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Overview

  • 175 references 55 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in Afrikaans, Dutch, English, Portuguese, Spanish; learning French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Russian
  • 26, Male
  • Member since 2013
  • Writer / Tour Guide / DJ
  • Internet & Conversation.
  • From Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

Hello stranger, let’s be friends! :)

LATEST NEWS [as of September 5th, 2021]

In Mexico since January 2021, mainly in Merida. I’ll likely stay in Mexico for the rest of the year unless someone wants to go to Guatemala with me! As usual, I’d love to meet you, host you, or sleep on any horizontal surface you offer me. Let’s chat! :)

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CURRENT MISSION
To learn as much as possible about plants, animals, and fungi while helping save the environment from our apathy and exploitative systems. I want to be active in fighting against injustice and inequality, furthering animal liberation, and helping us achieve all the other goals that will benefit us all and lead us to the peaceful and caring world we desire and collectively know can be built deep down in our hearts.

Additionally, my side-mission is to make about 7 billion human friends and to leave every place I pass better than it was. You’re welcome to join me in learning, creating, and laughing a lot on the way! (:

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ABOUT ME
You’ll quickly notice I’ve led an abnormal life of always trying to optimize for new experiences and strong, fast connections. It’ll be a little puzzling for you to diagnose me properly at first but rest assured I am one of the happiest people you’ll have ever met and though I love getting things done fast, I’m always relaxed. I'll try to keep my bio short (and fail miserably).

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THE TIMELINE

1995-2000
For a split second, I was the youngest person in the world. I happened to be born on April 11th, 1995 near Washington Square Park in New York City with the absurd privileges of a working class American, cishet, white-passing homo sapiens. I was named after Brazilian activist/songwriter (Caetano Veloso) and my last name is French-Basque, but in reality my father is Uruguayan, and my mother Lebanese.

My parents decided that they didn’t want to raise me in the USA and that they wanted to start a hotel, so they spent 4 years exploring Honduras, Mexico, and Spain (where my younger sister was born) until they decided to start the family bed & breakfast (Hotel MedioMundo) near the Mexican Caribbean.

2000-2012
From the ages of 5 to 17 I grew up in the beautiful Hotel MedioMundo in Mérida, México. It’s our family’s business and home, and it gave me the opportunity to hang out with people from all over the world at their happiest, from Latin American popstars to the sitting prime minister of Sri Lanka. Besides struggling with obesity and climate anxiety, my childhood was really great.

2012-2013
One day I felt like I'd had enough of Mexico (which is very difficult to accomplish) and did everything I could to go on a year-long AFS Intercultural Exchange program to the Netherlands from August 2012 to July 2013. I had more fun than anyone deserves to have, plus I learned fluent Dutch and saw it all in the process. I lived with a lovely host family on a high-end dairy farm which was so violent it lead me to become a vegan and an animal rights activist. I also couchsurfed for the first time in my life with Camille & Malvina in Copenhagen, which led me to fall in love with the community/lifestyle. This was when I learned how to be independent and say yes to life.

2013-2014
I returned to México to finish off high school. As a foreigner in Mexico, I could be deported for protesting against animal cruelty, so I ended up trying to spark change by opening a vegan restaurant instead. It instantly skyrocketed to become one of the top-ranked food establishments in my city. If you had told me earlier in life that I’d be featured on Playboy Mexico at 19 for starting a vegan restaurant, I’d have believed you. I spent most of the year building up the restaurant and saving up to move to NYC.

2014-2015
In August 2014, I moved to New York City with $1800. My first rent was $600/month to live with 5 other guys in a single room with bunk beds in the East Village. My first jobs involved grinding at 7 different restaurants until I decided I was better off becoming a freelance walking tour guide to face my fear of public speaking, work for myself, and learn about world history.

Performing donation-based NYC walking tours is fun, rewarding, profitable, and a perfect outlet to educate people about the US empire, capitalism, and their impact on the entire world. I loved my work, and one of my favorite parts was being able to leave it and come back anytime.

2015-2016
On September 8th I flew to Amsterdam to surprise my Dutch friends and then see how long I could couchsurf through Europe. This life-changing trip ended up taking me to Southeast Asia too, and after 18 countries in 8 months (of which I couchsurfed 90% of the time) I returned to NYC with a negative bank balance and a priceless smile.

2016-2020
For 4 years, I repeated the process of doing walking tours in NYC from May to December, and then traveling from January to May. In this period I swung by Europe a few times, roamed South America, was amazed by Korea & Japan, fell in love with Russia and Brazil, and completed a web development bootcamp in Malaysia. NYC is the only place I feel I’m still traveling even when I’m static, so it felt like I never stopped traveling and I tried to keep a curious and daring attitude even at home. I got involved in human, animal, and environmental rights activism, discovered so many new interests, and met all sorts of absolutely incredible people.

2020-2021 (pandemic)
I was dancing in Carnival in Brazil in late February 2020 when suddenly travel restrictions started becoming commonplace and NYC cases were increasing exponentially. I already had a flight booked to Moscow in early March so I went over and spent a total of 9 months happily stuck in Russia working on becoming a digital nomad and a more supportive/loving friend to everyone.

I was freezing in Moscow by November and decided to head to Turkey to spend December 2020 there and then fly back to my parents in Mexico in January 2021. I spent 2021 rediscovering Mexico and its magic while creating a copywriting & UX writing agency, hanging with my family, working on my mental and emotional health & resilience, and improving my meditating and DJ skills.

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

While in NYC, I occasionally host people at my badass activist house in Bushwick, but it's definitely way more relaxed than you're imagining it. I also organize and perform tours of different areas of the city for couchsurfers (of course for free, keep CS money free!) every once in a while and meet-up with tons of them because I work pretty short hours compared to my fellow New Yorkers.

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

Couchsurfed everywhere in Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia, and made really good friends with some of the most wonderful souls I have come across in my life. I am quick at making friends in general and I'm really low-maintenance, but these couchsurfy people are always so special. I've also been to gazillions of events all over the world and often meet up with CSers wherever I am.

Interests

  • arts
  • photography
  • dancing
  • environment
  • raw food
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • technology
  • coding
  • piano
  • drums
  • history
  • languages
  • solo travel
  • tours
  • budget travel
  • ukulele
  • football
  • social justice
  • health
  • activism
  • djing
  • comedy
  • animal rights
  • veganism
  • saxophone
  • web design
  • web development
  • guacamole
  • sanshin
  • ux/ui design
  • cavaquinho

Music, Movies, and Books

Music is my favorite artform and the one I consume and produce the most. I probably listen to at least 50 new songs on any given day.

Feel free to ask me more about my love for the following genres:
House (Deep, Soul, Disco, Funky, Afro, World)
Techno (Detroit, Berlin)
Brazilian (Bossa Nova, Samba, MPB)
Disco, Funk, Soul, Jazz.
Indie (Soul, Rock, Folk, Pop)
West African Highlife & Afrobeat
Japanese City-Pop

I DJ as Caravanserai, and post all my recorded DJ sets here:
https://www.mixcloud.com/hicaravanserai/

I make songs as myself, and post tracks I produce on Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/artist/2GMvssokWQlr7xpKhdyCwA?si=qefjd0zOQTSBHnzLgX6E0Q

Movies?
Outside of YouTube for learning stuff, I rarely watch series and prefer movies (I just don’t have time). I mostly love all sorts of documentaries, certain anime films (think Ghibli, Satoshi Kon, Your Name), thought-provoking films or series (think Black Mirror), or stand-up comedy. I'm open to learning about what you like too!

Books?
I read a lot, but dislike buying paper (for environmental and minimalist reasons) so I’m usually staring at a pdf, listening to an audiobook, or reading about world affairs on my phone. I read mostly non-fiction, and it’s usually about optimizing social interactions, personal health, solving social issues, understanding nature and the mind, leftist topics, inspiring biographies, or general history.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

This is a growing list :)

1. Grew up living in an awesome hotel in Mexico. I feel more at home in places where there’s a lot of foreigners and strangers than I ever would in a typical suburban home.

2. Taught myself to play several musical instruments at a "that was actually mildly entertaining!" level. They are the piano, saxophone, ukulele, cavaquinho, sanshin, agogo, darbuka, and pandeiro. Also, DJ’d live at parties in Moscow, Istanbul, and Mexico and looking to do it everywhere else!

3. Went vegan after living on a solar-powered, free-range, grass-fed, organic Dutch dairy farm (quickly learned they’re all bullshit marketing tricks to disguise a horrible industry).

4. Started my city's first all-vegan no-waste restaurant in Mexico at 18 years old (which quickly became the #1 restaurant on TripAdvisor out of +900 restaurants). It ran successfully for 6 years until the pandemic hit, we’ll see if we reopen. If I find time, I'll gladly cook for you!

5. Embarked on a one-year intercultural exchange to the Netherlands (2012-2013), damn best year of my life. If you can, make sure anyone around 15-17 years old hears about AFS and tell them I wholeheartedly reccomend them. They’re life-changing.

6. Participated in a nieuwjaarsduik (jumped into the very cold North Sea after staying awake partying for a good 30 hours) in Scheveningen, the Netherlands. I'm one of the orange hats in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP6DcVy0z8c

7. Moved to NYC on my own measly savings saved enough working at restaurants at least 6 days a week for a year in order to embark on an 18 country couchsurfing world trip. The route: [NEW YORK - HOLLAND - FINLAND - SWEDEN - NORWAY - CZECH REPUBLIC - AUSTRIA - GERMANY - DENMARK - BELGIUM - HOLLAND AGAIN - THAILAND - CAMBODIA - THAILAND AGAIN - VIETNAM - THAILAND AGAIN - VIETNAM AGAIN - LAOS - THAILAND AGAIN - SINGAPORE - PHILIPPINES - SINGAPORE AGAIN - THAILAND AGAIN - NORWAY AGAIN - LATVIA - LITHUANIA - NORWAY AGAIN - NEW YORK]

8. Motorbiked through extremely scenic views in the north of Thailand (Mae Hong Son Loop) and Vietnam (Dong Van Karst Geopark). Both are highlights of Southeast Asia for me, and two of my most cherished life experiences.

9. Participated in the People's Climate March in NYC, the biggest single environmental demonstration to date. Also participated in countless sit-ins, disruptions, marches, etc.

10. Heard one of my favorite bands 'The Whitest Boy Alive' was going to play one last concert after splitting up years ago, I had never seen them in person and thought I never would, so I went for it and got a flight from NYC to Sicily where they were playing at a Greek Castle. It was a dream come true and I would have regretted it forever had I not gone for it! Treating my then-girlfriend to a romantic trip around Italy afterward was genius too. Pro-tip guys, always take your girl to Italy if you can, the carbs and wine work wonders on your relationship.

11. Moved to literally the opposite end of the world to do a full-stack Ruby web-development bootcamp in Kuala Lumpur for 3 months to gain a better understanding of tech.

12. Danced alongside a parade group formed by some of Colombia’s wildest artists for the main parade of the 2nd biggest carnival in the world in Barranquilla!

Ok, I guess I should leave some stories you can unlock by hosting/meeting me. Please feel free to ask me the wildest questions you can think of.

Teach, Learn, Share

One day couch-surfing certainly beats being forced to sit still while being injected with useless or uninteresting biased information for several days a week. Travel is my preferred form of education. I have more in common, and more to learn, from a total stranger offering me a couch to sleep inside their home than they who are teaching me what they are forced to teach to the masses. Couchsurfing is my lifelong university. PLUS IT'S FREE!

PHILOSOPHY COOKIES & ACCIDENTAL MANTRAS
Laugh all the time, except at certain funerals.
All animals want to be happy, safe, and free.
Become someone you’d be excited to meet.
Leave things better than they were before.
Always be more loving and vulnerable.
If I can't even find 10 minutes to pause, breathe, and reflect, I am not in control of my day and should meditate right away.
I am not the body, I am not even the mind.
I belong in all the places I dream of being in while being who I am :)

What I Can Share with Hosts

You'll soon find out I am one of the easiest people to be with and talk with. I decided in 2012 to quit getting unnecessarily angry, worried, or sad from my life and it kinda worked! You'll notice that almost immediately :)

I can share my knowledge, start a party, cook a feast, teach you something random, get you into (fun) adventures, and bring my usual cheerful tranquility.

Countries I’ve Visited

Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Viet Nam

Countries I’ve Lived In

Honduras, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Spain, United States

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