Valerie Gilson's Photo

Verified Profile

  • Payment verified
  • Phone verified
  • Government ID verified
  • Address Verified

Wants to Meet Up

  • Last login about 5 hours ago

Join Couchsurfing to see Valerie’s full profile.

Overview

  • 36 references 26 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English; learning Spanish
  • 61, Female
  • Member since 2007
  • retired
  • Associate's degree
  • No hometown listed
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

CURRENT MISSION

To find more joy in people, relationships and experiences and less desire for material stuff.

ABOUT ME

I take refuge in music, cats, leisurely bicycle rides and walking. I am compassionate, active, and love being out in nature, especially the woods. I am not thin, athletic, or vegetarian; perhaps I'll get there eventually. People are usually at ease with me and I like that. I believe in PEACEFUL living, and am humbled by people who are kinder than I am. War and killing scare the shit out of me. I love to travel and have explored some parts of Europe, but I find the North American continent beautiful and fulfilling. I'm enjoying the freedom of retirement. I don't get what's wrong with gray hair; if you know, please tell me. I am incredibly lucky to be married to a wonderful, skilled, compassionate and intelligent husband and live in a comfortable home. In keeping with the trust and safety measures of Couchsurfing, I am verified through payment, address, phone and government I.D. and I hope you are, too. I feel quite strongly about people who are cruel to animals, and I hold people who adopt and rescue pets in very high esteem. Learning a new skill is a euphoric experience for me; teach me something and I'll teach you something back. Then we'll both be delighted.

PHILOSOPHY

Nietzsche said: "Those who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." This translates to me as, "Those who are couchsurfing are thought to be crazy by those who could never trust a stranger."
The most rewarding part of travel (and of life in general) for me is not the places I have gone or things I have seen, it's the PEOPLE I have met and conversed with and the experience I had with them.
-I believe in the power of practicing random acts of kindness.
-Be compassionate. Be nice. Don't be afraid to try it, whatever it is.
-Listening is far more rewarding than talking and requires much more discipline.
-My small contribution to world peace is being peaceful.
-I'll be open to new experiences till the day I die.

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life:
music and cats."
-Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

I am one of the co-organizers of all three the ConnectiCOUCH Crashes in 2016, 2018 and 2021. I attend CS meetups around the state when I can, to help unify and build a stronger CT CS community. In addition to hosting travelers in my home, I travel and stay with other couchsurfers in their homes to learn about them, their culture and the place where they live. I spread the word to anyone I can about the mind-opening, peace-building, life-changing power of couchsurfing.

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

I have hosted and surfed about equally thus far and love both sides of the couchsurfing experience! Over the years, before couchsurfing, I have opened my home to travelers and strangers and always found it immensely rewarding. I've had several AMAZING experiences where people have been hospitable to me and now it will only get better! I'll tell you all about it when we meet. I especially enjoy hosting creative folks; photographers, writers, craftspeople, puppeteers, poets, storytellers, filmmakers. All are welcome.

Interests

I love looking at and creating stained glass windows, tasting wine, weaving baskets, walking through a city and observing local architecture, collecting interesting rocks, vegetarian and ethnic cooking, listening to music and quilting. I enjoy traveling alone and meeting interesting people. I love preparing and eating good food, hiking in the woods, leisurely bicycle rides and listening to cats purr.

  • animals
  • cats
  • culture
  • architecture
  • dining
  • cooking
  • wine
  • vegetarian
  • meditation
  • walking
  • traveling
  • music
  • hiking
  • urban exploration
  • bicycling
  • makerspaces

Music, Movies, and Books

Books: The Color of Law, Becoming, Where the Crawdads Sing, Moonlight Mile, The Kite Runner, No One Would Listen, The Lion, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Left to Tell, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Without Reservation, and anything by Bill Bryson, Jimmy Buffett, David Sideris.
Music: rhythm and blues, classic rock, cajun/zydeco, jazz. Have a pretty good size music library.
Movies: I watch them, enjoy them, and almost immediately forget them.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Rescued by a hot air balloon when I was surrounded by mean hungry dogs in Albuquerque New Mexico. It was the beginning of 16 years of incredibly fun ballooning.

Teach, Learn, Share

I can teach you how to work with stained glass, weave a basket, make vegetarian sushi, cut glass, and breathe well. I'll turn you on to some good music and introduce you to smart and talented artists and makers in my makerspace community. I can tell you about some awe-inspiring slot canyons. I'd love to learn where to go (and maybe not go) around LA, Costa Rica and Italy. Where are you from? Teach me about your country, your city, your customs and your food!

What I Can Share with Hosts

If you are kind enough to host me, I can help you out with some housechores, cook you a delicious meal, and spend as much or as little time in your company as you wish. I'm happy to engage in civil conversation about all manner of things, especially about Couchsurfing itself. I can teach you about what I do for a living, meditate with you, or explain a few of the ins-and-outs of bicycling in Manhattan. I can offer my host a memorable couchsurfing experience by being open to almost anything and being a quiet, neat, trustworthy and low-maintenance houseguest.

Countries I’ve Visited

Bahamas, Canada, France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland

Countries I’ve Lived In

United States

Old School Badges

  • Vouches
    6 Vouches
  • Pioneer
    Pioneer Badge

Join Couchsurfing to see Valerie’s full profile.

My Groups