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Ben Lee

Miami Beach, FL, USA

Maybe Accepting Guests

75% response rate · Last login 2 days ago

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Overview

  • 235 Positive References10 Neutral2 Negative
  • Fluent in English; learning Chinese (Simplified), French, German
  • 88, Male
  • Member since 2007
  • All that glitters ...
  • Being one step ahead of the herd ...
  • From Earth ( ... not to be confined by artifical boundaries)
  • Profile 65% complete

About Me

CURRENT MISSION: Whichever way the winds blow ...

ABOUT ME

UPDATED: May 2015

Well it’s almost nearing my 10 years odyssey …
At first glance, it appears to many I’m living the life - go wherever, stay for as long as I like or simply leave with the next passing breeze ... but in reality, there’s the constant search for a new home, living out of a suitcase, packing for all seasons, trying to make ends meet with often a meager allowance or savings (better times come and go).
Then again, there’s never a dull moment … not in my wildest imagination thought I would somehow sat next to a live tiger or set foot on "James Bond Island" (Thailand), traipsing through the ruins of Ta Prohm (Angkor Wat) like Tomb Raider,  or gazing across the river at the glimmering white marbled Taj Mahal. On top of that, went into the wilds of Alaska looking for Aurora Borealis, embark on a walkabout across Kakadu (Australia). Even entered Sleeping Beauty Castle (Schloss Neuschwanstein). Then rode a camel caravan into the Sahara (Morocco). And strolled with the sharks (well at least the little baby Black Tips) along the shallow turquoise blue lagoons of French Polynesia. And before I knew it, I was climbing the white-washed hilly towns of Santorini (Greece) or sipping tea in Monet’s garden (Giverny, France), contemplating about the billion Monarch butterflies I would later encounter in their winter sanctuary of Mexico. And waking up to sounds of countless chattering macaws within part of the vast Amazon jungle.
Yes, you can say (and I quote from "Bladerunner”): “I’ve seen things you people wouldn't believe... (but unfortunately) all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain…”

UPDATED: July 2014

Now into my 8th year of continuous traveling, that included a few pet/house-sittings, and even some hosting (and rescuing) of fellow CSers/travelers along the way (not to leave out teaching & enriching many people with knowledge & cooking skills amongst many things), it still never ceases to amaze me how it all began long ago & so far away ...

On 07-07-07 a crazy notion made me cast aside all familiar comforts and security of my cozy life to go on a "walkabout" just to figure out what this world and life is all about. I just didn't want to be stuck in a rut, like most of my friends, that I would loose sense of living and let life pass me by. I wanted to experience life to the far extent - to venture into the unknown - to boldly do few men dare to do ...
And that's how it all began ...
I have traveled and lived life 'par hasard' (by any means) - meaning I don't have a specific destination nor plan. Here, there, and a little bit of everywhere is all there is to my schedule - to travel leisurely to all the places I've always wanted to go but didn't have the time nor chance before. Then I would stay for as long as I like or simply leave with the next passing breeze ...

On 08-08-08, after over a year of wandering, I've decided to keep up this insanity; perhaps somewhere along the way I'll find a place to call home and then some.

On 09-09-09 I thought, everywhere seemed just as interesting as the previous, so why not explore another year and see how that goes ...
That is if the wind is still blowing favorably ...
Thus the insanity, I mean adventure, continues...

On 10-10-10 I realized I was more or less on an adventurous streak, visiting monumental places of interest and quite liking it ... so the travel & saga continues.

On 11-11-11 I thought since I've come so far, why not continue until 12-12-12? So far I've found & lost love along the way so perhaps I may find a place to call home too. Otherwise I'll run out of "same" numbered dates (13-13-13?)!

Well 12-12-12 came and went but still no hint of where to settle ... I thought perhaps December 21st would put an end to it what with all those revelations, rumors and predictions as pertaining to the end of the Mayan calendar. Didn't happen. Neither a whimper nor a big bang...
Oh well, guess I'm compelled to wander this earth a bit longer then ... perhaps to tell about my "gold" tale until that "*ancient mariner" spell is lifted? Besides Ulysses took ten years to reach home, so what's with a few more? Onwards with this **Odyssey?

Here's to whichever way the wind blows ........

*The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

**Odyssey by Homer

And heavens no, I'm not 88! (I won't want to travel by
then) Figure people would put two & two together
and know I'm such a kidder. Actually 88's a pair of
lucky numbers (in Chinese that is).

MORE? Well I was born in Asia. My parents were from Shanghai, China. Last place I lived in was California, before I decided to pack up everything and abandon the rest to go see the world. Then later on I stayed in Florida for a short while, and recently in Thailand. Oh and I don't smoke nor do drugs and alcohol - got to stay alert & healthy for those insane trips.

"Where have I traveled since I started July 2007?" people ask. Well starting from San Francisco, I went on to ...

CANADA (Jul 2007):
Vancouver, Victoria BC, Lake Louise, Banff AB, Montreal QC, Halifax, Charlottetown, Cavendish,
USA (Aug 07):
Cape Cod MA, Hartford CN, New York NY,
EUROPE (Sep-Oct 07):
Budapest, Prague, Paris, Amsterdam,

USA (Nov 07 - Jan 2008):
San Francisco, Las Vegas, Santa Cruz, Honolulu,
FRENCH POLYNESIA (Feb 08):
Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Maupiti, Tikihau, Rangiroa,
HAWAII (Mar 08):
Oahu,
AUSTRALIA (Mar-Apr 08):
Sydney, Brisbane, Kuranda, Cairns,
HAWAII (Apr-May 08):
Maui,
JAPAN (May-Jul 08):
Tokyo, Kawaguchiko, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Amanohasida, Himeji, Nara, Kamakura, Yokohama, Nikko,
USA (Jul 08):
San Francisco CA, Salt Lake City UT,
ALASKA (Aug-Sep 08):
Fairbanks, Anchorage, Girdwood, Sitka, Ketchikan,
CANADA (Sep 08):
Prince Rupert BC,
USA (Sep-Dec 08):
Seattle, San Francisco CA, Miami Beach, Gainesville, St.Augustine, Key West, The Everglades FL,

THE VIRGIN ISLANDS (Jan 2009):
Tortola, Virgin Gorda, St. Thomas,
ARGENTINA (Feb 09):
Buenos Aires, Tigre,
URUGUAY (Feb 09):
Colonia,
BRAZIL (Mar 09):
Rio de Janeiro,
COSTA RICA (Mar-Apr 09):
San Jose, Tortuguero, Monte Verde, Santa Elena, Manuel Antonio,
USA (May-Aug 09):
Miami FL, Atlanta GA, Charleston SC, Charlotte NC, Richmond VA, Washington DC, New York NY, Boston MA, Portland ME, Conway NH, Burlington VT,
CANADA (Aug-Sep 09):
Quebec City QC, Toronto ON, Niagara Falls ON, Calgary AB, Drumheller AB, Banff AB, Emerald Lake AB, Lake Louise AB, Waterton AB, Vancouver BC, Victoria BC,

USA (Oct 09 - Apr 2010):
Bellingham, Seattle, Bainbridge Island WA, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Cambria, San Simeon, Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Santa Cruz, Capitola, San Francisco, Muir Woods, Bolinas, Yosemite CA,
AUSTRALIA (Apr-Jul 10):
Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Lorne, Geelong, Adelaide, Perth.
MALAYSIA (Jul 10):
Kuala Lumpur,
SINGAPORE (Jul 10):
Singapore,
THAILAND (Jul 10):
Bangkok, Kanchanaburi,
CAMBODIA (Jul 10):
Siem Reap,
THAILAND (Aug 10):
Phuket, Phang Nga, Bangkok,
CHINA (Aug 10):
HongKong, Macau,
TAIWAN (Aug-Sep 10):
Taipei, Hualien,
INDIA (Sep 10):
Delhi, Agra, Udapur,
GERMANY (Sep-Oct 10):
Berlin, Munich,
AUSTRIA (Nov 10):
Salzburg, Mondsee, Königssee,
GERMANY (Nov 10):
Fussen, Rothenburg, Munich,
ITALY (Nov 10):
Florence, Cinque Terre, Rome, Padova, Verona, Venice,
GREECE (Dec 10):
Patras, Athens, Fira, Oia,
ENGLAND (Dec 10):
London,

CAMBODIA (Jan 2011):
Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap,
THAILAND (Feb 11):
Bangkok, Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan,
LAOS (Feb 11):
Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, Vientiane,
THAILAND (Feb 11):
Bangkok, Pattaya,
SINGAPORE (Mar 11):
Singapore,
THAILAND (Mar 11):
Pattaya, Bangkok,
USA (Apr-Jul 11):
San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento CA, Flagstaff AZ, Albuquerque, Santa Fe NM, Seattle WA,
CANADA (Jul-Sep 11):
Edmonton, Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff AB, Vancouver, Victoria BC,
USA (Sep 11):
Port Angeles, La Push, Forks, Neah Bay WA,
CANADA (Sep-Oct 11):
Victoria, Esquimalt, Vancouver BC,
USA (Nov-Dec 11):
Miami FL,

SPAIN (Jan-Feb 2012):
Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, LaLinea, Tarifa,
GIBRALTAR (Feb 12):
Gibraltar,
MOROCCO (Feb-Mar 12):
Tangier, Marrakesh, Agadir, Ouarzazate, Merzouga, Essaouira,
SPAIN (Mar 12):
LaLinea,Ronda, Sevilla, Carmona, Cordoba,
FRANCE (Mar-May 12):
Montpellier, Sete, Le Grande-Motte, Maguelone, Aigues-Mortes, Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, Avignon, Arles, Annecy, Rumilly, Chartres, Jouy, Maintenon, Soindres, Mantes La Jolie, La Roche Guyon, Mantes La Ville, Auvers Sur Oise, Giverny, Vernon, Paris, Avranches, Mont St. Michel, Cherbourg, Vauville, Dielette, Carteret, Bricquebec, Auderville, Barfleur,
IRELAND (May 12):
Tramore, Cork, Killarney, Blarney, Cobh, Kinsale, Galway, Moher, Doolin, Kylemore, Dublin, Kilkenny,
UAE (Jun 12):
Dubai,
THAILAND (Jun 12):
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya,
CAMBODIA (Jul 12):
Poipet, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh,
THAILAND (Aug 12):
Pattaya, Bangkok,
JAPAN (Aug-Sep 12):
Osaka, Miyajimaguchi, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Ohara, Arashimaya, Uji, Osaka,
KOREA (Sep-Oct 12):
Seoul, Suwon, JeonJu, Daegu, Gyeongju, Busan, Seoul,
JAPAN (Oct-Nov 12):
Tokyo, Hakone, Yokohama,
PHILIPPINES (Nov 12):
Manila, Angeles, Tagbilaran (Bohol),

NEW ZEALAND (Nov 12 - Feb 2013):
Auckland, Waiheke, Paihia, Whitianga, Hamilton, Tongariro, Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Punakaiki, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Te Anau, Invercargill, Dunedin, Oamaru, Christchurch, Tekapo,
AUSTRALIA (Feb-Mar 13):
Brisbane, Darwin,
THAILAND (Mar-May 13):
Bangkok, Pattaya, Pak Chong, Khong Kaen, Udon Thani,
CAMBODIA (Apr 13):
Siem Reap,
AUSTRALIA (May 13):
Perth,Fremantle, Wellard,
SINGAPORE (Jun 13 - Jul 13):
Singapore,
THAILAND (Jun-Jul 13):
Bangkok, Surat Thani & vicinity,
MALAYSIA (Jul 13):
Georgetown, CameronHighlands, Ipoh, KualaLumpur,
SINGAPORE (Aug 13):
Singapore,
MALAYSIA (Sep 13):
Johor Bahru, Mersing, Tioman Island, Melaka, KualaLumpur,
INDONESIA (Sep-Oct 13):
Bali, Gili,
MALAYSIA (Oct 13):
KualaLumpur, Taman Negara, Johor Bahru,
SINGAPORE (Oct 13):
Singapore,
CHINA (Nov 13):
HongKong,
USA (Dec 13):
San Francisco Bay Area,

MEXICO (Jan-Feb 2014):
Mexico City, Cancun, PuertoMorales, PlayaDelCarmen, Tulum, Chichenitza,
PERU (Feb-Mar 14):
Lima, Cusco, MachuPicchu , Manu,
ECUADOR (Mar 14):
Quito, Banos,
COLOMBIA (Mar-Apr 14):
Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, SantaMarta, Tayrona, Minca, Bogota,
USA (May 14):
San Francisco,
UK Scotland (May 14):
Edinburgh, Inverness, St.Andrews, Oban, Iona,
UK England (Jun 14):
Keswick, Grasmere, Ambleside, Hawkshead, Dungeon Ghyll (Lansdale), WIndermere-Bowness, Penrith, York, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Pickering, Hutton-le-Hole, Oxford, Bibury, Bath, Castle Combe, Dover,
NETHERLANDS (Jun-July 14):
Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Kinderdijk, Delft,
GERMANY (July 14):
Cologne, Koblenz, Cochem, Bacharach, Mainz,
SWITZERLAND (July 14):
Bern, Murren, Gimmelwald, Interlaken,
AUSTRIA (July 14):
Innsbruck, Vienna,
HUNGARY (Aug 14):
Budapest,
CROATIA (Aug 14):
Zagreb, Plitvicka Jezera,
POLAND (Sep 14):
Krakow, Warsaw,
LITHUANIA (Sep 14):
Vilnius,
LATVIA (Sep 14):
Riga, Majori,
ESTONIA (Sep 14):
Tallinn,
FINLAND (Sep 14):
Helsinki,
HUNGARY (Sep 14):
Budapest,
THAILAND (Sep-Oct 14):
Bangkok,
CAMBODIA (Oct-Nov 14):
Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville,
THAILAND (Nov-Dec 14):
Bangkok and vicinity,
MALAYSIA (Dec 14):
Georgetown,

MALAYSIA (Jan-Mar 2015):
Langkawi Is, Georgetown, KualaLumpur, Melaka, etc
SINGAPORE (Mar 2015):
Singapore,
THAILAND (Apr-May 15):
Bangkok and vicinity, Ayuthaya,
MALAYSIA (May 15):
Georgetown,
currently and still going ...

Also check out my pictures posted at:
(They're listed chronologically since 7/07)

Oops - currently updating (come back later …)

PHILOSOPHY

To live life with finesse & elegance and not get stuck in a rut ... and to boldly go where no man dare go - that is to abandon the security of a home, job, and familiar surroundings just to wander off and chance the unknown - all for the sake of adventure (or insanity) ...

Why I'm on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

I'll let my guests, hosts & fellow CSers speak for themselves (NOTE: They're compiled, categorized & edited for your convenient. To see the originals, scroll down to "References"):

GUESTS:

Ben was hosting us in Miami and he is just great He showed us so many places we would not see without his help! Thanks to him, we have seen a real Miami.
Ben is unique person, he had visit almost all countries in the world (except Russia maybe, so always Welcome!) and have so much knowledges to share with people. I respect him very much and hope we will meet again in some place of our planet!
"Our family is so grateful to you for your help in Miami!! So many places you showed us that we would never find by our selves! You helped us to make some great memories which will last for life. Thank you for that!!"
Olga Lagutenok, Magnitogorsk, Russia

We went together to the Vizcaya museum and Key Biscayne.I enjoyed talking to him. He gave me a lot of information and showed me some secret places in Miami. He is a very good city guide.
Mahsa Farsad , Miami, United States

Ben is a very helpful, spontaneous guy with an amazing lifestyle. Very last minute he provided us with a couch and gave us all information needed to get around Miami. Also he cooked us a delicious Asian dinner and gave us a tour through Little Havana and Coral Gables... Always welcome ;)
Nina Budinger, Stuttgart, Germany

Kickass first couch surfing experience. Ben Lee gave me a tour of Coral Gables, and taught me a good bit about couch surfing.
Benjamin Sanchez, Miami Beach, USA

FAMILIES / SINGLE PARENTS:

Ben has good manners, he's a nice cooker and really patient with kids!
Amélie Antoniotti , Mantes-la-Ville, France

Thank you Ben for our gifts and showing us some of your pictures. Riley really enjoyed cooking with you.
mamalahti , Victoria, Canada

Ben is a great cook easy-going and easy to talk to. The kids loved Ben and missed him when he left. He is clean, quite, patient, and kind. He came during a crazy week but I am glad we got to meet Ben and we would love to see him again:)
April Barreiro , Albuquerque, United States

Ben is a very trustworthy person. He helped with cooking and was always concerned about me eating enough :) Thank you for visiting and playing the piano and sharing your gifts with the family.
Marissa Riza , Sacramento, United States

He was very friendly and he amazed the whole family by cooking the most delicious vegetable curry ever!
KEITHANDCHRISTINE, Geelong, Australia

Ben cooked us some wonderful food - I learned a lot about a completely different style of cooking. One of our favorites is now Ben-style roast vegies!
Jennie Reid, Hobart, Australia

Ben was a pleasure to have in our home. He is welcome here anytime. We had an exciting drive up to Big Sur and Peiffer Park ... My sons really liked him too ... he's Gabriels buddy...
Cindy Myers, Cambria, USA

Ben was a shear joy to host. He is very insightful with a good sense of humor. He also can really make excellent Chinese food! We all really enjoyed his company.
Lori Wisniewski, San Diego, United States

I was hoping for a Bruce Lee's brother to give some lessons to my daughter - but we were stuck with Ben Lee, which was far better. A man who's always smiling and always with a ready laugh .... all in all another successful guest staying with us.
George Newnham, Cairns, Australia

SINGLE FEMALES:

Hosting Ben during 3 days was a real pleasure. It was raining all day ... but he was still enjoying the region... He's a very generous and interesting man and his cooking is so great ! :-) He taught me 2 chinese recipes I'm eager to share with friends...
Ingrid Hubert , Mantes-la-Jolie, France

It was a real pleasure to host Ben ! I've spent some good time with him ! He's a nice person & a great cook ! Thanks for all the traveling stuff, it should be very useful !
Valerie Panien , Arles, France

Ben...he is cool!!... I have no words to describe his generousity...
he is so easy going and very grateful person!! thanks for all your advises and hopefully meeting somewhere else.
Silvia Escursell , Barcelona, Spain

Ben is a respectful, easy person to host. He is also a good cook and that made him an even more welcome guest. Ben gives, he shares, and he teaches. It was good to get to know him.
Geraldine Hutchings , Vancouver, Canada

Ben is one of the most free spirits I have ever known, I always thought I was a free spirit but, Ben showed me what a real free spirit is all about. Thank you Ben for the excellent meal you cooked for me ...
Winnie Cornish , Victoria, Canada

It was my pleasure to host Ben not once, but twice, during his Alberta stay. Ben is an extremely interesting, intelligent person, who has great stories to tell about his travels. I enjoyed his visit immensely, particularly his unique sense of humour! Although unnecessary, Ben bestowed several thank you gifts upon me which showed that he took the time to get to know me and my personal style. He is a very considerate and trustworthy guest. Ben cooked for my family and me several times - delicious Chinese meals! Thanks for the cooking lessons! Feel free to come back anytime, Ben, you would be most welcome in my home.
Nancy Gienow , Edmonton, Canada

Ben is a host's dream- excellent and creative chef- when given the run of the kitchen and cupboards he made meals that were interesting, delicious and imaginative. Easy going, respectful and hard to see go.
Alexis Tristan , Seattle, United States

Tactful, clean, nice, great travelling stories, cooked all the time for me and my friends.
Lena T. , Athens, Greece

Ben visited my dragon-ruled kingdom for a few days. He's an interesting person who appears to possess every talent you can think of, as proven.
Eleanna Foudoulaki , Athens, Greece

Ben is a dear person who can entertain you in many ways, telling you about his travels, showing his picture, cooking delicious Chinese food and teaching you how to cook. Thank you Ben! It was a special time with you.
Eletta , Padova, Italy

Ben is a very respectful and calm and wise person, but he can also amaze you with his stories of his long travel around the world. It is easy to talk a lot and share ideas and experiences with him, so that I have learnt very much from him. Thank you Ben!
FRANCESCA A , Padova, Italy

Ben was very easy to host and very understanding about my busy schedule. He told me some wonderful things and was generous enough to leave me some nice mememtos of his visit!
Monty Montgomery, Singapore, Singapore

Ben is the spirit of life! He enjoys every minute of the day and makes you feel the same too:) I definetely reccomend him for good company and if you want to learn how to cook amazing tasteful food! He probably share with you his travelling experience and that was the fact that impressed me so much!!:)
Pinelopi Karaiskaki, Patras, Greece

He is a thoughtful guest, with a gentle sense of humor and a generous heart. I'm under the gun with work, but even within that constraint, he still managed to teach me some Chinese cooking and introduce me to yummy foods...
HEJSVERIGE, San Francisco, United States

I had to take a last minute trip to LA and thus had to leave Ben to himself for almost the whole time he was at my house. He is a very good guest! He cooked ... and gave me some nice souvenirs he has amassed from his journeys.
YALDASD, San Diego, United States

Ben is quiet and a great cook. It was wonderful to have dinner cooked each night, and very tasty too.
Chalice Roughan, Sydney, Australia

Thanks for giving me the chance to get to know such an interesting person like you ... I admire you for being a free spirit like the wind. If you want to come to CR again you have my info - just let me know.
Hazel Gomez, San Jose, Costa Rica

What a "first hosting" experience! Ben, you set the bar high for everyone who comes after you. Polite, quiet, kind and full of incredible stories. ... You are welcome back any time, I will show you where the key is.
Julianna Wilson, Richmond, United States

It might seem odd that I can say I only know Ben "a little bit" however I highly trust him ... I left my house in his care. I am happy that I can say Ben was completely trustworthy and I would give him a good reference ...
ATLANTAMUSICPUBLISHER, Atlanta, United States

Ben was a very positive influence on my life and Kya's (my dog). He cooked great meals ... He is very knowledgeable on many subjects and very willing to share. Whoever hosts Ben will be getting the better part of the bargain.
IRISHQUEEEN, Miami, USA

I was grateful to have the experience of hosting Ben at my home. I ended up having him house-sit and puppy sit for part of his stay! He was quiet, cordial and pleasant!
Linda Beckstead, Salt Lake City, United States

SINGLE MALES:

It was very interesting to learn from the Ben traveling experience.
I loved to discover the coast and surrounding villages with him.
He's a perfect couchsurfer who can show you how to cook a cool (and sometimes hot-spicy) asiatic meal.
Robin GERVOT , Cherbourg-Octeville, France

Ben is a funny man, he has many project and very good ideas. It was a pleasure to host him and sharing a few words and days. He is very very good cook :)
Paco J. Murillo , Tarifa, Spain

Ben's a very nice man and a great guest - positive and respectful. Interactive if you've got time to be social & completely independent if you're busy. His spicy Thai stir-fry lives up to it's reputation. :)
Paul Mitchell , Victoria, Canada

Ben is a trustworthy, relaxed, down to earth, great guy. His knowledge base runs deep, and he has a wealth of experience on many topics that he is more then willing to share. I believe he is the epitome of what couch surfing is; Kind gestures shown in honor without expectation of reciprocation. It was a pleasure having him stay with me, and he always made sure to keep things tidy, and as noted, was keen on assisting with meals. I didn't get tired of having him, and he's actually full of humor. He likes showing his photos, and he should, they are great!
Brad Ralph , Victoria, Canada

Ben is a courteous and unobtrusive guest; and quite a good cook too! I truly believe that his lamb dish was some of the best I've EVER had!!! It was a pleasure ...
David Rachford, Santa Barbara, United States

Ben is a really bright soul. He has a kindness that flows out of him that is really nice to be around. He shared stories of his incredible travel with me and my housemates, taught me some music theory, and taught me some crazy things about our economy...
Kevin Audleman, Bainbridge Island, United States

You were a spirit that moved through here and we felt you, thanks for coming through. Only a few people make a difference and you are one of them.
Jeremy Wright, Tortola, British Virgin Islands

COUPLES or GROUPS:

Ben was great to host, both me and my flatmates were very pleased with his company. He was very respectable and had plenty of stories and advice, not only cuisine tricks.
He stayed with us for 5 nights, but I would gladly host him another 5 anytime.
David Pinto , Galway, Ireland (Republic of)

Moreover as food lovers Ben taught us several recipes and gave us some tips to cook Asian dishes perfectly, tips that we were already been able to test by ourselves.
Mary and Loic , Cork, Ireland (Republic of)

Ben is a traveler who looks for wild horses in the nature. He enchanted us with his art to cook thai and by his kindness.
ERICetMARTINE , Montpellier, France

A really nice and generous person. He were really independent during this three days. he learned us how to cook chinese very well ! We are really glad to met you. You were our first couchsurfer and you give to us the desire to take lots others CS !
BIELTAN , Montpellier, France

Ben is an excellent guest. He brings presents, cooks delicious stir fry, has interesting travel tales, is easy to engage in conversation, and is very independent if you don't have time to be a tour guide. We would gladly have him over any time.
Cosmicos , Victoria, Canada

Ben surfed on our couch and very kindly took care of our kittens while we were away on a trip. He's kind and generous - and a testament to the greatness of CouchSurfing
Sarah and Matt Levine , Edmonton, Canada

Ben Lee had been like a god sent present. we had a few couch surfers come at the same time and here comes this nice person and not only helps us with the showing of the city to the other travelers, but actually becomes the house chef and keeps all very well fed (what a treat).....
it was an honor to have you part of our household.
Noah Strasbourger , Seattle, United States

Ben was a very gracious guest, and world class chef! We all thoroughly enjoyed his cooking prowees ...
Marshall+Stephanie Hartlen , Edmonton, Canada

Ben was an ideal couchsurfer - independent, tidy, and full of stories about great couchsurfing adventures around the world! Though we were very busy, we were glad we hosted him and received lots of life advice, from art to travel to investing. Ben is amazingly knowledgeable about traveling the world - and we definitely recommend him as a guest!
Castle Sinicrope , Berkeley, United States

Was nice to have his company and to hear his stories of his journey and, specially, to receive some souveniers from many countries from him :D thanks!
Sara Santos Franco , Padova, Italy

Ben is an interesting person, his whole story about traveling is cool and his whole souvenir (giving) things are very much fun!
Wat + Irvine Prisilia, Bangkok, Thailand

He was unobtrusive and did a great deal of cooking for us. He is easy to talk to and he is welcome to come again.
D & C BRAGG, Melbourne, Australia

Ben was a very considerate guest. He stayed with us during a busy week but he adjusted well to our schedules and he even helped us make masks for a costume party. He took care of our place while we went out of town and cooked us some delicious meals.
OneWayTickets, Santa Cruz, United States

Ben is a very thoughtful person. Not only was he interesting but he cooked ... Add to that interesting conversation and an amazing photo library ... He also treated us to a day at the Wild Animal Park.
Darcy Bergh, San Diego, United States

Ben ... it was nice that we had probably one of the most experienced Couchsurfers in the world! What an interesting life style. And, as others have said, he is neat and tidy.
Doug & Alice Diamond, San Diego, United States

Ben was a polite a courteous surfer, he went out of his way to make sure our place was clean and tidy when he left. Ben has a unique perspective...
Taylor Dykes, Seattle, United States

What a wonderful human to share some time with! Ben imparted a sweet gentle presence during his days with us, sharing inspiring stories ... A gift-giver, we all couldn't have been more fortunate to host him. Clean, unmean, modest and friendly machine!
Paul McNeil, Bainbridge Island, United States

Ben is a wonderful guy and also a great guest!! He brought lots of positive energy to my home, he is clean and very polite, and also brought lots of interesting conversation. We really enjoyed spending time with him ...
Elizabeth Mitchel, Vancouver, Canada

He was a very polite, clean and thoughtful guest. Ben was very considerate and left us with some very nice souvenirs to remember him by. He also had many interesting travel stories to tell about his amazing journey.
Katherine Crossman, Calgary, Canada

Ben is a wonderful, generous man. It made me very happy to hear his many stories and see his pictures from his adventures around the world. He is kind and sweet and likes to give little trinkets he's collected on his travels... Thank you Ben, I'll consider you a friend always. Once you get settled, I'll have to come see you!
Alyssa Clark, San Francisco, United States

He offered help with chores, offered to cook, and was very polite and considerate of everyone in the household.
I would happily host him again, ... what little conversation we had made me very interested, curious and want to know more about his life, talents, travel, and experience.
Shannon Sweeney, Seattle, United States

Ben is a fantastic person and guest. He is full of stories and I am in awe in all that he has done since his adventure has begun... I loved sharing dinner with him. We would host Ben again in a heart beat!!!
Cynthia Januszewski, Seattle, United States

Ben has been a very nice guest, very interesting to talk with. He has been very patient with my wife, to teach her English and how the stock exchange work. I warmly recommend him as a guest
Mathias Spillemaeker, Paris, France

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

A bit too much I'm afraid ... but read the refs above for an overall view. In a nutshell, I came bearing gifts, then I cooked (if so requested) and cleaned up too (as I always did my own mess) and entertained with stories and photos and dispensed other knowledge as desired or requested ... All in all, I've made a lot of people happy, some quite rich (when they made use of my financial advice), and just as many enriched by the Ben's cooking method (my quick & easy Asian style cooking that I teach).
Sometimes I did house or pet sitting while the host went off on their mini vacation or business. Other times I rented a place and hosted while I can ...
And I've even rescued a few stranded CSers & other travelers along the merry way ...

Interests

Stock and commodity trading helps me with most of the expenses, so naturally it is my main interest and sometimes also those of my hosts (as they too soon got fascinated with it after learning how I've done it).
Art and photography - since I was mainly once just a humble artist before that "computer thing" came along.
Travel - of course I have to include that otherwise I'm nuts to be doing this.

Music, Movies & Books

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched c-beams ... glitter in the dark
near Tannhauser Gate.

All those ...
moments will be lost ...
in time,
like tears ... in rain......

------------------------------------------------------

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

------------------------------------------------------

"There must be some kind of way out of here," said the joker to the thief,
"There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief..."

"No reason to get excited," the thief, he kindly spoke,
"There are many here among us, who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate..."

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl...

(n 'tis time 4 me 2 go)

------------------------------------------------------

... Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woeful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.

Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.

I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach...

------------------------------------------------------

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep .......

------------------------------------------------------

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

One Amazing Thing I've Done

Prior to my ambitious random worldwide trek, I have never in my wildest dreams thought I would someday sit next to a live tiger, set foot on "James Bond Island" (Ko Khao Phing Kan / Ko Tapu), traipsing through the jungle ridden ruins of Angkor Wat, nor gazing across the river at the Taj Mahal.
On top of that I went into the wild of vast Alaska looking for Aurora Borealis, embark on a walkabout downunder across the land of Oz (Australia). And even entered Sleeping Beauty Castle (aka Schloss Neuschwanstein). Then rode a camel into the Sahara.
Additionally I've walked amongst sharks (well at least the baby Black Tips) along the shallow turquoise reefs and blue lagoons of the Polynesie Francaise atolls.
And amazingly more to come!!!

Yes, I can say (and quote from "Bladerunner") I've seen things you people wouldn't believe... (but) all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain...
but before they do, I will share them with you ... just check out my photos in Picasa.

But through it all I am amazed at how trusting most of my hosts are. Most simply trusted me as if I'm family ... And some even took off leaving me in charge of their place!
Yes I've found people that are more kind, more generous, more trusting than my own friends & family!
That to me is truly amazing!
Even more so than orbiting around Jupiter on Elara ...

Lately some other amazing things cropped out. I've found that my adventures and lifestyle has inspired & motivated others:

My dear, dear friend Ben,
You don't know me but I'd like to tell you that your
journey has touched my heart!! I wanted to tell you
that we do need free-spirited people like you in this
world so that they can remind the rest of the world
that this is still a beautiful place, that there is
still wonderful people out there, that there's still so
much to learn, still so many paths to follow and that's what life is about.
I hope you can continue to inspire others the way you
inspired me.
Much Love, V (VN of Miami FL, USA)

Just by reading your profile and your story I felt a breeze through my bones which commanded me to add you as friend without meeting you in person. You are the first person I've done this with ... I am a great admirer of people who dare to fulfill their dreams ... God Bless you in your endeavors my friend. Meeting you in real life would be an extensive privilege for me.
(LE of Burnaby BC, Canada)

In 2015, on my 8th year of nonstop travels, I have decided to give one former lucky CS host a special treat - a fully paid vacation hosted by me. I randomly decided to pick the first CSer who cared enough to contact me to say “hello”. Well, lo and behold someone did, and I had to keep my promises. So I invited her to tour Malaysia (her choice) with me, including a train trip to Singapore, all fully paid for, staying in nice, decent hotels, including meals and other expenses. Not to mention a fully paid return flight on Malaysian Airways (no cheap AirAsia) just to add a little finesse and class.
It went quite well and perhaps I will start another one sometime soon. We’ll see.

Teach, Learn, Share

Throughout our travels, no doubt we are sometimes helped by others in times of difficulties - and we cannot always pay back directly (even though we hope to). But if we remember their kindness and use that to help others in return, then hopefully they too will do the same to still others - then the world would soon be a better place to live in. And that's all that should be expected of us - to spread the kindness.
We do what any good decent person would normally do. Don't do so expecting something in return, or feeling that you are owed something ...

What I Can Share With Hosts

See for yourself:

Ben is a very trustworthy person. He helped with cooking and was always concerned about me eating enough :) Thank you for visiting and playing the piano and sharing your gifts with the family.
Marissa Riza , Sacramento, United States

Ben cooked us some wonderful food - I learned a lot about a completely different style of cooking. One of our favorites is now Ben-style roast veggies!
Jennie Reid, Hobart, Australia

He's a very generous and interesting man and his cooking is so great ! :-) He taught me 2 chinese recipes I'm eager to share with friends...
Ingrid Hubert , Mantes-la-Jolie, France

Ben...he is cool!!... I have no words to describe his generosity...
He is so easy going and very grateful person!!
Silvia Escursell , Barcelona, Spain

Ben is a respectful, easy person to host. He is also a good cook and that made him an even more welcome guest. Ben gives, he shares, and he teaches. It was good to get to know him.
Geraldine Hutchings , Vancouver, Canada

Ben bestowed several thank you gifts upon me which showed that he took the time to get to know me and my personal style. He is a very considerate and trustworthy guest. Ben cooked for my family and me several times - delicious Chinese meals! Thanks for the cooking lessons! Feel free to come back anytime, Ben, you would be most welcome in my home.
Nancy Gienow , Edmonton, Canada

Ben is a host's dream - excellent and creative chef - when given the run of the kitchen and cupboards, he made meals that were interesting, delicious and imaginative. Easy going, respectful and hard to see go.
Alexis Tristan , Seattle, United States

Ben is a trustworthy, relaxed, down to earth, great guy. His knowledge base runs deep, and he has a wealth of experience on many topics that he is more then willing to share. I believe he is the epitome of what couch surfing is; Kind gestures shown in honor without expectation of reciprocation. It was a pleasure having him stay with me, and he always made sure to keep things tidy, and as noted, was keen on assisting with meals. I didn't get tired of having him, and he's actually full of humor. He likes showing his photos, and he should, they are great!
Brad Ralph , Victoria, Canada

A really nice and generous person. He were really independent during this three days. He taught us how to cook Chinese very well ! We are really glad to meet you. You were our first couchsurfer and you give to us the desire to take lots others CS !
BIELTAN , Montpellier, France

Ben is an excellent guest. He brings presents, cooks delicious stir fry, has interesting travel tales, is easy to engage in conversation, and is very independent if you don't have time to be a tour guide. We would gladly have him over any time.
Cosmicos , Victoria, Canada

Ben Lee had been like a god sent present. We had a few couch surfers come at the same time and here comes this nice person who not only helps us with the showing of the city to the other travelers, but actually becomes the house chef and keeps all very well fed (what a treat).....
it was an honor to have you part of our household.
Noah Strasbourger , Seattle, United States

Ben has been a very nice guest, very interesting to talk with. He has been very patient with my wife, to teach her English and how the stock exchange works. I warmly recommend him as a guest
Mathias Spillemaeker, Paris, France

Ben is a fantastic person and guest. He is full of stories and I am in awe in all that he has done since his adventure has begun... I loved sharing dinner with him. We would host Ben again in a heart beat!!!
Cynthia Januszewski, Seattle, United States

Countries I've Visited

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Virgin Islands, British

Countries I've Lived In

Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States

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