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Backpacking through Mexico and Central America!
I spent most of 2015 backpacking through Mexico and then living in its capital, and am now spending a couple months in Florida taking it easy and saving money before I hit the road again. It's looking like Colombia this time, and I love meeting other CSers on the road, so shoot me a message if you're headed that way!
I lived in Leiden, the Netherlands for most of the last three years, and left at the end of 2014 for travelz and stuff. Leiden is where my life was totally transformed by Couchsurfing -- it's still the best CS community I've ever encountered, and anyone passing through the region should visit.
For some reason 90%+ of my hosts compliment me on my "great English", even though it clearly says at the top of my profile that I was born in Jacksonville, FL? I'm technically 'half Dutch' but I grew up in the States ;-)
When I traveled to Brussels for a big CouchSurfing meet-up, me and some other CSers were interviewed for a Belgian news program. Check out the link here! http://www.tvbrussel.be/nl/video/4/gastvrije-brusselaars-ontvangen-couchsurfers
New CS website is lame and won't let me put my travel map up anymore, so here's a link instead: http://www.travbuddy.com/maps/6811955
I write a blog about language and travel. It's called Globalect, and a lot of the time I write about my Couchsurfing experiences there. Check it out if you'd like: www.globalect.net
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I'd consider myself an evangelical crazy Couchsurfing fanatic. CS has changed my life through the people I've met and experiences that I wouldn't have had otherwise. Yes it's changing, yes the website has been various degrees of suck for the last couple years, profit privacy blah blah, haters gonna hate, Imma keep on Couchsurfin'~
I love surfing and hosting, but my favorite part of Couchsurfing is the community aspect. I used to live in a town in the Netherlands with a very active CS community (Leiden), and have visited probably 15 or 20 other events in other cities, and I continue to look for it when I'm traveling.
I used to host a lot (once or twice a month) in college, but for the last year or so I haven't had much space so have only hosted emergency requests. Now I'm traveling again, so won't be hosting again for a while!
I'm really interested in (obsessed with?) all things language, but especially minority or endangered languages, which I try to learn about while passing through the regions they're spoken in. In fact I'll probably ask you lots of weird interview-style questions about the languages you speak and which language you think in and stuff like that.
I also like outdoorsy and adventurey stuff, camping, reading a good book, playing tennis, and yoga. I used to work at an NGO and am super interested in international development, global poverty, and education. Also I'm secretly (not so secretly) a pretty big partyboy.
*update Oct 2015: I think I got old, not sure if the above partyboy comment still applies :-/ Help revive me?
Music, Movies, and Books
Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is my absolute favorite. In general I usually enjoy Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but these days I'm starting to get really into a lot of nonfiction, especially things about global development/poverty.
I go through really random phases with musical taste. My favorite band of all time is AFI, but I also like Audioslave, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beyoncé, Die Antwoord, Nicki Minaj (I know I hate myself), Justin Timberlake, Rage Against the Machine, Metallica...
Not much of a movie person. Star Wars is obviously an all-time favorite.
I looove documentaries and have an ever-growing folder of to-be-watched docs in my favorites.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
In August 2012 I went to Berlin with a group of Couchsurfers from Leiden, and the trip really drove home how awesome a community CS is. I traveled with 8 other CSers I had gotten to know over the summer and we stayed in a hostel and had a whole weekend of nonstop fun. It was one of the best weekends of my life and it wouldn't have happened without Couchsurfing!
In January 2014 I spent a night in the Sahara desert with two friends and a Couchsurfing host that lived in a mudhut in the last village before the border between Morocco and Algeria. I've never seen a sky like that before.
In October 2014 I accidentally hitched a ride with an ISIS fighter in Bosnia. I haven't told many people about this, but it was definitely an interesting (terrifying) experience.
And probably the most remarkable experience has just been the unbelievable depths of kindness I've seen from people I've met in the Couchsurfing community. I'm so proud to be a member.
Teach, Learn, Share
I can teach you how to pronounce words in any language and how to use the International Phonetics Alphabet (IPA) to work on your accent in any language you speak. I'm also pretty full of useless trivia about English and languages in general, which I guess is interesting sometimes.
Countries I’ve Visited
Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, England, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Spain, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Netherlands, United States