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[PROFILE UPDATED OCT. 2016]
From Oklahoma, USA /
Living in China since 2011 /
B.A. in news-ed. journalism /
M.A. in teaching Chinese /
Teacher / Student / Musician / Writer / Editor / Sinologist / Translator / Runner / Photographer / Bike enthusiast / Nature lover / Christ follower / Whistles like a songbird.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing has helped me find lodging and expanded my social network in the US, China and across Europe. The people I've met through CS have opened their lives to me. Each special encounter couldn't have happened through a guidebook or Facebook, nor at a fancy hotel or a budget hostel.
1. Meaningful friendships happen often. This is the greatest reason I choose to couchsurf.
For example, I recently reunited with a dear friend in Finland, whom I first met while traveling in China, where she was my host.
2. It's not about the money (most of the time).
There are often at least a few cheap hostels available in the places I want to stay. However, sometimes they are booked with no vacancies. But usually I will choose to couchsurf because I want to have a more local experience, something only a CS host can provide. I always want to make new friends with the locals and see the world through their eyes.
3. My Couchsurfing pledge:
As a couch surfer, I pledge to be clean, respectful and trustworthy. And as a couch host, I pledge to be helpful, courteous and accommodating. Scout's honor!
4. My Couchsurfing philosophy:
Couchsurfing is a lifestyle, a philosophy. It's about exploring the world community and relying on other people to help you out; it's about opening your door to the random stranger. I am that stranger who becomes a friend in passing. We share a moment, which becomes a sweet memory, an encounter, a story… CS is as much about my kindness toward strangers, as it is about the kindness of strangers toward me. Perhaps a balance can be achieved, but I hope to give more than I take.
5. A few brief biographical notes & run-on sentences:
I've been couchsurfing since I was a kid, years before this website ever existed, and have experiences the cushioned surfaces of many a friend's and stranger's living room, or the carpeted floor thereof.
Now that the website exists and is wildly popular the world over, I hope to thoroughly exploit it whenever possible.
Like many on the website, I'm an adventurer with a love for nature and the great wild places of our planet. I believe travel is the greatest conduit of adventure. But it's not the only way to have an adventure.
I spent three summers living in a tent in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico, where once I hosted a vagabond filmmaker from Kansas. He had a big beard and big dreams in the midst of a mid-life crisis. We made a short film together in the desert and entered it into a local film festival. That film has since been lost forever...
6. Someday I will give back and become a CS host. This is one of my dreams for the future.
What if Jesus were a couch surfer?
- film making
- chinese food
- classical music
- solo travel
- budget travel
- urban exploration
- long walks
- travel buddies
- street photography
Music, Movies, and Books
The last book I finished reading was《窗边的小豆豆》(Chinese translation of the Japanese).
I've also been reading "The Idiot" for a long time now. Can't seem to finish it.
I enjoying reading the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick Watson. When I finally started reading the stories about two years ago, it felt like I had missed out on a whole childhood of wonder and amazement.
I have also dabbled in poetry and short fiction writing. I love reading the poems of Marry Oliver, though I don't agree with some of her philosophies.
I have often daydreamed about founding a bilingual creative-writing journal in northeast China.
I'm in love with too much music to write a comprehensive list here. In general, I try to keep an open mind. I'll listen to just about anything once. If I like it, then I'll listen again and again.
In this SPACE I used to list many obscure and independent musicians, but to be honest, I like the majority of it less and less. Besides, this is not a competition to see who can name the most obscure and unknown musician. Who cares? Not me. Not you.
These days I enjoy listening to purer, less distorted sounds, produced by skilled hands, clear minds and plenty of heart. I especially enjoy newer recordings of solo instruments played by the modern masters. These types of music mainly fall into one of two broad categories: classical and jazz. But not always.
My favorite composer is J.S. Bach, but I don't approach music with a purist or elitist mentality. I love reading the lyrics of Aaron Weiss. I'm mesmerized by the rapid mandolin picking of Chris Thile. And Björk has the best voice and craziest outfits.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
In New Mexico I jumped off a bridge and have seen the end of the rainbow.
In Finland I dunked my body in the hole of a frozen lake in mid-winter, and rode a galloping horse through a snowy field.
Teach, Learn, Share
I have a master's degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. So I can teach my non-Chinese CS friends basic words and phrases in Chinese. Want to know how to say something? Just ask!
There's nothing better than sharing travel stories over food and drinks.
What I Can Share with Hosts
I can be of service to you by doing domestic chores, such as washing dishes, taking out the trash, walking the dog, mopping the floor, taking care of plants and flowers, feeding pets, buying a few groceries for dinner, etc. I love to help CS hosts in any way possible! My presence in your home should be a BLESSING not a burden. Amen.
Countries I’ve Visited
Cambodia, China, Estonia, Finland, France, Laos, Mexico, Switzerland
Countries I’ve Lived In
China, United States