Jake Palmer

Durham, NC, United States

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  • Ambassador
  • Fluent in English, French; learning Chinese, German, Portuguese, Spanish
  • 34, Male
  • Member since 2008
  • being overly optimistic about how much socializing, explo...
  • high school in CA, university at Duke in Durham, NC
  • No hometown listed
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me


Experience the Spring and Summer from downtown Durham - moving up from the suburbs!


Meeting new people and exploring the unknown are probably the things that excite me the most. I love to turn corners, walk out of train stations, plunge into clearings and reach mountaintops just to see what's out there in the distance. I'm drawn to green areas on maps, bike paths or small villages with funny names, but also crave the city life and the energy of everyone who lives in them. I'm drawn to any adventure, quirky event, festival, farmers market, concert or camping trips as well as the most authentic places to grab a bite.

I'm known for making jokes, telling travel stories, eating all the time (a huge amount, and very slowly) and being a shameless optimist who enjoys just about every situation - especially all that involve meeting new people and laughing in all foreign languages I can.


Les inconnus sont les amis qui l'on n'a pas encore rencontre... soyez bien aux autres, faites bien pour le monde, et se sentir bien!

Everyone should have the opportunity to travel at some point in their lives - to celebrate the humanity, compassion, same-ness and unique-ness of all of us.

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


I've loved the idea ever since I heard about it years ago, always prefer a cool person's couch to a hotel room with no culture and personality. I surf as often as I can plan it, and have hosted all sorts of people, students, musicians here at my house in North Carolina, USA.

Back here, I serve as the CS Ambassador in Durham and to keep the local group rockin' and rollin' - organizing a weekly CS Potluck Blitz - and hang out way often with other great hosts and our visitors.


I had surfed on many a friend's couch before ever joining CS, and stayed at hostels everywhere else. It's always been awesome. I've surfed with CS hosts in Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Slovenia, Costa Rica, Vermont and all through Louisiana, and attend CS group events here in Durham and everywhere else where it coincides with a trip, always with great outcomes - especially love the weekly CS beach parties in Rio de Janeiro!

While I've been in town, hosting has always been a rewarding experience and I go out of my way to show visitors (and even the locals) around Durham's bike paths, flea markets, swimming holes and street festivals.


Love to eat well, and to enable that, really enjoy cooking up international feasts to celebrate any festival or current event in the world. When I travel, help me find the best of any local specialty, and I'll eat it all!
Also local music, playing guitar, sadly I'm the worst singer alive so I'll just stick to the strumming. Parties, any type, dancing, any style, if I don't know it yet you'll get even more of a laugh out of seeing me learn.
I play any sport, especially soccer and ultimate frisbee, and biking and running around cities and towns is my favorite way to explore a new place. Currently hoping for ideas on the next bike-camping adventure.

Music, Movies, and Books

Movies: L'Auberge Espagnol, The Prestige, Shawshank Redemption, every Austin Powers, Superbad.
Music: Angus and Julia Stone, Marc Lavoigne, Sufjan Stevens, Amy MacDonald, Decembrists, Kanye West, Guns n' Roses.
Books: Ishmael, anything by Gladwell or Ariely, but most often it's "Learning (insert language here) the Fast and Fun Way", or a Lonely Planet!

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Backcountry camping in Glacier National Park to reach the secluded Cracker Lake. Coming over the final crest to see the mountains, glaciers, and the turquoise water after a long trek was unbelievable.

Biking the trail Le P'tit Train du Nord from Mont-Laurier, Quebec into Montreal and camping out at farm houses and open fields, making friends along the route was an amazing experience.

Renting a bike for 50 cents in Hoi An, Vietnam, one of the world's most beautiful cities, and riding across ride paddies to the beach.

Hiking Corcovado in Rio, completely unprepared.

Also Jon Stewart once called me an asshole. Unfortunately (or maybe thankfully), during a commercial break.

Teach, Learn, Share

I'm a lifelong student of languages and learn more as I travel, and will teach any way I can. The language is the key to beginning to know a culture, and I love connecting with people this way.

My gardening skills are, well, bush league. I'd like to host a CS community garden at my house.

Countries I’ve Visited

Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Viet Nam, Virgin Islands, U.S.

Countries I’ve Lived In

France, United States

Old School Badges

  • Vouches
    9 Vouches
  • Pioneer
    Pioneer Badge

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