Birmingham, AL, United States
94% response rate · Last login 2 days ago
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Possible. Very Possible.
Feel free to read the rest of my profile to form your opinion. Let it be known that I am always partial to phone calls over texts for communicating.
Always a work in progress. I hope to never, ever, stop learning. One thing that's important - Don't do anything to others that you wouldn't want them to do to you. A notable distinction from the Golden Rule, and one that makes more sense.
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I preach the couchsurfing gospel whenever I have a chance. Plus I'm a City Ambassador for Birmingham, and host/surf couches. I'd say that counts as participation. Do I get a a medal?
- In Amsterdam on a young lady's couch while my buddy and her were loudly shagging with nary a wall between the two rooms (before CS, but it counts) - I hosted world traveler & CS Administrator Jim Stone along with his famous inflatable red couch in late June '05. - In Sao Paulo with Thiago as a tour guide and his friend Beto as the host - very giving, friendly, laid-back people. My first surfing experience & in Brazil no less when CS was much newer & less tested. - In Japan w/ a few different hosts such as Eric Mandala who knows Kyoto inside and out; and Shane, a crazy Aussie bloke in Osaka. - Hosted numerous wonderful people from all over; check the references below! - Surfed & used mass transit on 5 different continents. Only Australia & Antarctica to go. - No matter where you are on the planet, there's a certain openness & generosity to Couchsurfers everywhere.
TRAVEL! Getting the hell out of here - wherever 'here' may be! Craft Beer & Microbrews - I'm definitely a beer connoisseur/geek/snob. Environmental Activism, Outdoor Activities such as mountain/road biking, hiking, climbing, skydiving, parasailing, hang gliding, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving (advanced open water certified), many more & especially those I haven't tried yet. Sports - particularly basketball, soccer, football, ultimate disc, and anything fun & challenging. Reading, staying informed on current events/politics, being an English & grammar nazi! Meeting you - whomever you are. Being a cynically optimistic smartass, cartoons, changing this planet for the better. Wasting too much time on the internet, Ugh! Snakes - coolest animals ever. More of a Cat person, but dogs are ok too. All animals have some inherent worth & should be treated in such a manner.
Oh, and not expiring from this planet anytime soon!
Movies - Comedies, action, thrillers, maybe a little romance. I don't watch a whole lot of films.
Music - All kinds! Too much to list. A small sample - electronica, hip-hop, indie rock, psychedelic, punk, acid jazz, lounge, jam bands, classic rock, classical, outlaw country, speed metal, bluegrass, world, Brazilian, reggae, calypso, merengue, oldies, folk/Americana, singer-songwriter, swing/big band, blues....I can appreciate nearly every kind of music.
Books - Most of what I've read I like, and I wish I had more time to read materials beyond newspapers & magazines. Last full book read was The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, which was terrific.
- While in Costa Rica - I got to see baby leatherback sea turtles making their way to the Caribbean for the first time ever. It's VERY rare to witness this. Even my two biology professors had never seen it in all their 20-something combined years of visiting Costa Rica. Plus there was just an INCREDIBLE sunset immediately following this as my Rainforest Ecology class walked along the beach back toward our lodge; it just made for the most spectacular ending to a wonderful trip. May 2003
- Watched the sun rise with fellow CSers Michelle, Chris D, & traveling companions over the world's largest religious temple, Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Dec. 2007
- Skydived twice from a perfectly good airplane and lived to tell about it. San Antonio, TX, Spring 1996.
- Hiked about 3 miles from a pub back to our hostel with friend & fellow CSer Chris Angel plus a few others, around 4 am in Rome without being assaulted or mugged. June 2006
- Traveled down the Amazon river in a medical boat delivering needed care, education, & triage to impoverished villages and witnessed the vitality and joy of the children in spite of the sometimes putrid public health conditions. May 2005
- Played in the wondrous red & white sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam. Got lots of sand in my undies. Dec. 2007
- Wandered the dark, rainy streets of Amsterdam while completely lost with fried & fellow CSer Chris Dang. Dec. 2003
- Mountain biked in the 114 degree heat of Tuscon, AZ before nearly collapsing of dehydration. July 2005
- Sat in the cockpit of an AWACS E-3 jet while it was being refueled midair over the Mississippi delta & Gulf Coast by a KC-135. USAF, Spring 1999.
- Been the subject of a front-page story & photo on Couchsurfing along with CSer Tim from Wisconsin. This appeared in Alabama's largest publication The Birmingham News, May 2008.
- "Starred" in a TV commercial for my alma mater's football team, Fall 2003. Still have the DVD for proof!
- Swam right next to a hawksbill sea turtle while scuba diving in the Philippines, Nov. 2009.
- Watched 3 matches live including the 3rd place match during the World Cup in South Africa. Sandboarded near Cape Town. Mini-Safari north of Johannesburg. Bungee jumped between 2 cooling towers, Soweto. Summer 2010.
- Got open water scuba certified in Port Elizabeth, S.A, Summer 2010.
- Dived in a WWII wreck in Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia. March 2011. Advanced Open Water certification in Puerto Galera, Philippines, Nov. 2011
- Rang in the New Year amongst the elbow-to-elbow packed streets & debauchery of Key West, FL - Jan. 2011.
- Ran a badass 5k obstacle race known as the Warrior Dash. Mountain City, GA - May 2010 & 2011; Manchester, TN - Sept. 2011; Warrior, AL - Oct. 2012; probably more in the future...
-Scuba dived among 6-ft. long reef sharks off the coast of Freeport, Bahamas. Sept. 2013.
-Biked a 3,000+ ft elevation gain from downtown Casper, WY to the summit of Casper Mtn, which is over 8,000 ft. high. On a mountain bike, and mostly via roads, which is made it much slower than going via skinny tire road bike. Very exhausting! July 2014.
- Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with 3 friends, reached the summit shortly after sunrise. Went on a 5-day safari in Tanzania afterward. Dec. 2014.
- Been a part of this amazing project known as Couchsurfing, as a surfer, host, and ambassador! May 2005-current
Some advice for potential surfers -
ALWAYS address your initial request to any potential host by his/her/their profile name or real name, nothing generic like 'fellow couchsurfer' or 'What's up' or 'Hey you'. I realize that you may try the shotgun approach and search for as many possible hosts as you can find, but adding that personal touch by including the host's name or a comment regarding his/her profile is very important.
Along those lines, let your potential hosts know ASAP when you've found another host and won't be staying in their homes. They may have rearranged their schedules in anticipation of your arrival and it's a courtesy to keep them informed.
Also, please realize that the host is already going out of his/her way to accommodate you by agreeing to harbor you for a night or more. So please be as little trouble as possible, be flexible, and go with the flow. Understand that the host can only do so much to entertain you. It definitely doesn't hurt to pick up the host's tab for a meal or drinks at a bar, as a small token of appreciation. You're under no expectation to do this (for me or any host), it's only a bonus.
For potential hosts -
Do as much as reasonably prudent to accommodate your surfer. It's not a bad idea to have a few vittles & beverages stocked, but you're not expected to prepare a 5-course meal. Have some local maps & free brochures stocked for your guests to find their way around town. Adjust the thermostat slightly if it will make your guests feel comfortable - especially if only for a couple days. Remember how it felt when you were traveling in an unfamiliar area and how refreshing it was when a couchsurfer helped you. Even the smallest things can make a big difference.
This is simply some food for thought. My advice on how to request a couch: (This was written long before the current system was implemented, but the general principles still apply)
What would you like to know?
Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Republic of, Thailand, Viet Nam, Virgin Islands, U.S.
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