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Enjoy life while meeting interesting people in beautiful places along the way.
Some of you know me as Cheri, others call me Bella.
Currently, in Norfolk, Virginia.
I'm a talkative, morning person that volunteers. I am a life-long learner that enjoys animals, board games & plants.
I'm curious about most things in life & tend to get very excited/intense. You'll find me to be resourceful, direct & honest. Non-smoker. Social Drinker. I enjoy good food & mostly cook at home, rather than eating out.
We can chat over WhatsApp, Skype, Messenger or Viber or USA cell.
I arrived Florida 24 March, 2017.
Am currently driving up to Virginia and stopping along the way.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.-Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews, xiii.1
All knowledge is not taught in the same school. One learns from many sources.
Literally "better alone than with bad company".
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision...for tomorrow. - Melody Beattie
Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. ~Benjamin Franklin
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.- Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow- mindedness." (Mark Twain)
"Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you." (author unknown)
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
It is my pleasure to meet people for cultural events, sport, and sightseeing in general. 'Am happy to pet/house sit for fellow Couch Surfers. I enjoy replying to couch surfer inquiries.
'Enjoyed my 1st experience CSing in Slovenia with Daniel & his majestic dog Duke. Mahalo to Big Island hosts: Brent Norris, Dan,Victoria Bliss, Trent & Erin Horttor. Thanks to Tampa host Seb. Mahalo nui loa to Tim on Maui. Thank you John Bohling on Kauai. Enjoyed your company Violet in Florida & Vienna. Sven & Eva are greatly appreciated hosts in Stockholm. Tak Matti. Danke Munich CSers Christian & Laurent on Pariser Str. Cheers Barbara & Alan in New Plymouth, Mike Clist in Auckland & Mike Dickison in Christchurch.Thanks to CS hosts in England: Malc & Jen, Pat Kingsbury, James Hill, Aline & Edgar, Glen & Lyndsey and Waldi Rybinski. Much appreciated Norwegian hosts Line & Rasmus. Grazie Lorella for allowing me to cat sit your loved ones in Italy. Grazie Denis & Giuseppe in Italy. Cheers Wendy in Cronulla, Australia. It has been a pleasure to dog sit in Calgary for Cherie & Kent. Loved staying with 1st Brian then Judi in Sarasota, Florida 2016.
Thanks Mike in Queenstown, New Zealand 2017. Mahalo Mike on Oahu 2017. You are a great Clearwater host Sue. Thanks Ken.
Hosted: Swede Matti in NZ then Kiwi Mike Clist & Norwegian Rasmus in Norway. Loved hosting Theo for a week on Oahu.
Enjoy easy hikes, cliff jumping, snorkeling, SAG-AFTRA, studying, teaching, museums, outdoors, movies & "talking story", art, tennis, volleyball & volunteering.
I have loads of interest!
- board games
- cliff jumping
- ted talks
- making art
- pet sitting
- sand volleyball
Music, Movies, and Books
Really enjoy spending time with a good book. Trilogies are great. Magazines will do in a pinch. Am a sci-fi / fantasy fan. Appreciate 3-D movies. Great to find interesting foreign films but blockbusters are my favorite. I usually listen to National Public Radio. www.Ted Talks.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Just one amazing thing I have seen or done in my lifetime? Back in 1994, I traveled solo around the world for 10 months visiting 12 countries only experiencing summer & spring.
Teach, Learn, Share
The ultimate couch surfer bunk bed that turns into a sofa. http://www.bonbon.co.uk/clei/doc.htm
Compare the cost & convenience of major housesit sites at https://www.housesittingguide.com/house-sitting-sites/
https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/ $8.25/month for year subscription.
www.Helpx.net organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels & sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food & accommodation
http://campinmygarden.com/ lists private gardens as micro-campsites, providing friendly, accessible, quiet, affordable, private & fun.
http://nomadbase.org/ shared living space . A free shared culture of participation in common activities (household & events ) mutual care among inhabitants & visitors. The values of sustainability, sharing & openness.
warmshowers.org (for cyclists)
http://www.hospitalityclub.org/ 1000's of members around the world help each other when traveling - roof for the night or a guided tour through town. Free membership.
http://joomla.servas.org/ build world peace, goodwill & understanding by providing opportunities for personal contacts among people of different cultures, backgrounds & nationalities.
http://www.stay4free.com/ (home exchange) 14 day free trial.
Home exchange (also called home swap) is when 2 families agree to exchange their homes for a period of time. No time limit: it could be for a weekend or 12 months. There is no place limit either: the exchange can be within a country or between different countries.
http://www.globalfreeloaders.com/ bringing people together to offer you free accommodation all over the world.
NOTE: One can camp in Wal-Mart as well as Cracker Barrel restaurants for free 1 night at a time.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 wolves inside us all.
"One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
"The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
“If not us, who? If not now, when?” -
John F. Kennedy
"Accept it, change it, or walk away."
"Look for the pattern."
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. - Frank Outlaw
For Europe only
Listen to professional story tellers:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." -John Wooden.
"Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner." -Lao Tzu
As you may realize, people use CS for different reasons. Many of us that have been members for a while tend to use couch surfing to connect with people either while traveling or hosting where we live. Typically, one offers a night of surfing on the couch or spare bed. Usually conversation over dinner helps people get to know each other better. Fewer hosts offer their couches for 3 or 5 days.
Some people like myself, cannot open their homes to others but choose to show them the area, attend events together, answer their questions & offer advice.
It is general practice to review people's profiles before seeking a couch. The personal message indicating why your host might enjoy your company is then sent. Less common is a CS host simply offering a free place for someone to stay. The typical host is trying to connect to a person.
The reference system helps people learn more about you and also determine trust. The more you interact with people, the more references you collect.
The EVENT page usually offers things to do each week. Group pages may connect people for house swaps, sports, tours, long term housing, and more.
CS could be about getting a "cheaper than hostel" place to stay but for the most part it's about people connecting with each other and their community.
What I Can Share with Hosts
Did I mention I am a storyteller & artist? Besides that, I have made meals, painted rooms & fences, house sat and more. I mailed gift packs from Hawaii to my hosts. I try to find a meaningful gift for guests as well.
Most all of the house sitting sites are actually a combination of pet & house sitting. Many of them allow you a free trial to list what you have to offer or to seek a sit.
This link will help you compare the cost & convenience of the major sites. I have used 3 of the sites so far.
This is the story behind CouchSurfing: The idea got its start when Casey Fenton impulsively booked a flight to Iceland because of a cheap online airfare & then realized that he didn’t know anyone there & had no idea what to do there.
So he found a list of email addresses for students at the University of Iceland in Rejkevik & sent out emails asking if he could crash with them on their couches. He got lots of invitations & had a fantastic weekend with utter strangers.
When he got home, Fenton & 3 friends created a website to try to systematize the idea. The result was “Couchsurfing,” a new way of meeting people while traveling while enjoying free lodging. People register online & provide some information about themselves. They can either offer a place for other registered Couchsurfers to stay, or explore available couches in selected cities. There are many groups & event pages so its not all about sleeping over. The site does not charge anyone for helping arrange the connections. In fact, it expressly forbids hosts from charging their guests (upon penalty of expulsion from the site’s registry).
Call it semi-organized gift exchange. It’s a Web-assisted gift economy for travelers that thrives simply because people are basically good & enjoy meeting strangers from other places as well as locals. Couchsurfers understand that they are not just getting a free bed; there is an implied social contract that they will spend some time eating or drinking or touring the city with the host. Some hosts take visitors to parties or tourist sites, others just meet them for coffee.
Sleeping arrangements vary from a shared bed to a private guest house.
Countries I’ve Visited
Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Australia, Germany, United States