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Experience whatever is around me to the greatest extent possible... travel, share music, dance, and live without regrets.
A (not so) mini bio:
After I graduated from Wesleyan University in 2009 with degrees in Music and French Studies, I went home to Virginia and did a real-world production of the musical I'd written for my music major senior project. It was a little nerve-wracking to put all the expenses on my credit card, but we made it back, got a great response and had a lot of fun!
In the fall, I spent 3 months in New Zealand! I got a Holiday Work visa to travel, busk, tramp, WWOOF, dance, be silly, sip NZ beer and wines, and go where the travel took me! I visited three NZ taiko (Japanese drumming) groups. I also did a couple runs with various Hash House Harrier groups (self-described drinking club with a running problem).
Some non-conventional items I packed which will tell you something about my priorities: my favorite fire poi; face paints (I'm a professional face painter back in the states, so this could also be a money maker in a pinch); bachi (taiko drumsticks); an alternative first aid kit with essential oils, arnica, Rescue Remedy, etc.; and a newly purchased pawn shop mandolin. The rest is pretty standard fare.
Then my next adventure was going on tour with Northern Harmony choir in the U.S. and Europe for 4 months! Met lots of hospitable folks and sang in some acoustically amazing churches and schools in the U.K., Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany.
Then I thought I would try living in one place for a while. I moved to Boston, got a job working as customer and tech support for a medical software company (a direct path from degrees in Music and French, right?), and set up a life there while still keeping the traveler's sense of adventure. I made new friends through the Boston Couchsurfing community, played taiko with Odaiko New England, and directed another production of my musical, raising $2700 for an anti-bullying organization. But after a year and a half it was time for more travel!
I travelled all over South America for 4 months, visiting 9 out of 13 countries. I'm now living in my hometown of Charlottesville, VA, then plan to move to New Orleans after the summer. Why? The music is all they say it is, the food is delicious, the architecture is beautiful, and the people are friendly and have a great sense of revelry. What more could you need?
If you can dream it you can do it. Life is a crazy adventure and I truly believe I lead a charmed life with all the places I've been, people I've met, and amazing things I've experienced in my short lifetime.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Being a respectful surfer who shares her culture and ideas and is excited about hearing about those of her hosts. Now that I'm settled again for a bit, I'm really excited to again have the opportunity to pass on all the wonderful CS hospitality I've received while traveling!
I've couchsurfed quite a bit now and had AWESOME experiences. My first stay, in Aix-en-Provence, France, was fantastic; my host Michel, upon finding out I was a vegetarian, brought me to a little fromagerie and got five different kinds of cheese for me to try. In San Juan, one host gave us a detailed history of Puerto Rico and explained her position on the US/PR debate, and another showed us all around San Juan Viejo and took us out for my birthday. In Wellington, NZ, Niv, Deeps, Ursula and Seba became instant friends, and it was great to see them again upon our return to Welli. Actually, so many great CSers in NZ! Traveling the west coast of the North Island with Reade and Hobbes was wonderful, as was exploring Northland and mid-North Island with Hwei Ling, Alex and Jo. Thanks to Helene and family for opening up your kitchen for us to cook Thanksgiving dinner and teaching us how to milk 80 cows. Stephen provided a much-needed relaxing time on his yacht in Nelson, NZ. Bouslam was generous and fun and made our weekend in Spain unforgettable. Michelle, despite having moved to London only a week before, welcomed me in last-minute. And surfers all over South America made all the difference as to whether I enjoyed a city or felt estranged from it. I've had such amazing experiences and met so many wonderful people through CS, I can't wait to meet more!
being engaged in life; finding the beauty in everything; looking for aspects in everyone to connect to; idealism; positivity; music; singing, especially close harmonies; percussion, especially taiko drumming and South Indian vocal percussion; songwriting; travel; fire spinning (poi); theater; the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian culture; becoming a major polyglot; Salsa, contra and other forms of partner dances; percussive dance (tap, Irish step, clogging, flamenco); laughter; silliness
- working visa
- last minute travel
Music, Movies, and Books
A handful for now...
Music: Dar Williams, Abigail Washburn, Ani DiFranco, The Weepies, Baaba Seth, Image, Dispatch, Virginia Gentlemen, Brady Earnhart, Kyo, Hem, The Beatles, Save Ferris, Zap Mama, Tiger Lily, Daara J, and many more.
Genres: pop, folk, bluegrass/oldtime, country, classic rock, Oldies, alternative, a cappella, Balkan, world music, movie soundtracks, jazz, rap in other languages.... pretty much anything other than metal or mainstream rap in large doses
Favorite TV Shows:Who's Line Is It Anyway? (UK), Arrested Development, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Weeds
Favorite Movies:Amelie, Strictly Ballroom, As Good As It Gets, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Requiem For A Dream, Benny & Joon, Moulin Rouge, Shawshank Redemption, Monsoon Wedding, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, American Beauty, Adaptation, The Princess Bride, Across The Universe, Ratatouille!
Favorite Books: Harry Potter (especially #3), Catcher in the Rye, Antigone (Jean Anouille version), Hitchhiker's Guide, L'Etranger, Catch-22
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
The inauguration of Queen Modjaji, the rain queen, in South Africa! Thousand-year-old churches in Europe decked out for the harvest--and what great acoustics! KODO in concert, and then had dinner and an informal demonstration/workshop with them! Sunrise turning Mt. Taranaki pink. And many more. I've been very blessed!
Teach, Learn, Share
I could teach you basic knitting, beginner Irish step dance or salsa, some chords on guitar or piano, beginning poi, some French or Spanish, or a lot of rounds to sing!
I want to learn new poi moves, study with other taiko groups, learn to make cheese and learn more about wine.
Countries I’ve Visited
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, French Guiana, Germany, Guyana, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Virgin Islands, British, Virgin Islands, U.S.
Countries I’ve Lived In
Senegal, United States