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To photograph lightning
By trade I am a microbiologist. I have always been a science nerd and can talk about infectious diseases and immunology, bacteria, and viruses for hours (to anyone willing to listen), but sometimes "the day job" can be about as exciting as making a sandwich so I try to get out and enjoy the fresh air as much as possible....camping, hiking, paddling, swimming, exploring, cooking and baking (especially in the slow-cooker), road trips and meeting memorable characters along the way, getting up in the dark to photograph sunrise, biking across town, biking across borders, collecting rare books, reading maps, reading profound classic literature or reading five-and-dime store thrillers, making short movies, inventing games, writing poems, coming up with ideas, bringing people together, laughing...
In the summer of 2012, after years of extensive travel throughout the US and Canada and suddenly feeling rather stagnant in life, I resigned from my day job of 10 years at the hospital, closed the books on my landscape photography business, sold everything I owned, said my goodbyes to family and friends, and set off into the unknown with a one-way ticket to Iceland. My intent was to ultimately land in Southeast Asia and teach English indefinitely. Of course, I never made it there, but instead, after a series of bizarre events, ended up by chance in Munich, Germany working as a microbiologist again! I spent almost 5 years overseas and returned to USA (Buffalo) in 2017. I have since moved to Erie, PA in 2020 for another job but I feel my life is about to take another strange turn like it did in 2012, as I have some ideas for creative projects I would like to bring to fruition...
**Update Feb 2022: Moved to Ocean City, NJ!
** Update Jun 2022: Back to Erie for the summer after a four-month work assignment in Ocean City!
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Used to be a quite active in Europe, where I started the Munich kickball and Munich Explorers Clubs (which have since moved to other platforms).
I have surfed (probably in 20+ different countries) and hosted a lot, and having the opportunity to meet fantastic people from all over the world has been a life changing experience for me.
Snakes and Lattes - Bloor St., Toronto, Canada. Over 1,500 board games available to play there...this place is totally insane!!
- board games
- road trips
Music, Movies, and Books
Movies - The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Back to the Future!
Books - Arrowsmith (Sinclair Lewis), East Of Eden (John Steinbeck), The Octopus (Frank Norris), The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho), Native Son (Richard Wright), Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas), The Open Boat by Stephen Crane, everything by Jules Verne, any book on the history of polar exploration, and the list goes on...oh, and the Dictionary
Music - lots (anything from classic rock to 80s/90s country); Song - totally mood dependent, but one favorite is The Last Resort, by the Eagles
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I remember hiking through the Redwoods of Northern California. It was raining. Pouring actually. I was alone in the forest, and decided to take shelter INSIDE a tree. It was so surreal. I may as well have been on a different planet. Or in a different time period. Do you ever get that feeling when you are in such a foreign and exotic place the whole thing just seems like a dream?
If a man wants to be humbled, he should set foot in a redwood forest...
Teach, Learn, Share
Life is definitely full of surprises...I was in Joshua Tree National Park, California years ago. It was a bitterly cold, blustery March day in the desert. A few snowflakes were even being tossed around by the howling winds. The park was empty. I stopped at the restroom, really just an outhouse, at the trailhead before setting off on a hike. There was one guy waiting in line to use the bathroom. So he and I got talking a bit. Something about the guy seemed so familiar, but I couldn't place it (keep in mind we were wearing winter gear, hats, sunglasses, etc). So I tested him. I asked him where he was visiting from. He said he had been camping in the park for a few days with his wife and her family, but they were all on their way out after he took a pee, back to a suburb of Los Angeles they called home. Okay, so maybe I don't know this guy. But wait...I told him I was from New York State.
"That's where I'm from," he replied.
"Is that so?" I asked. I pursued my line of thought. "I'm actually from Buffalo...."
"Me too! Actually a suburb called Orchard Park," he said. And that's when it hit me. I DID know this guy. Here I was in the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles from home, and I had run into an old high school friend I hadn't seen or spoken to in nine years. In the next five minutes, five years of memories flushed through my mind. We quickly caught up on each others lives, and then we wished each other a good life, and both went our separate ways.
What I Can Share with Hosts
A place to rest, food and drink, and a good story...