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Learn to speak Spanish!
I enjoy traveling, and I also like to live in other countries. Sometimes traveling is too fast. If I can spend a year or two living in another country then usually that gives me the chance to learn a little of the language, to get to know people better, and to appreciate the culture, history, food, and current issues in a place. I'm a little more introvert than extrovert, and I spend my free time reading and writing (my journal, my blog, messages to friends and family). I enjoy eating good food, and sometimes I even cook some! I don't drink alcohol, I don't smoke, and although I love good coffee you will usually find me drinking tea - all for health reasons. I'm also coeliac (gluten free) and fructose intolerant (no onions, apples, and a few other things) but I don't let this get in my way :-). I'm a morning person, which means I tend to go to bed quite early and get up early, but it doesn't always mean I'm rushing around in the morning! I like to enjoy a quiet cup of tea and sit and read or meditate for a while before running around. I love cats, and am very happy to share a sofa with a cat or two! With dogs it depends a bit on the size and friendliness of the dog in question - but I've been known to take dogs for walks when house-sitting in the past. I'm a bit of a "culture vulture" and spend time in galleries and museums, but I also enjoy being outdoors going for a walk in the park and visiting botanical gardens. I also have a more relaxed approach to life (maybe that comes with age, also!) - being aware of how many people have so little, I am appreciative of all that I have, and I do my best to find the humour in difficult situations and enjoy my life. I also try to promote more knowledge about countries in Africa. There is so much that is positive about what is happening in many African countries, and so little realisation about this among westerners. I hope that couch surfing will spread across the African continent and that more people will be encouraged to visit and see for themselves some of the amazing places that are worth visiting. In the past I've been a teacher of English as a Second Language, mainly teaching at tertiary level; for 9 years I worked as an international student advisor in 3 different universities in the US; and I've spent approximately 7 years working in international development.
I'm now living part time in Hawaii and part time in Melbourne, Australia.
Why do I live? I ponder this one all the time! Because I enjoy that delicious first cup of tea in the morning, because I wonder what's going to happen next, because I'm curious to see what my nephews and nieces will be like when they grow up, because I love the ocean and the mountains...
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I was living in Malta from 2008-2010 and enjoyed hosting there - and I think my guests enjoyed my comfortable apartment with the sea view! Now I'm living with my elderly mother in Melbourne, and am unable to host for the time being. Enjoy catching up with other travelers and Melburnians (sp?!) over a cup of tea/coffee.
Now that I´ve had a few years CS experience I can say that it is a truly wonderful way to make new friends and meet people with whom I have a lot in common. It´s great to just get together with people for the pleasure of knowing them, even when I don´t need a place to stay. And it´s so much pleasanter to stay with friendly CSers than to sit alone in a hotel room! For a single person traveling alone this is a life-changing way to travel and meet great people.
Before I joined CS I also had interesting CS-type experiences:
Some years ago I met a woman from Zimbabwe who was visiting Honolulu briefly and needed a place to stay. I only had a very tiny apartment, so she slept on a mattress on my living room floor. We had a great week together and I enjoyed her company so much that I've always regretted losing touch with her (in the days before e-mail).
More recently, while I was living in Rwanda, I hosted a young couple from Ireland who were traveling through. My spacious house enabled them to take a rest from the rigours of the road before setting off again. They were great cooks and we had some good times in the kitchen!
Travel - obviously!!Language learning (studying Spanish right now), and learning about other cultures and countries.Writing (mostly just my journal, and I kept a blog for a while)Reading (so many books, so little time!)Beginning to take photography more seriously.
- outdoor activities
Music, Movies, and Books
My taste in music is varied and eclectic; I enjoy jazz (mostly traditional), African, Hawaiian, Javanese, folk, and "world" music in general, as well as classical and even a bit of opera now and then.
I read :-)
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I climbed Gunung Merapi in Central Java - a rather dangerous experience I'll never forget!
Getting from Darwin to Dili by troop carrier in Nov '99 and seeing the devastation of East Timor following the Sept '99 referendum on independence.
More recently, spending time with children in camps for people displaced by the fighting in North Kivu, eastern DR Congo.
Teach, Learn, Share
I can share a few tips about ways to improve your skills in a second language.
I can share some information/advice to people interested in working in overseas development/international aid.
Countries I’ve Visited
American Samoa, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Romania, Samoa, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda
Countries I’ve Lived In
Australia, Austria, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Indonesia, Malta, New Zealand, Rwanda, Timor-Leste (East Timor), United Kingdom, United States