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I'm a mother and grandmother. I live part-time in Nederland and Boulder, Colorado ( twelve years,), Hilo, Hawai'i (since 2005), and Ojai/Ventura, California (since 1968) Love travel, nature, good food, cannabis, wine, camping, yoga, meditation. Favorite movies: all the Harry Potters.
LONG VERSION (Just for my own pleasure in writing it!):
At least half of my closest friends are people I have met through Couchsurfing or BeWelcome.org. I look forward to making more friends through these wonderful sites.
I was born Nov. 7, 1945 in Boston, Massachusetts. Surrendered to the Catholic Church at birth. Adopted at 6 months old and raised in Needham, Mass. Found and met my birth-family between age 36 and 60 (it took awhile). I am 63% British Isles (English, Scottish, Irish), and I have distant relatives from India (where the Gypsies [Romany and others] originated; among the English Gypsies, the Boswells are famous). I changed my name to my birthfather's surname "Boswell" soon after I began the adventure of finding my birth-families.
To Europe 3-times, as a child/teenager (on cruise ships [few people flew back then]). Starting in 1974 (post-divorce), I kept moving around California and Oregon with my kids, living in beautiful places in creative ways. For five years (2011-2015) I was a global nomad and hitchhiker (hitched 7,000 miles in the US in my early 60s). Traveled all over North America, the Caribbean, and some of South America. Bunches of hitchhiking.
Now I am settling down a bit and dividing my time between Boulder/Ned (Colorado) and Ojai (California). Will undoubtedly return to Alaska, New Mexico, and New Orleans now and then because I adore those places. I own only what fits in a medium-sized, rolling suitcase.
I have three kids and three grandsons. They are all the lights of my life. My family and my friends are very important to me.
I have, over the years, created many adventures and social experiments for myself in order to satisfy my curiosity and have stories to tell my friends and to show my kids life outside the American bubble. These include stays in homeless shelters, on-the-street panhandling, hitchhiking, living with my kids in many SROs (single-room-occupancy or transient hotels) in several US cities, living in a 12-foot trailer on a river for three years with one of my kids, living in RVs/trucks/cars/tents, in a hut on a beach with my son, and more.
I have been intentionally downwardly-mobile and minimalistic for over 40 years. Everything I own fits in a medium-sized rolling suitcase, and I live on $12,000 a year, which is plenty. I have consistently chosen to live on as little money as possible: I have enough to live comfortably, with a little extra for fun.
My social activism: living with homeless people, both on the street and in homeless shelters, often with my children (I am still doing this); hitchhiking (yes, it's a form of activism); and more!
I love good food*, wine, cannabis (edibles), music, and nature. (*Vegetarian, but I do eat fish/shellfish and animals my family and friends have hunted.)
I am nerdy thanks to my Asperger Syndrome. "Aspies" are autistics with high IQs and are very original (we're weird and proud of it!).
I love camping!! I camp out for at least a month every year. I have a micro-tent (Big Agnes) that's getting really shabby right now after 5 years of heavy use!
I do yoga (Iyengar) and meditate. Love Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom" school of Buddhism.
B.A. in Psychology (Cal State, Northridge), 2001. I was 56 and attended eleven colleges to get this degree. I never intended to use the degree in any way but personally and in reading cards and doing astrology.
My passion is card (medicine, tarot) card-reading and astrology and everything mystical. My main teachers are Indigenous Peoples world-wide, especially Native Americans, and, among them, especially Navajos. My religion is love, nature, beauty, peace and harmony.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I have over 300 references here. (I also stayed with at least 50 CSers who didn't give me references.) I have belonged to Couchsurfing since 2006.
Please also see my profile on BeWelcome.org: http://www.bewelcome.org/members/BellaBoswell
Surfed all over the U.S., Mexico, Canada (B.C., NW Territory, the Yukon), Central America, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama.
My three grandsons are fabulous.
Music, Movies, and Books
MOVIES: #1 favorite, all-time movie is ELF (Will Ferrell movie). #2 favorite movies are both of the Addams Family movies (w. Angelica Huston). #3 is Avatar. #4 are all the Harry Potter movies.
2nd favorite group of movies: Sexo Por Compasion (or "Compassionate Sex," 2000, Spain). Chocolat. Secretary. Harold and Maude. The Royal Tennenbaums. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Light In the Piazza (1962, USA). Nanny McPhee.
Favorite TV series: LIFE BELOW ZERO.
MOVIES ABOUT FOOD: A Year In Burgundy. Chocolat. Eat, Pray, Love. I Like Killing Flies. Ratatouille. Julie and Julia. Babette's Feast.
MUSIC: Zydeco. Salsa. Blues rock (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, etc.), Soul, R & B. Native American flute/massage/spa/yoga (relaxation). Anything I can dance to. All New Orleans music. The Prayer: Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. One: Mary J. Blige and U2. Iz's Over The Rainbow; Ka'ena: ¨You Say¨ ; Na Wai: ¨Oh Boy¨ ; "Somebody Loves You" (all 4 are Hawai'ian). Mana's ¨San Blas.¨ Country rock: The Tractors' ¨Baby Likes To Rock It Like a Boogie Woogie Choo-choo Train¨. Chuck Berry. Ernie K. Doe's "A Certain Girl."
BOOKS: Of Wolves and Men (Barry Lopez). The Traveller-Gypsies (Judith Okely, 1983). Mother of God (Paul Rosolie, 2014). The Chalice and the Blade (Eisler, 1995). The Woman In the Shaman's Body (Barbara Tedlock on the women shamans of Mongolia). Women Who Run With the Wolves (Clarisa Pinkola-Estes). Wise Women of the Dreamtime: Australian Aboriginal Wisdom. Tents: Architecture of the Nomads (Torwald Faegre, 1979). All books by Edward Gorey. What White People Like (Chris Lander). River of No Reprieve (Jeff Tayler). Shaking Out the Spirits (Bradley Keeney). All of Dervla Murphy's travel books. Dakini's Warm Breath (Judith Simmer-Brown). I Shock Myself (Beatrice Wood). The Velveteen Rabbit.
Authors: Temple Grandin. Gloria Steinem (My Life On the Road, 2016). Leslie Marmon Silko (Yellow Woman, The Turquoise Ledge).
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Seen: A rattlesnake "combat-dance." A mountain lion on the trail and another one running by my camp at night (Ojai, Ca.). Frequent black/brown bear encounters.The Northern Lights in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. A herd of bison on the highway (Canada). Clouds of green pollen blowing through the mountains in Nederland, Colorado.
Ayahuasca on a beach in Venezuela (early 2013).
I hitched 7,000 miles in 2008 and 2,200 miles in 2013--both trips were taken in the USA when I was in my early 60s.
Teach, Learn, Share
"Couldn't we just relax and lighten up? When we wake up in the morning, we can dedicate our day to learning how to do this. We can cultivate a sense of humor and practice giving ourselves a break. Every time we sit down to meditate, we can think of it as training to lighten up, to have a sense of humor, to relax."
Note: Pema Chodron's main teacher was Naropa University founder, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche who followed the Buddhist school of "Crazy Wisdom."
I follow many Native American spiritual teachings and Voodoo (New Orleans and Haiti).
"Sleep is the best form of meditation." (Dalai Lama)
What I Can Share with Hosts
At the very least, good will, stories, jokes, and so forth, shared over a glass of wine (or really good, fresh, brewery beer) or a cup of coffee/tea and perhaps some yummy food.
"Every day is a good day." (Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee)
"Everything is beautiful." (The Navajo Way)
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Venezuela
Countries I’ve Lived In