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I am a wanderer from the Southern Appalachians, a mountain range in the southeastern US. I grew up spending a lot of time in the mountains, and fell in love with exploring at an early age. The famed long-distance hiking path, the Appalachian Trail, passes through my area, so I spent much of my time in high school hiking and backpacking (multi-day hiking). I have volunteered quite a bit on the Trail with maintenance and construction, and have met some great people from all different walks of life, which inevitably led to wanderlust.
I go to college in Rapid City, adjacent to the beautiful Black Hills, which are as dear to me as my Appalachian highlands. I fell into an amazing group of friends that have become like family to me. We have enjoyed many sorts of adventures together, from road trips and backpacking, to snowshoeing and rock-climbing.
I spent a semester studying in France last year, and had the chance to learn French and travel around Europe. I had an unforgettable time experiencing other ways of life and different worldviews, especially when I hitchhiked from France to Romania with my best friend Zach. I spent last summer on a volunteer engineering project in Bolivia, where I fell in love with the latina culture and humanitarian work.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
My close group of friends and I really fell into CS by accident, but it was really just a natural extension of the way we feel about hospitality. My roommate Erik and I started hosting in our dorm, then we got into surfing later on trips. I'm back in Rapid after over a year away, and will hopefully be able to host despite my heavy classload.
I have used this website to make the friends and connections that are most natural for me, with other travelers or dreamers. As shitty as the website is, and despite the fact that headquarters is becoming corporate, I have met some unbelievable people through it. The past two years have been an amazing adventure, from hosting in my dorm to surfing throughout the US and in Europe. I have surfed with people I have hosted, hosted some multiple times, and even surfed while hosting. I also got involved with a benevolent community of Mennonites on the prairie of Nebraska via a couchsurfer. While studying in Paris, I became very close to a family in Brittany, whose son I hosted in the US. I have also been to some large CS events, including the Chicago couchcrash and the Paris Rendez-Vous.
Exploring wild Nature, usually by foot, is one of my favorite things to do. I am impartial to the mode of visiting the outdoors, though, and love cycling, running, cross-country skiing, rock-climbing and snowshoeing. I'm a bit of a science nerd, particularly the earth sciences, since I study geology here at School of Mines. I also love maps - making them, reading them and collecting them. Traveling is cool, but everyone on this site can agree on that. Unique forms of traveling, such as tour cycling, hitchhiking and walking, are more my cup of tea. I have yet to do a tour by bicycle, though. I am very interesting in less industrial and lower impact ways of living, including gardening and buying local. I am fascinated by learning languages, after hitchhiking across Europe and South America, and making friends with many international students at my university.
Music, Movies, and Books
My favorite music is American and British folk and rock from the 60s and 70s. I particularly enjoy The Beatles, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, John Denver, Simon and Garfunkle, Joan Baez, Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac. I have been getting into more modern music, including Iron and Wine, Of Monsters and Men, Fleet Foxes and The Head and the Heart. I love literature, particularly American classics, but also non-fiction - history and science. Some of my favorite authors are John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, John Muir, Harper Lee and Jack Kerouac. I have been reading some French books since I have returned from France, including Jules Verne, Le Clézio and of course Voltaire. I love hearing about new books and authors that I would enjoy.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I have seen many amazing things, I believe, but generosity and hospitality are some of the most beautiful things I have witnessed. People with little can often offer so much. Call it karma, paying it forward, or anything else, but helping others is truly amazing.
Teach, Learn, Share
I can teach people how to read a map, interpret rocks and plan hikes and trips. I can teach a little bit of cooking (Appalachian, MidWestern or vegetarian), but I would love to learn new recipes and techniques. I would also like to learn more about yoga and meditation, freeganism and shoestring traveling, and sailing. I can share stories from the American wilderness, stories of kindness and hospitality, through CS and so much more. I can tell you historical tales about America, and I am always looking for new stories and histories.
What I Can Share with Hosts
Countries I’ve Visited
Andorra, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
Countries I’ve Lived In
France, United States