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To seek the therapeutic and spiritual values of retreat, not to escape but to find reality.
I grew up and lived in Chengdu during my pre-adult years, a large and metropolitan city located in a fertile plain surrounded by hills and mountain ranges in all directions (known as the Sichuan Basin) in Southeastern China. It's a city renowned for its tasty and spicy food and laid-back lifestyle. It's also a gateway to the Tibetan Plateau, where the visions of astounding landscapes and unique culture lure travelers from around the world. I grew up with delicious food on every street and mountain adventures on my doorsteps, and developed a taste for food and travel.
In high school I took up parliamentary debating, and started to travel extensively around the country and beyond to attend tournaments. That was also when I started traveling around on my own, mostly in Southeast Asia because of cheap prices, bourgenoning backpacker scene and diverse landscapes and cultures. Besides traveling, I love to read eclectically, as the deepest connection with a place is forged not only from standing on its soil but from understanding and empathizing with its past and present. In Chinese there is a proverb that instructs students to "peruse ten thousand volumes of books and travel ten thousand miles" and I think this idea is still very relevant for travelers today.
I am doing my third year of college right now in the US at a small liberal arts college in western Massachusetts. As someone who grew up in a big city, the countryside setting of my college brings me much delight that contrasts with my earlier experiences: I love cycling, hiking and strolling about, appreciating the rolling hills, lush forests and open farms, and the quietness and detachment that I find myself in gives me magical immediacy to the land. I am still fond of huge metropolis on the other hand, as I find beauty in its complexity. The sophisticated human networks in large built environments never cease to be the patron of art, the agglomeration of human ambitions and fragility, the heart of darkness and the center for innovations.
At college I study computer science and history, and I am also very passionate about the cinema, the arts and the literature. I would be very happy to chat about these topics with travelers around the world, since history and arts share so many similarities among different peoples, but each nation also brings something distinct to the table.
This semester I am doing study abroad in Budapest, Hungary, and I hope to meet many travelers and locals here!
"The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark. " -- To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I saw some posts about Couchsurfing on a Chinese social networking site and a friend told me about the idea of couchsurfing, which I found quite appealing. Then I started!
I surfed with surfers from different countries a couple of times in China, Thailand, Singapore, etc.
I hosted a few times but I guess I am not doing enough for my ability to host is limited as a student. I will try to do more as I have more spaces of my own.
I like debating a lot and I often attend debating events in different places to debate, travel and meet people.
I like the freedom and autonomy that I possess when travelling, and I am very open to meeting new people and making friends as well, both of this makes me feel quite different and detached from my daily life.
I like reading about history, cinema, literature and technology. I love seeing films and going to art/indie cinemas.
I just learned to ski this winter in Europe, and I am loving it right now and always try to find new opportunities to ski.
My other big passion is learning languages. I speak the Sichuanese dialect of Mandarin Chinese as a native language with my family and friends from back home and anyone who could understand it (I love people who speak dialects: that's so fascinating and cute), and speak Mandarin Chinese with any one else from the Sinosphere. I spoke English fluently from high school and spoke Spanish quite well at one time during my summer stay in Guatemala (I lost some of it since then but I still speak it!). I have been learning other Romance languages such as French and Italian, and I am trying to learn some Hungarian in Budapest too!
Music, Movies, and Books
Authors: Kazuo Ishiguro, Peter Hessler, J.R.R.Tolkien, Richard Dawkins, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Italo Calvino, Liu Yu, Sanmao, etc.
Films: Blade Runner, The Matrix, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Before Sunset, The Last Emperor, Seven Samurai, Once Upon a Time in America, Gone Girl, etc.
Directors: Wong Kar Wai, Jia Zhangke, Ang Lee, Yasujiro Ozu, Paul Sorrentino, Alfred Hitchcock, Luis Bunuel, Abbas Kiarostami, Stanley Kubrick, etc.
Music: very eclectic in what I listen to but I usually like Jazz, Blues, Classical, etc.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Trekking along an old village strip to explore the old forts and castles scattered around the area in Shanxi,China
Motorbiking on Mae Hong Son Loop and Golden Triangle Loop in Thailand
Motorbiking from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Hiking on the MacLehose Trail in Hong Kong
Hiking a local mountain, straying onto some small dirt path, and found myself on the other side of the mountain unexpectedly!
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Cambodia, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Viet Nam
Countries I’ve Lived In
China, Hungary, United States