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I discovered couchsurfing while travelling in Austria and I started hosting and took part in the CS events in Manchester for a few years. I moved to Taipei in May 2015 after a few years in Hong Kong. The comments in the references should give you an idea of my interests. I read a lot, play music, like the outdoors, like to travel and hear stories. I enjoy surfing and hosting because of the people I meet on this site: eclectic, open-minded, humorous, generous and spirited.
The map is not the territory
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Hosting, surfing, social events.
So far, it's all good.
Writing, reading, mountains, music, politics, science, cracking bad puns, gazing deep into my navel and wondering about deeply pointless questions, trying foreign foods, wandering around remote villages with a silly grin on my face and pronouncing local words badly, eating and drinking with friends
Music, Movies, and Books
Books: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Mitchell, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, Soseki Natsume, David Foster Wallace
Movies: Being John Malkovitch, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Music: Death Cab for Cutie, Ryan Adams, Jeff Buckey, Flaming Lips, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Sigur Ros, AC/DC, Dixie Chicks, The Verve, Sparklehorse, Radiohead, Bat for Lashes, Tizzy Bac, Deco*27, Alison Krauss, Cherry Ghost, Elbow
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Summit of Stok Khangri, August 2007. Felt like I was halfway into orbit.
Teach, Learn, Share
Selected travel tips:
1) When in the Philippines, smile at strangers. Not easy for English people to get the hang of, this one, but trust me, you will put people much more at ease immediately. Try it when you get home too, although in London it delivers mixed results.
2) If you want to get really off the beaten track try the Pangi Valley in India. It's in the Himalayas. Only accessible in the summer via the worst bus journey ever, but worth it.
3) Taiwan. Go there. My favourite modern Asian country.
4) Singapore: I lived there for 5 years. Avoid the night safari, zoo, bird park and sentosa. Go to Katong or Geylang or Changi village and eat. (Eat, lah!) Try local style coffee. It is called Kopi. Go to Arab Street and drink Teh Tarik. Try roti prata. If you haven't eaten roti prata, you haven't been to singapore. Best eaten at 4am after a long night drinking.
5) Morocco: sometimes it actually rains in the Sahara. Be aware of this surprising fact.
6) Five volcanoes: (i) Gunung Rinjani. Otherworldly, spectacular, amazingly beautiful, with a lost world and hot springs in the massive crater. A total b**ch to climb. Your legs will hurt. (ii) Gunung Merapi in West Sumatra. Fabulous sunrise. Moonscape on top belching sulphur from great gaping holes. Do not hire Heri from Lake Maninjau as a guide. He is rubbish. (iii) Mt Talinis is an extinct volcano in southern Negros, Philippines, near Dumaguete. Getting to the top requires worming your way through thick jungle. Sit on the branches of the huge pine trees growing on the top. (iv) Kilaueau, Big Island, Hawaii. If you're lazy, you can drive round the rim of the crater then go see where the cooled lava has wiped out a road. Road signs are still sticking out of it. (v) Mt Mayon, Bohol, Philippines. One of the reasons I have to go back to the Philippines is to climb this. The most spectacular and perfect crater I have ever seen. Best viewed from the Whale-shark-spotting boats at Donsol, rising in the distance with a trail of smoke drifting from the top.
I'll add more stuff as it occurs to me.
Countries I’ve Visited
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Laos, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam, Zambia
Countries I’ve Lived In
China, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States, Zimbabwe