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To repay the hospitality I have encountered on my travels. And to appreciate the variety of cultures that make this world so vibrant.
I'm an American who has been hooked on CouchSurfing since Copenhagen in 2009. I caught the travel bug in 2004 and have been at it ever since. Between long backpacking trips, I try to host and show off the amazing cities I've been fortunate enough to live in.
Leaving behind a cushy IT career, I volunteered on disaster early recovery projects in New Orleans, Haiti, and Indonesia before pursuing a masters in Disaster Management at the University of Copenhagen and Lund University in Sweden. Since 2012 I've mostly been working across Africa in disaster risk reduction and health emergency response.
I'm content with being a malcontent. Get too comfortable in your life, become overconfident in your path, and you stop paying attention. That's when it's time to swim to the riverbank and get out of the current.
I enjoy re-examining my beliefs and changing my mind, and I seek out people that can catalyze this in myself. I treasure my friends. I refuse to hoard treasure. I value family because mine is often useless. I'm flexible and patient, yet I recognize times for bold, decisive action. I am not a stereotype, I am hundreds of them.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
Everyone I've met through this site has left a positive impression. I joined in early 2005 and have been getting more involved as time goes on.
Copenhagen was the first time I had a living situation where I could host, and I welcomed about 40 surfers. Gaborone wasn't much of a tourist destination, but I hosted a few there as well. I've surfed in 12 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. I'm also meeting amazing travelers by joining CS events around the world.
I attended the CS Transylvania WinterCamp 2010-11 and I'll definitely be looking for more camps to join.
travel, of course; international disaster management and risk reduction; global health and emergency response; pool (pocket billiards); snowboarding; baseball; California cuisine; Argentinian and South African wine; baking; yoga; reinventing wheels and questioning the assumptions we take for granted
Music, Movies, and Books
I love films but rarely take the time anymore. Crazy films like Charlie Kaufman / Spike Jonze collaborations are my favorite. I also love film noir reinterpretations like Blade Runner (original and 2049) and Chinatown.
I'm trying to stay into live music and want to see bands in local venues. Indy rock to electronic to blues to pop to jazz. My all-time favorites are Nine Inch Nails, The Walkmen, Everything But the Girl, LCD Soundsystem and Bajofondo. Hosting a Sofar concert in my apartment in Kampala was amazing.
The best books inspire me to see something I thought I already knew in a new way. Over the years, that includes Black Swan (Taleb), Devil in the White City (Larson), Mountains Beyond Mountains (Kidder), and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Eggers).
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I trekked through the Everest region of Nepal with two of my friends in 2005. We walked for 8 days to reach Gokyo Ri and its view of four 8000m peaks, including Everest. The view of Tibet, a glacier, and two of the Gokyo lakes was permanently etched in my brain. In 2015, we went back to Nepal to visit friends and trek the Annapurna circuit.
That 2005 trek was part of a 9-month around-the-world trip that really got me hooked. I've been fortunate enough to visit 69 countries.
Teach, Learn, Share
For anyone interested in disaster early recovery volunteering, please check out All Hands and Hearts (formerly Hands On Disaster Response).
I used to teach pool lessons years ago in Chicago. I'd be happy to share my love for the game.
I've taught a few friends to snowboard, but I haven't had an opportunity to ride since 2016 😭
What I Can Share with Hosts
travel advice for places I know; a night out on the town; an invitation to join my next adventure
I love to share stories, exchanging experiences from our past.
Countries I’ve Visited
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Macao, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Western Sahara
Countries I’ve Lived In
Botswana, Denmark, Liberia, Rwanda, Switzerland, Uganda, United States