John Wilkos

Manhattan, Kansas, United States

Not Accepting Guests

  • Last login 3 months ago

Join Couchsurfing to see John’s full profile. It’s free!


  • Fluent in English, French; learning German, Japanese, Spanish
  • 28, Male
  • Member since 2010
  • I am currently a Traveler; I work here and there to make ...
  • I have my college degree in French, so I'm looking forwar...
  • From I grew up in Conakry, Guinea, West Africa. Woo!
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me


My goal is to experience as many interesting people and places as possible!


Okay! Are sitting down? Comfortable? You might want to use the bathroom first, this might take a while.

Because the epic account of my entire crazy life is about to follow!

I grew up as an American missionary kid in Guinea, West Africa, where my parents helped translate the bible into languages like Susu and Pular. I went to a french lycee there from CM2 (American 5th grade) to Terminale S (American 12th grade, science specialization). So I am pretty fluent in french.

After passing my BAC and graduating high school, I left Africa and attended Kansas State University in the tiny town of Manhattan, KS. I didn't like it there much.

Then I was off to Amiens, France to have my last semester of college abroad, in style. There I met some amazing friends and was introduced to couchsurfing.

In order to avoid returning to the small midwestern town I had come from, I then decided to move to Edinburgh, Scotland. I moved into a hostel where I worked and played for 2 years. Had all sorts of adventures. Hitch hiked around Scotland. Worked in a kilt shop. Got deeply involved in the local couchsurfing community.

But visa troubles brought my stay in Edinburgh to an end, and I returned to Manhattan, KS in July 2011.

And then after taking care of university paperwork (they don't like it when you study abroad and don't come back) and degree finally in hand, I left Manhattan, KS for good in November 2011.

Whew! That takes care of my life story!

I am extremely laid-back and easy going, and after growing up in the second most corrupt country in the world, not much phases me. I love doing any activity with my awesome friends, new and old. I love seeing new places, and I absolutely love to meet new people, learn new cultures and share my own.


I believe that people should live their lives in a way that makes them happy, of course. And experiencing new places, people, and things makes me very happy!

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


The couchsurfing community in Edinburgh Scotland was my favorite social group to hang out with. I went to the weekly wednesday meetups and organized trips and attended events with other surfers.

I also helped surfers hosted at my girlfriends place pretty often, especially if they were french.

Travelers are my favorite kind of people and I jump at any opportunity to hang out with them.


I've stayed with a wonderful couple in Amiens, France who even let me keep their keys having just met me!

I really enjoy the community of travelers that couchsurfing embodies. It's as if I can feel at home anywhere in the world now, as long as I can find a couchsurfing meetup.


Here is a bullet pointed list:
-Your Mom

I like a lot of things... there's more... That's enough for now, though.

Music, Movies, and Books

Here are a couple that I have enjoyed recently:

-Animal Collective
-Sufjan Stevens' Illinois (Favorite Album Ever)

-Slumdog Millionaire
-Leon the Professional
-Children of Men

-Wizard of Earthsea
-American Gods
-Ender's Game
-A Game of Thrones

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Revisiting my hometown of Conakry, Guinea, I traveled with some friends into the African wilderness.

We climbed the moss-slick rocks of a pounding waterfall.

We threw stones at a snake sunning itself on a rock next to the water. When it finally left we took it's place and laid on our backs in the hot African sun and enjoyed the contrasting feeling of the warm stone on our backs and the cool mist spraying over us from the falls.

Relaxed, content, and a little sleepy, we decided to wake up by jumping off the massive falls into the water far below.

We let the current carry us downstream further than we had ever dared as children, over sharp jagged rocks and deep pools that made you think of snakes or fish with sharp teeth and then the trees and vines thinned out and the river swept us into a beautiful lagoon.

We were surprised to see strange new birds plunging into the glittering water and coming up with beaks full of fish, and monkeys threw sticks at us from the trees.

As we silently sat by the riverside I felt overwhelmed by the natural beauty surrounding me. I felt connected with all of it, a part of the world around me in a way I'd never felt before. Like I belonged. Peaceful and content.
Like I was just another jungle animal.

Teach, Learn, Share

I could share some knowledge about computers, the french language, traveling cheaply, and European visa workarounds.
I can teach you how to make a whistle out of your thumbs and cupped hands!
Or how to knit a washcloth!

I would love to learn more languages like, right now, Spanish or Chinese. I would like to learn how to cook and how to play a musical instrument.

Old School Badges

  • Vouches
    1 Vouch

Join Couchsurfing to see John’s full profile. It’s free!

My Groups