Laurel Chen

Oakland, CA, United States

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  • Last login 17 days ago

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  • Oy, the occupation question. My "occupation" is a researc...
  • Bachelors in Anthropology
  • From Mendon, Vermont
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me


To go live freely and find out how I can help others live freely. Meet many people along the way.


Here are a few things/ideas/objects that I either have in my life, or need in my life (want? need?), in order to be content. My favorite moments in life are when I find myself just perfectly content--not effusively happy--just plain old content. Searching for and hoping to find that constant state of contentness through said things:

- being outside & getting dirty
- teaching others & learning from others
- motion, activity & noise interspersed with stillness & quiet
- other languages, places & cultures that morph into no longer being the other
- games

One day I won't need to "run away" on weekends and will be keeping bees in Nepal, being a monkey caretaker. . . Or more realistically, working in a small non-profit towards grassroots, sustainable solutions to the ever-menacing monster that is Western development abroad.


I want to find a way to live in complete freedom so that I can both do what I want to do and also allow those around me the confidence and space to do what they would like to do. I'm still working on my personal philosophy though...

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


I surf couches (or floors) and when I'm settled (which is barely ever) I let people surf on my couch.


Spent my first night in Colombia couchsurfing and was hooked ever since. Met some wonderful companions in Ecuador while couchsurfing with Hugo at what soon came to be jokingly known as "Hugo's" Hostel. Enjoyed hosting at my place in Oakland as well.


I enjoy interacting with people, observing people, being with people to the fullest extent, but then I also enjoy having time to myself to reflect, read, relax...
live music with a beat, hidden and unassuming coffeeshops and bookstores, mountains, swimming holes, long bike rides or walks

Music, Movies, and Books

aaahhh too many. Give me some George Saunders short stories and I'll laugh and cry to them. Give me some Tom Robbins and I won't put the book down until it's done.

Live bluegrass music I can jump around to, with a beer in one hand and good friends in the other.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Hiked the Grand Canyon in a day and then attempted to hitchhike back to Flagstaff and then attempted to camp on the side of the road in the woods and then lost my backpack in the dark. Swam in many glacial lakes in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru. Rafted in Alaska and nearly killed my sister by dumping her overboard and getting our raft stuck in a hole.

Teach, Learn, Share

Happy to cook for/with hosts, share the games I usually travel with and help you plan your trip to South America which you must do.

Countries I’ve Visited

Bolivia, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Peru, Spain

Countries I’ve Lived In

United States

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