Joseph Lyons

Madrid, Madrid, Spain

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  • Student, waiter, muckraker
  • BS in Journalism from Northwestern
  • From Washington, Iowa
  • Profile 60% complete

About Me


Growing, mowing and tacos


Right now I'm based out of Madrid, Spain, where I teach English to little kids and write some freelance opinion pieces for American-based websites.

Originally from Iowa, I went school north of Chicago at Northwestern and majored in journalism and history. After doing a year of the 9-to-5 thing, I started exploring alternative career paths! I spent a year freelance writing in Chicago for a local LGBT publication and doing digital marketing and (basic) web design for a natural deodorant company. Then I got involved in political organizing as a field organizer for the 2012 Obama campaign and then the 2013 marriage equality campaign in Illinois.

In Madrid, I sing with el Coro de Hombres Gay de Madrid and am getting into a meditation group. Going to the park, movies, concerts, out to eat or to the occasional party/bar/club are some of my favorite things to do in my free time.

My family and friends are extremely important to me, and they are becoming a more geographically dissonant at every juncture, which helps facilitate travel. My dad still lives in Iowa with his second wife and my mom lives in Albuquerque, N.M.

I live to travel, most recently around Europe and Northern Africa but I have been to about half of South America and all around North America too.


"Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz."
"Respecting other people’s rights is peace -- as individuals and as nations."
-Benito Juárez

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


I've mostly been surfing, but I hosted several times when I lived in Rio de Janeiro, in Chicago and here in Madrid.


My CouchSurfing experiences began in Chile with my friend Andrew who showed me what a great way CouchSurfing is to connect to locals when traveling.


Social inequalities, the West's economic system, Chilean neoliberalism, Cuban socialism, sexuality, gender, student financial aid, neighborhoods, future travel destinations, citizenship, Facebook, Google, God, Ernest Holmes, American super PACs, deodorant, public transit and city planning.

Music, Movies, and Books

Star Wars, The Princess Bride, The Broken Hearts Club, Cruel Intentions, Crash, The Sound of Music, Jerry Maguire, Love Actually, The Pink Panther, Jarhead, Stepmom, Saved!, The Wizard of Oz, Little Miss Sunshine, Mission Impossible, Fahrenheit 9/11, Beauty and the Beast - my favorite Disney movie, The Perfect Storm, Harry Potter

MIKA, The Beatles, Regina Spektor, Peter Cincotti, Guster, ABBA, The Postal Service, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, Kanye West, Madonna, Scissor Sisters, The Mamas & The Papas, The Dixie Chicks

Tuesdays With Morrie, To Kill a Mockingbird, Kite Runner, Harry Potter, The Kid, The Commitment, The Wheel of Time Series, James Herriot, The Chronicles of Narnia, A Long Way Down, How to Be Good, The Great Gatsby, the first half of A Prayer for Owen Meany

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Flying into Cuba.
Climbing a favela in Brazil.
Cliff diving in British Columbia.

Countries I’ve Visited

Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay

Countries I’ve Lived In

Argentina, Brazil, Spain, United States

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