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Note: I haven't updated this section in a while, and now am in Washington DC and not Colombia, tragically.
To stay put for a while and get a dog
In my 20s, I got a shiny-new passport, and my goal was to fill up every single page. Now I´m in my 30s, on my second passport, and my goal is to stay put for a while and make this one last longer.
I´ve been in Colombia about ten months. After years in Africa and Asia, I was at least back in the Western Hemisphere, and it almost felt like home. I smugly thought that I´d beaten the whole "culture shock" thing, and it wasn´t until month eight that I realized that Colombians make no frickin´sense. I´m still figuring them out, but now I can make arepas.
'The 'great ideas' club is large, the 'gets shit done' club is small.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I used to surf, and then I hosted. Currently I'm able to meet people who are coming through town, have some drinks, and help people get the lay of the land.
A story? OK. So, I was starting out on a hitchiking trip from Seattle, WA to my seasonal job in Colorado at a river guiding outfit. I had hitchhiked before, but never cross-country. I wasn't sure where to start, so I asked some of the guys hanging around town where a good place was to get a lift east. One helpful gentleman by the name of "Chicken Wing" started to explain where and how I can'hop a train' (much faster), but when I protested that I'm probably not quite up to hopping trains yet, he instead escorted me to the main (local)bus terminal downtown, and gave me explicit instructions on what bus to take to get to a two-lane highway north of the city (I think it was #2?).
So anyway, I get off the bus and walk out to the highway, and within three minutes (barely time for me to adjust my pack) a van pulls over to give me a lift. The fellow driving was on a beer run, and he passes me a bottle. While we're chatting it up, he mentions that he just got back from a rafting trip. I sit up, startled. "No way!" I say "I'm a raft guide!". Now it's his turn: "No way! You're a raft guide? Ha! I own my own rafting company!" He pauses, "And we're looking to hire some guides for the season." In the creek running parallel to the road the water was high, and the mountain air around us was pure; sometimes things happen in the strangest ways. . .
I'd like to say I took the job, and lived happily ever after in Washington state, but I had a boy waiting for me in Colorado, and couldn't accept the offer. Instead, he took me home to eat barbecue chicken around his campfire with his girlfriend, his friends, and his dog. After a few more beers, I spread out my sleeping bag by the fire, and in the morning he drove me over the mountain - and I continued on to Colorado, and then at the end of the summer to West Virginia, Massachusetts and back west to St. Paul, surfing several more couches along the way.
climbing, reading, yoga
- rock climbing
Music, Movies, and Books
Movies: Das Boot, Baraka, La Captive
Music: Trance, Hip-Hop, Bluegrass
Fiction: Lolita, Infinite Jest, Charming Billy, Soul Mountain, BrothersK, Invisible Man
Teach, Learn, Share
I can teach: violin, rock-climbing, yoga.
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Kenya, Laos, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Virgin Islands, U.S., Zambia, Zimbabwe
Countries I’ve Lived In
China, Colombia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, South Korea