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Update: From September 2016 to August 2017, I'll be living in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, studying Russian. I'm hoping to travel around a bit while I'm over there, Couchsurfing along the way. I'm also hoping to host some Couchsurfers in Bishkek. Even if I can't host you, I would love to meet you and show you around. Feel free to send me a message if you're in Central Asia and want to meet.
Hey friends! I'm Chris, I'm originally from California, but the last few years I've been traveling around a bit, living / working / studying in Southeast Asia and Washington, DC. I'm trying to travel a bit before things get too crazy. I absolutely love travel and learn about the world (Its a great place, isn't it?). I want to end up doing work overseas in the future. In my free time I love to socialize and meet people, and talk about politics. If you're looking for somebody to have a political debate with, you've found the right guy. Even if I don't know anything about your country's politics, I'd love to learn about it.
I like to cook and would be happy to cook something for you. It's a goal of mine to always improve my cooking skills. If you feel you can teach me anything about food or cooking, I'd love to hear it. I'm always open to new foods. I've tried balut in Cambodia, Kopi lawak in Vietnam, grasshoppers in Mexico, and frogs' legs in the Philippines. I'm always looking to add more to that list. I absolutely love spicy foods. Indian and Thai food are great. I'm a huge fan of Italian food as well.
I'm really into beer. I love darker beers and anything with a strong flavor. Belgian doubles and triples are great, and IPAs never fail to satisfy. Stouts and Porters are also always a treat. I'd love to have a beer with anybody who has the time.
I'd also love to show you around Berkeley and San Francisco or Paris, wherever I happen to be.
People are good, and life boils down to nothing more than that. Everybody has something to offer to the world. Everybody has a story to tell. I would love to meet as many people as I can. The world's a big place, but its surprising how interconnected people are. Once we take the time to step away from the pseudo-stress of day-to-day life and realize that we're surrounded by incredible friends and family and that those individuals are the ones that we live for, its an amazing feeling. Through online communities like Couch surfing combined with local scenes, bars, pubs, schools, and other organizations, people have transformed society from a chaotic and ugly jungle of egotistical and lonely monsters into a family. Looking at the planet, I can't help but echo the age-old Disneyland song "It's a small world, after all."
Quote from an anonymous small child:
"When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said "happy". They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life."
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Every experience I've had with CS has left me with a new wonderful friend that I have kept in touch with to this day. I've been a host before to a number of people visiting California and met with people to show them around, even if they didn't stay with me. I've also surfed while I was traveling.
It's been amazing meeting so many awesome people. I'm really impressed with the CS project.
My Hosting Experience:
Aaron from San Diego, CA
Dab from Los Angeles, CA
Huseyin from Ankara, Turkey
Pablo from Belgium/Spain
Niek from Huizen, Holland
Amandine from Bordeaux, France
Sam from Wichita Falls, Texas
Anthony from Boston, MA
Camille, Charlotte, and Anais from Lille, France
John from London, UK
Martina and Julia from Cologne, Germany
Julia from Munich, Germany
AJ from Chicago, Illinois
Steven from London/Shanghai (my host in London)
Bisae from Seoul, Korea
Cameron from Adelaide, Australia
Lorenzo and Luca from Arco, Italy
Marcin from Lublin, Poland
Yu Ya from Yangon, Myanmar (my host in Yangon)
Alex from New Jersey, USA
Anna from Germany (my host in Naryn)
My surfing Experience
Steven in London, UK
Alenka in Zagreb, Croatia
Amela in Jajce, Bosnia
Romain in Bordeaux, France
Filip in Antwerp, Belgium
Ana in Ilpendam, The Netherlands
Rasa in Riga, Latvia
Violeta in Vilnius, Lithuania
Paulina in Warsaw, Poland
Kasia in Lublin, Poland
Ania in Poznan, Poland
Petra in Dresden, Germany
Honza in Praha, Czech
Vlad and Tatiana in Plzen, Czech
Patrick in Munchen, Germany
Michaela in Ivancice, Czech
Dave in Brno, Czech
Jolanta in Krakow, Poland
Agnes and Dani in Budapest, Hungary
Sienna in Richmond, Virginia, USA
Valentyn in Kiev, Ukraine
Jola in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
Alina in Sevastopol, Ukraine
Anna in Donetsk, Ukraine
Alice in Kharkov, Ukraine
Ratum in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
Sinan in Odessa, Ukraine
Gerhard in Chisinau, Moldova
Mihai in Iasi, Romania
Dimitir in Bucharest, Romania
Frank in Sofia, Bulgaria
Iva and Alexandra in Kyustendil, Bulgaria
Sophoklis in Athens, Greece
Stratos in Ioannina, Greece
Ivica in Ohrid, Macedonia
Kris in Skopje, Macedonia
Drew in Prishtina, Kosovo
Slobo in Podgorica, Montenegro
Vesna in Uzice, Serbia
Tijana in Belgrade, Serbia
Uros in Novi Sad, Serbia
Balazs in Szeged, Hungary
Michal and Adriana in Kosice, Slovakia
Arek in Rzeszow, Poland
Leonid in Lviv, Ukraine
Andres in Heredia, Costa Rica
Denis in Managua, Nicaragua
Halim in Borobudur, Indonesia
Jay in Gianyar (Bali), Indonesia
AJ in Cheras, Malaysia
Sarah in Pai, Thailand
Toonie in Chaweng (Ko Samui), Thailand
Porsche in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Wish in Bangkok, Thailand
Haerul in Gambang, Malaysia
Muk in Batu Caves, Malaysia
Raihan in Rawang, Malaysia
Ken in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Dansgard in Medan, Indonesia
Andre in Padang, Indonesia
Eggi in Bandung, Indonesia
Jar in Jakarta, Indonesia
James in Manila, Philippines
Mark in Angeles, Philippines
Lez in Puerto Galera, Philippines
Mike in Makati, Philippines
Prem in Bangkok, Thailand
Yu Ya in Yangon, Myanmar
Cinthia in Puebla, México
Rodrigo in Cancún, México
Edd in Playa del Carmen, México
Angel in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Don in Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Tim in Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Lisa in Burlington, Vermont, USA
Yohan in Montreal, Canada
Anna in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
Aliya in Shymkent, Kazakhstan
Daniel in Almaty, Kazakhstan
Nurjan in Talas, Kyrgyzstan
Aizhamal in Kara Bolta, Kyrgyzstan
Muminakhon in Khujand, Tajikistan
Begi in Osh, Kyrgyzstan
Olga in Minsk, Belarus
Aisuluu in Balykchy, Kyrgyzstan
Ben in Astana, Kazakhstan
Mackenzie in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Couchsurfers I've met for coffee or a drink:
Fejir in Istanbul, Turkey
Pamela in Zagreb, Croatia
Nina (From Croatia) in Vilnius, Lithuania
Anita in Budapest, Hungary
Aida in Sarajevo, Bosnia
Zala from Berlin, Germany
Irene from Palo Alto, California
Amy from Bangkok, Thailand
Alex in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
Dmytrii in Kharkov, Ukraine
Chris in Athens, Greece
Zaenal in Medan, Indonesia
Fitch in Guangzhou, China
To sum things up, I've couchsurfed with around 80 hosts in 36 countries. I spent my 23rd birthday couchsurfing, and my host made me a cake; a few months later, I ran into somebody I had met that night on the other side of the country. I've been interviewed on a Polish radio station about my couchsurfing experiences. Couchsurfing has lead me to some cool people and helped me do some awesome things. I'm looking forward to what awaits in the future.
I'm really interested in anything having to do with geography. I love learning about new places. I love maps. If you bring me a map of where you're from (like a subway map or a map of touristy places), I'll hang it up on my wall and give you a big hug.
It's always fun meeting people from all over the world and sharing experiences and stories.
I love learning about cuisines from around the world and trying new food. Eating food is always a satisfying way to learn about a new culture.
I'm also really interested in different languages. I speak a bit of Spanish and French, and have recently started trying to learn Russian. If you speak any of these languages, let me know. Podemos hablar en espanol tambien! If you could teach me a few phrases in your native language, that would be awesome.
- italian food
- pub crawls
- political science
Music, Movies, and Books
I have many different interests when it comes to music. Classic rock like Creedence Clearwater Revival and Pink Floyd are incredible. I also love new electronic music. Dubstep is fun. Skrillex and Nero are great.
When it comes to books, I used to be a huge Stephen King fan, but lately I've been a lot more into non-fiction. I figure the real world is exciting and entertaining enough, so why would we need a fictional world to keep us happy?
I don't watch TV. I think that life itself is much more exciting than any TV show (plus, the graphics are better and there are no commercials). I watch movies occasionally. Some of my favorites are Crash, Little Miss Sunshine, and No Country for Old Men. Basically, anything that makes it to the Academy Awards is pretty satisfying.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I think what is more important than what I've seen or done is who I've met. When traveling, I've been to the museums, done the tours, and bought the t-shirts. The part of the trip that has the largest lasting impact on me is not that, but the people I've become friends with. When I missed the last bus to where I was heading in Costa Rica, I spent the rest of the night partying on the beach with a guy that helped me out that night. I've hitch-hiked around 3,000 miles / 4,800 km through 11 countries, and met some really awesome people along the way.
Teach, Learn, Share
During the semester, I'm a student at a university. But that really doesn't matter. The place where the majority of learning takes place is not in the classroom, but in going out and about and engaging in other people. A drunk conversation in a pub leaves a greater impact on me than an article in a prestigious journal. Couch surfing offers a much better educational experience than what any conventional school can offer.
If I stay with you, or if you stay with me, I want you to teach me something. How do I count to ten in your native language? How do I cook your favorite dish? What are your opinions on politics? What's your favorite beer? Share a great story with me. Where was your craziest night? I want to hear all about you and your travels. In return, I'll teach you something as well. I'll cook for you and tell you about where I've gone and what I've done.
What I Can Share with Hosts
I can share stories about the world. I can talk to you about Hitchhiking in Eastern Europe or about backpacking Southeast Asia or about partying in Thailand. I can give you advice about traveling to countries I've been to or about living abroad long term. I can tell you about life in the US
I can also cook a meal for you. I love making pasta, like a baked Ziti or fettuccini al Fredi, or an American style brunch, with eggs Benedict and crispy bacon. I also enjoy mixing clasy cocktails and trying new drinks.
Two of my Couchsurfing hosts have come to Couchsurf with me in the U.S., and the offer is always open for anyone else to do the same.
Countries I’ve Visited
Albania, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Kosovo, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vatican City State, Viet Nam
Countries I’ve Lived In
France, Malaysia, Ukraine, United States