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I'm an American from Scaggsville, Maryland in the DC/Baltimore suburbs.
I left America in November 2014 with just a thousand dollars straight for Israel, spent the Winter '14-'15 there and Palestine and Jordan; Spring '15 I was in Greece visiting relatives; over that Summer I explored the Balkans; in the Fall and Winter Italy, France, and Spain. This past Spring '16 I relaxed on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. I spent this past summer in Montreal, Iceland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and the U.K.
How did I travel so long with so little? Hitchhiking, dumpster diving, and couchsurfing, means transportation, food, and housing are free. Plus I often worked for food and housing like at four different hostels in Israel, Palestine, Albania, and Puerto Rico; cooked for a Greek family on their island; worked at a summer camp in Romania, an organic farm in Romania, babysitting in Barcelona, and this past summer I volunteered at The Jungle refugee camp in Calais, France. Read my blog entry about that here:
And of course I could not have done any of that without busking with my ukulele!
After almost two years of traveling to over twenty countries mostly in Europe, I flew back to America at the end of August to volunteer with the Democrat campaign for Clinton (lesser of two evils) in Raleigh, North Carolina, phone banking and canvassing door to door.
Now I'm sick and tired of traveling, so I'm settling in Berlin.
My hobbies include hiking up to mountaintop sunsets, picking too many blueberries, mountain biking, and smashing the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy from a sex-positive, intersectional feminist perspective.
I love astronomy, paleontology, marine biology -- ANY science! It's amazing! Anthropology, culture, language, and social constructs supply endless fascination. Maps and globes are an obsession of mine, if you have antique old ones please host me and let me stare at them for hours!
The last semester I was in university I camped in the woods instead of living in a dorm
I'm extremely patient, in that I can remain very calm in the tensest of situations. I have an extremely high tolerance for even the worst people: I can deal with shitty people. I'm very culturally tolerant too, and I love learning about new cultures, people, and perspectives.
And for the Carl Jung fans, I've gotten different results each of the three times I've taken the MBT. Consider me an extrovert trapped in an introvert's body. I prefer spending my time one-on-one with meaningful people, so I hate clubbing and loud parties.
I'm only including this section to show that I was a member of couchsurfing long ago when we had these sections :P
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
Learning a culture from the locals, sharing each other's hospitality, making friends, and appreciating the spontaneous experiences that can only happen with unplanned wandering from couch to couch. If you want to stay with me then please explain to me in your first message why the capitalist white supremacist patriarchy sucks and why you hate it, otherwise you won't be entering my home. Secondly, I would much rather sit and have a conversation with someone about their culture than wander alone into state approved museums and corporate gift shops. Let's share our souls and minds to bring humanity closer.
Why? They are non-profit all volunteer versions of CouchSurfing, like what CouchSurfing used to be before it became a shadow of its former self. See this for the history and downfall of CouchSurfing:
I'm also on WarmShowers, a couchsurfing site for bikers.
The sand between my toes, the night sky in the winter, the grass under my head, the thoughts in my mind.
Consider that a poetic way of responding with "everything."
What doesn't grab my attention??? Seriously, I love everything. If I had to choose: the outdoors, trail running, mountain biking, swimming, the ocean, anything to do with the water. I love mountains and mountain climbing. Once I climb to the top of a mountain, I could stare out in the distance for hours and not be bored. SPACE! I love star gazing.
Need me to be more specific? The interactions between cognition and culture, how perspectives are mediated by our environment, and the psychologies that come out of this. I'm increasingly interested in post-modernism. Oh, right. Specificity. Umm... alienation and community, anarchism, critical pedagogy, digital anthropology, and how the internet and new technologies change the way we think, interact, empathize, communicate -- everything. Formerly I was all about the STEM fields, especially astrophysics, but college thankfully pried open my mind to what else is out there.
Other than that my life is a constant daydream, weaving stories together whenever I'm bored.
- working out
- outdoor activities
- trail running
Music, Movies, and Books
Noam Chomsky is at the top of my bookshelf. And Franz Kafka! Metamorphosis pales in comparison to his novels, you've gotta read The Trial for a real heavy dose of existence. Pedagogy of the Oppressed, everything Douglas Adams, Calvin and Hobbes, Animorphs, Watership Down, The Giving Tree, A Wrinkle in Time, The Little Prince, Dracula, Skippy Dies, The Book Thief, Holes, Stargirl, Amusing Ourselves to Death, A Brief History of Time, and The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures... I don't like listing favorite books because there's soooo many more books out there that I will probably love more than the ones I've read before, thousands of titles yet to be discovered, so why should I think these are my favorite?
There's too many movies I haven't seen, I'm quite deprived. Anyways, I've enjoyed Harold and Maude, Wes Anderson's works, Love Actually, Brothers Quay films are über trippy, Safety Not Guaranteed, Dragon Heart, August Rush, Pan's Labyrinth, Kinsey, The Princess Bride, Good Will Hunting, Fight Club, Short Bus (I *need* to find someone else who's seen this), Almost Famous, and way more that I'm forgetting. I gushed over Toy Story 3 -- I cried several times. Lately I'm more into indie flicks.
Bill Nye the Science Guy? Ok, look, I don't really watch tv. Not out of arrogance as if I think books are better (which is kinda truuuee) but mostly since electronic media is rediculously addictive and I already waste away my life on reddit, which is more than enough. Oh yeah, not having a tv or a computer for over two years also makes it difficult.
I love all kinds of music yet it doesn't mean as much to me as it does for most other people: I prefer silence more often than not. Music is too distracting for my ADHD/LD brain to focus. When I do get my groove on I prefer variety -- indie to celtic to punk to a cappella to alt-rock to ska to acoustic to the most avant-garde sounds you can think of. Some names I like: Regina Spektor, The Jezabels, Amanda Palmer, Björk, and The XX, and I've recently come to terms with myself that I'm a fan of pop-Indie. Oh and though I almost never go see live music I can still appreciate even the most shitty musicians -- it's the people that matter.
Parsnips, pecans, persimmons, pimento stuffed green olives, and anything pumpkin flavored particularly appease my palate. Food I don't like doesn't exist. Given the opportunity to try something new I will seize it, even if it's svið (boiled sheep's head, an Icelandic delicacy). -- and after having that in my profile for many years I finally went to Iceland and tried it!
Above all, I like being creative, making my own art. I'm not that great, but I like piano, writing, and simply being creative.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I backpacked in the Amazon Rainforest for three weeks with the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Teach, Learn, Share
I was on swim teams my whole life and I've since become a swim team coach. I can teach you all about how to swim properly, the butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, or freestyle (front crawl), and everything to do with competitive swimming.
I went to a college solely for students with ADHD and learning disabilities, like dyslexia, Asperger's, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, OCD, and more. I've studied mainly in the fields of psychology and education. I know more about this field than most special educators.
My Mom is Reconstructionist Jewish and my Dad is Greek Orthodox Christian and I was raised Jewish, so I can tell you all about Jewish culture. Although I'm an atheist now I'm still curious about religion from a cultural perspective.
I'm learning ukulele so I can teach you the basics but if you're an expert I would love to learn from you. I keep it with me almost all the time and play music on the streets with it, busking to support my travels.
I love learning about everything! Seriously, there isn't anything I don't want to know. But if I had to choose see my interests above, I want to study more sociology and social change, justice, and movement building.
Honestly though, I love stories. Tell me your story and I'm happy.
What I Can Share with Hosts
I have plenty of stories to share of my travels from getting drunk with Serbian war veterans to getting tear gassed by the IDF at a Palestinian demonstration against the apartheid wall.
I can teach you how to swim, and swim fast, give tips on exercise and working out, or even be your work out buddy!
I can tell you a lot about the environment, global warming, and anything to do with climate change, as I do a lot of climate activism.
I'm athletic and can help out around the house with physically demanding labor, or pretty much anything else.
Countries I’ve Visited
Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Macedonia, Netherlands, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In