby for someone trying to see the world, but if you haven't seen Firefly, you're missing an experience that will shake your core.

I adore baking, but recently I've tried my hand at cooking and now I'm constantly asked to host group dinners. Fortuitous as I love food of almost all kinds. I eat regularly and I'm a big fan of it.

Nature is a big passion of mine. I enjoy elements. A fierce, fresh wind makes me grin like a big dumb dog. Cities are big and exciting and display culture to a great advantage, but there's something about a green landscape that makes time stand still.

Music, Movies, and Books

Music: Lifehouse, Emmy Rossum, Jimmy Eat World, Bim, The Script.

Movies: Geez. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Serenity, The Replacements, Final Fantasy: AC, Princess Mononoke, The Lost Empire, Underworld, Underworld Evolution, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Superman Returns, The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (Of Destiny), Robin Hood Men in Tights, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog, Thank You for Smoking, Space Balls, Spirited Away, Pride and Prejudice, My Neighbor Totoro, Garden State, V for Vendetta, Stardust, Finding Neverland, Hoodwinked, Dead Poets Society, Wall E, Cashback, Whisper of the Heart

Books: The Lord of the Ring, Sunshine by Robin McKinley, The Outlaws of Sherwood, The Shadow of the Wind, Atlas Shrugged, Enders Game, anything by Tamora Pierce, His Dark Materials Series, Redwall

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Thus far, other than living in a country on the other side of a continent and ocean, I would have to say Ireland. The amazing thing I've seen or done in my lifetime is Ireland. I can't wait to have more.

Teach, Learn, Share

I have lots of opinions and some might say talents, but I'm not going to presume I can teach so many of them. If you're interested, I'm thrilled to share experiences and spread knowledge, but I'm very interested in what everyone else knows how to do.

Like I said earlier, I'm a fast-learning student of the culinary arts, which is to say I know how to make more than instant noodles and soup.

Being a university student studying economics and politics, I probably couldn't impart too much knowledge on either account, but I've been trained to have an opinion, so take from that what you will.

Countries I’ve Visited

Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States

Countries I’ve Lived In

China, United Kingdom, United States

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