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I was born and raised outside of Phoenix, Arizona, USA and have spent a year in Vietnam (teaching kindergarten) and San Francisco, CA (as a Student Advisor) respectively. Now I'm in Tokyo where I teach preschool. Moving to Japan has been about 6 years in the making, a dream that has slowly manifested itself to this moment of time.
I am a full-time educator and entertainer (for me, the two go hand in hand). I have performed in musical theater and worked as a children's party entertainer (i.e. Character performer). Being on stage and working with children make my soul sing. I crave creative outlets and environments and hope to explore performing arts opportunities in Tokyo.
Firm believer in laughter as the best medicine...it's pretty rare to see me without a big smile on my face. I'm an optimist and like to surround myself with like-minded individuals. Positivity is powerful!
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
In 2012, two friends and I couchsurfed across 13 European countries and it absolutely made all the difference in the way we experienced those cultures. Something I wrote at the end of that trip:
"It's been 10 weeks. More often than not, we opted out of extravagance. We stayed in quiet neighborhoods outside of major city centers, slept on floors, ate from grocery stores and chose to home-cook meals with hosts, adopted questionable hygiene levels, took the roads less traveled, stayed in on Saturday nights and on some days, did absolutely nothing.
Along the way, we were hosted by a range of colorful characters: a businessman, a bartender, a translator, a single dad of twin 3 year-olds, a travel agent, a poet, a window washer, an artist, a national radio host, a college professor, a mother and son, a fashion photographer and a student. Formerly known as "strangers", they became our guides of the uniquely beautiful cities they reside in and above all, our friends.
For better or worse, my experience could not have been nearly as raw and authentic without them. 13 countries later, they helped me identify some invariable truths: we all laugh, we cry, can appreciate art, conquer fears, respect our place in nature, build relationships, tear them down, engage in cultural exchange and crave expression of any form.
My advice? (For what it's worth) Whether or not you have the means and/or motivation to travel, open up, relax and enjoy the journey. I know I did :)"
I tend to alternate between fantasy/adventure and nonfiction these days. Also, I have a collection of young adult and childrens' literature that started as a preparation tool for my career in teaching but has transformed into a library of personal favorites.
I think if I was not interested in travel, I would have no business CouchSurfing. I caught the travel bug in college over two different study abroad trips to Costa Rica & Spain and haven't stopped every since.
I've been involved in volunteer organizations since I was 14. There's always been this intrinsic motivation to get involved in non-profits and help the under-served. Most notably, my heart belongs to Club RIF (Reading Is Fundamental). We donate books to children!
- performing arts
- study abroad
- road trips
Music, Movies, and Books
MOVIES & TV
I don't watch as many movies & tv shows as I used to. Huge fan of RuPaul's Drag Race though :)
I am really not picky when it comes to music but I like to dance to anything that has a good beat. To sing, I love showtunes!
Currently, I'm reading Ready Player One.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Waking up in the morning to sunshine and good health is pretty amazing in my book. I also lived in Vietnam for a year and taught kindergarten there. It's often the experience I recall when citing personal growth.
Teach, Learn, Share
I love the idea of this network of exchange. I'd like to approach this opportunity as a revolving door of learning, not asking anything specific of my hosts but having the open mind to pick up new lessons along to way, however random or inconsequential they may seem.
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Belgium, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Viet Nam
Countries I’ve Lived In
United States, Viet Nam