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James Austin

Rochester, MN, USA

Maybe Accepting Guests

50% response rate · Last login 1 day ago

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  • 27 Positive References
  • Fluent in English; learning Chinese, French, Korean
  • 30, Other
  • Member since 2009
  • Vagabond
  • Semi-standardized education program
  • From e.g. Earth
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

This is something that I could write anew every time I visit this site. How can I captivate 'Me' into a short write-up for those who would care to read it? What words, intonations, turns of phrase could I use to beam into your head the collection of character and experience upon which I've built my identity?

It's a truly philosophical conundrum, isn't it?

And, I'm certain, that for most, a treatise on the concept of 'Me' is not the most desirable reading in this context. So, I guess I'll throw out a few 'facts' and points of potential interest for you all. Beyond that, it'll be up to your own desire to track me down and find out the rest.

Born in the old Northwest...literally. Minnesota was, at a time when this country was much smaller, considered to be the Northwest region. But, we didn't stay long there, so I couldn't tell you much more about it. Where I grew up was in the Chicagoland Area. We always used to just say that we were from Chicago, even though we lived in the western suburbs. To be fair, though, we were never very far from the actual city. At one time, all one had to do was walk two city blocks from the front door and voila! One was actually in Chicago.

There, I did my growing up, as mentioned before, with all its ups and downs. From there, my family went back into Minnesota just as I was heading into college in western Illinois. So, I have laid my head down again in the old Northwest in more recent years. I've even worked a few jobs. But, it's always been a between place. Between academic years. Between college and living in Madison, WI. Between Madison and flying off to South Korea for two years. Between Korea and Montreal, Montreal and Taiwan, Taiwan and California, California and Wisconsin again. And, to be sure, there will be more betweens between my writing this and the next time I finally sit down to rewrite all this stuff.

Along with all that moving around, there has been nearly as many changes of hat. I've gone from student to door installer to sandwich maker to teacher to student to assisted care to waiter to clerk to teacher to farm hand to gardener to homesteader. By now, it must be obvious that my life has been one of many changes.

And with that, I'll leave you to your searching and travel planning. If you decide to contact me for meeting up, finding a couch or some information, I'll be more than happy to do my best.

Why I'm on Couchsurfing

Honestly, I came here because of the free accommodations. I was looking to travel, and I was looking to do it on the cheap. All the other stuff - extended community, reciprocity, connecting with people in/from different places - that was all good, too.

It's been all the other stuff that has kept me here, though. Most of my first couple years in this community, I hardly even surfed and never even had the chance to host. And, it didn't really matter, either. Connecting with people through group activities, meeting individuals for a meal or a mountain hike, getting solid information where you're visiting, some survival phrases, a restaurant friendly to your diet or a little known escape into nature. This site has been a portal into more than just a free place to sleep. And there have been lots of dedicated members to make these things happen.


So very many.

One Amazing Thing I've Done

Staying alive.

Teach, Learn, Share

If we're not learning and teaching, we're dead. Every moment we are, we are interacting with everyone around us...that guy over there, those flowers, the fly whizzing by, this table, the floor under my foot. Being open to those interactions, we can't even stop the learning and teaching. We learn from them of their existence and essence, and they learn from us of ours. Every second is new and everything is new.

What I Can Share With Hosts

Yes, I can.

Countries I've Visited

Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, United States

Countries I've Lived In

Canada, France, South Korea, Taiwan, United States

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