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"Everything you give away remains yours and everything you keep is lost forever" - 12th century Georgian Poet Shota Rustaveli, The knight in the Panthers Skin"
I'm a very experienced couchsurfer active since 2009, this is a second profile as of June 2012. On the first I was verified, a pioneer, had 2 vouches (different from the two on this profile). I have now hosted over 40 times, and surfed a bit. Many great references from my first profile are also still available, just ask.
The easiest way to create a new account was via a facebook account so I used the one for the non-profit avalanche center I direct. (As an avalanche center skier, climbers, snowmobilers, etc are especially welcome!)
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
When I first created this second profile I curtailed my participation significantly. In the spring of 2013 I became more active again, especially in groups. In order to protect this profile from a variety of potential problems, including one I previously encountered, I started using another profile for anything very visible. I maintain this one for friends and for contacts I trust, and for very infrequent events related to the avalanche center.
With this main profile I pretty much just make occasional invitations as a host, or occasionally make a couch request to surf (on the off chance I'll actually get any response at all). I also keep all my friends and references here. With the other (somewhat disposable) profile I'm a bit more active using groups and "places", and even for surfing and hosting I've often initiated contacts with that one.
I used to be extremely active and enthusiastic and probably did at least 70-80% of the hosting in the town where I lived. A problem I ran into with a troubled individual on the site, as well as the CS response to it, changed my outlook.
I have always had a 100% reply rate, from the day I first joined. I used to receive many requests and every one of them got a prompt reply whether or not I accepted the request. Almost always within 24 hours.
I'd like to share part of the last request I received on my original account. It was particularly well written and it speaks to the nature of my former profile. Only the "Why we want to meet you" part is here. It was from a student who was taking a national parks trip with two guys (plus a fourth person they added later).
May 23rd, 2012 - 9:37 am
Why I'd Like to Meet You
Jim, I'd like to first say that you made your profile beyond awesome by offering insight on a lot of issues with couchsurfing. I am impressed by how attentive you are with CS requests. You could really see from the surfers' point of view and attend to their needs.I'm really appreciative on behalf of the surfers.
Secondly, you have amazing traveling and outdoors experiences! Hitch-hiking is one of the things I definitely want to try out. I couldn't wait for your stories.
Third, the quality and number of the positive reviews you have. Needless to mention its importance! And we'd definitely leave a review :)
I've hosted more than 50 times over 5+ years and surfed a few times also. I kept a copy of all past lost references which are excellent, just ask if you want to see them.
Ultimately I ran into a creep who harassed me, and despite multiple violations of the TofS CS supported him. He used multiple fake profiles and to this day CS has not even deleted those. Thus the need for a new profile and the decision to limit my participation. (He also used fake Facebook profiles. This fact was also reported to CS but apparently harassing other CS members outside this site is acceptable. At least FB deletes such profiles.) CS acted like they were more annoyed at my complaint than the actual problem.
The guy I had a problem with has only ever hosted women half his true age, nobody else. Ever. And his references for them all sound blatantly (and pathetically) like hook-ups ("I miss her already ...", etc). One of his surfers stayed with me for a day next and he was so jealous and possessive that he began relentlessly harassing me. Over a surfer from another country he hooked up with for three days that I then hosted.
Here is a list of all my experiences. I have hosted (and occasionally surfed with) a wide variety of people. Note that in a few cases below we merely met for coffee, in a few others I hosted for a week or more.
01 Denis Pruglo + Friend (PDX, M, 25) 5/24/2009
02 Suzanne (Germany, F, 47) 10/22/2009
03 Steve McDill (M, 55) Oct 2009 for a week or two,
04 Matt Miller (Flagstaff, M, 39) 4/20-21/2010
05 Martijn Rigaux (France, M, 23) 7/24/2010
06 Buckley + Jewell Barratt (UT, Couple, 32) 8/20-22/2010
07 Kristofel Simbajon (Philippines/PDX, M, 28) 9/24-26/2010
08 Todd VanHorne (US, Couple, 37) 9/28/2010
09 John + Anna Yap (US, Couple, 30) 10/29/2010
10 Ryan Snow + wife(US, Couple, 34) 4/24/2011
11 Tabitha Hobbins (AUS, F, 38) 4/29-1/2011 (+ a couple weeks later)
12 Colby Olson (US, M, 27) 6/6-8/2011 (Plus a couple weeks)
13 Ezra Shanti (OR) (M, 24) 6/24-26/2011
14 Anna Byrd (F, 50, 2 kids) 6/26-27/2011
15 Ekaterina 'Katya' Panteleeva (Russia) (F, 21) 7/2/2011
16 Arunabha Sau (India/US) (M, 30) 7/2/2011
17 Jordan Byrd (F, 22) 7/3-4/2011
18 Kaylyn Cavazos + Cousin(F+M, 22) 7/26-27/2011
19 Fatima (Barbados) (F, 39) 7/28-31/2011 (+ met in pdx + mt rainier)
20 Theresa Bohannan + Tabitha (NV) (F, 33, married) 9/16/2011 for evening, did not host
21 Marcel Staub (CH) + Kathlyn (Couple, 30) 10/9-10/2011
22 Sabine Dietz (Germany) (F, 26) 11/14-15/2011
23 Matthias Lackner (M, 25) 11/14-15/2011
24 Richard Sharp (OR) (M, 25) 3/14-15/2012
25 San Lewis Maday Travis (M, 22) 3/12-14/2012
26 Heather Grudman (F, 23) 4/2-3/2012
27 Rich Bodo (M, 43) 4/25-5/10 2012 Hung out at times, did not host
28 Vanessa Mccowan (F,28) early May, lava beds, hung out
29 Steph Hawkins (UK) (F,21) 6/7-8/2012
-- (New Profile)
30 Nakayah Box (TN) (F, 26) 6/15/2012
31 Harrison Goldwyn + Daniel (UCSB Physics Students) (M,19) 7/17-19/2012
32 Kris, Alfi (Sister) Kevin Baker, +1 8/25-26/2012
33 Alexandra Laponova (Russia) (F, 26) 9/12-15/2012
34 Jeske (Netherlands) (F, 28) 10/10-12/2012
35 Harold Crespin (Belgium)(M, 25) 10/18/2012
36 Dina (Russia) (F, 34) 12/29/2012 in NY
37 Sophie Zimmel (Austria) (F, 19) 12/29-31/2012 in NY
38 Vesna Karalic (Austria) (F, 23) 12/30-1/2/2012 in NY
39 Britt and Meagan (UT, F, 23) 12/30-1/2/2012 in NY
40 Colby Olson (US, M, 27) 2/20/2013 (again)
41 Heeyoung Ki (South Korea, 38) 4/15-18/2013 in NY
42 Dan Lei + 2 Friends (China, 2F,1M, 22) 6/11/2013 in NY
43 Lousine Hovhannisyan (Aremenia/Poland, F, 28) 2/18/2014 in Tbilisi
44 Wilson Wai Yin (Germany, M, 28) 5/11-13/2014 in Tbilisi
45 Hayoung Lee (Korea, F, 32) 8/27-29/2014 in Tbilisi
46 Artur Nitribitt (Poland, M, 27) 9/27-30/2014 in Tbilisi
47 Ko_n_sta_ntino_s (Greece, M, 58) 10/14-19/2014 in Tbilisi
48 Diana Rusanova (Kazan, F, 24) 10/21-24/2014 in Tbilisi
49 Viktoria Antal (Hungary, F, 29) 11/3-6/2014 in Tbilisi
50 Enimie Van Steenberge (Belgium, F, 24) 11/10-12/2014 in Tbilisi
51 .... (Updates coming when I have time)
01 Martina Hillbrand, Innsbruck, (F, 20's) June 2009; coffee, etc
02 Desarae Lee, Salt Lake, (F, 29) Feb 2010 met for coffee
03 Cassandra Hutchinson, Salt Lake, (F, 27) Feb 2010, surfed 3-4 days
04 Camila Barrera + Family, Bogota, (F, 24) 9/15-17/2010
05 Sofia Jaramillo + Father, Bogota (F, 25) 9/17-20/2010
06 Lance Gomez, SFO, (M, 22) 10/2010 squatted w/him for HSB Festival
07 Rhonda Callison, Missoula, (F, 109 lol) Aug 2011, emergency 5 days
08 Suzi Clark, PDX, (F, 28) 11/17-19/2011 had already met at another host
09 Krystina Smith (+Bob), Alturas CA, (F, 27) End of Jan 2012 one night
10 Kate Barnicki, Reno NV, (F, 31) 1/6/2012 one night
11 Zak and Nicolle, SLC UT (M,F) 1/23-24/2013 + some
12 Marta and Tanja, Borjomi, (F, 25) 7/24/2013 one night
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
In the past I've hitch-hiked through many countries including Turkey, Jordan and Georgia, and I've ski toured across glaciers in Austria from hut to hut alone in the off season.
I once had an avalanche run over my head while 600-800 ft up a water ice climb in Canada. [Saved by a high Froude number! - For you fellow engineering geeks:) ]
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Morocco, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands