San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
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Re: CS, I think travel is the very best way to promote peace, and understanding and respect between cultures.
I have a good and simple life in Mexico with my two dogs. I worked (and went to school) all my life from age 16 until I retired at 59. Now I try to pick up skills in creative ways, painting, drawing and making my house pretty. I love to visit galleries and museums when I travel, and flea markets and thrift stores and antique markets are my favorites. I love nature, but when I travel, I usually stay in cities so I can walk for hours and see many things and sit in outdoor cafes to read, eat, and maybe meet people who live locally, and other travelers. I have finally traveled as a CS member looking for a 'couch', and I LOVED the experience as much as I've loved the travelers I have hosted! I look forward to continuing meeting people who would welcome me into their lives for a few days by hosting me in my travels, and by honoring me by letting me host them in my home in Mexico.
I have a son and daughter who I am very proud of, as they are wonderful loving, intelligent people, and two bright and adorable grandchildren.
I want to travel, in France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Morocco, Greece, Turkey, Prague, Austria, Belgium and in Mexico. This year I am concentrating on Spain, Czech Rep.,Belgium, and a bit in France or Italy if possible.
Here at home in San Miguel de Allende, I paint, go to cultural events, enjoy my friends and my home. I have a steady stream of friends, family and new people from CS and from rentals who come here.
Freedom is high on my list of important human conditions. Adventure, curiosity, kindness, empathy, compassion, good purposeful intentions, honor, and honesty are some of the qualities I like in myself and others.
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I started out by offering my guest/rental apartment whenever it was not rented or being used by my family and friends. But I've moved, so I now offer one or both of my guest bedrooms and a guest bathroom to CSers. I provide all the towels and sheets/bedding. On occasion I run out of beds, and if someone wants to camp on a camp mattress, that is fine with me. It's fun to have multiple guests. I am happy to show my guests around the town. Usually they are much younger than I am, so if that is the case, they will probably keep different hours than I! I usually don't stay out very late, just now and then.
I like so much to hear the stories of the people who come here. I am not a party girl, more like a 'mom' figure. I am happy to make a breakfast or lunch for my guests, but if I am too busy or have other plans, I just let them use my house and kitchen. They can bring in food, cook, and clean up after themselves if they like. I love to cook, and have quiet parties to introduce my guest to more local people when I have time. It depends on what else is going on for me. And I am delighted when my guest likes to cook for me too.
My CS guests are welcome to use my laundry machines. When I become a hosted traveler, I intend to do whatever I may do to help out in the home. Do you need someone to help clean, cook, feed the dog or cat? May I play with the little ones so you can do your shopping or have a date with Daddy/Mommy?
I will usually be happy to make a meal for my hosts...if the stay is long enough to do the shopping etc.
I will have to see what is the situation and respond accordingly. If my host wants social time, I am there! We can have coffee or a drink, and share life stories.
If they want to give me a bed, but they are too busy to pay much attention, I am an independent person who can entertain myself and explore the area without lots of attention. I respect all levels of participation. I find, however, that I need time alone to explore, and being given some free time to do that is much appreciated. I am retired, so money is always a factor, so I will be so grateful for the opportunity to stay gratis in someone's home. It will be a privilege for me.
I would like opportunities to stay with you, or house sit or exchange homes. I have experience in all the above. I would also love to meet other CSers while traveling, just for fun and companionship. I have friends of all ages, so while I'm not up for clubbing in the middle of the night, I am good company for walks around town, meals, museums, flea markets, and generally getting to know other independent travelers of the world.
Couch surfers are wonderful! I have hosted several times, and have wanted to keep each and every one of them longer than they stayed! I even got a home exchange with a Belgiun family, for my trip to the EU two years ago. I have a good home to exchange, if that interests you. More on that elsewhere, or in groups just for exchange!
Travel, theater, reading, painting, genealogy, music, museums, nature, installation art exhibits, folk art, dance,theater, food, cooking, meeting new friends, exchanging stories, learning about other cultures and countries, fine art, flea markets, thrift stores, walking and eating.
Egads! How do you narrow it down? I loved reading Greg Mortensen's book "Three Cups of Tea". But I also love a good mystery. PG Wodehouse is a favorite of mine, for good fun. My exposure is not so great. So far as I know, the only thing I don't enjoy reading are romance novels and American text books. I love well written non-fiction, as long as it sounds like someone telling me a good story. A true favorite book, and different from most of my reading was "Coming of Age in the Milkyway" by Timothy Ferris. Unbelievably great! Music: Pretty eclectic. I love smooth jazz rather than progressive, grew up in the '60's, so love the oldies from 60's and 70's. R & B, Blues, Classical, Latin, Gypsy, even some Opera.
Movies: Hmmm Anything Sidney Poitier has done, French film, Chinese film, Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, have you seen "Little Voice" or "Shirley Valentine"? Two great little films. I also like documentary film.
What is the most amazing thing to me is to see what has happened in the world in my lifetime. Born in 1947, I remember when a television was the most amazing invention! And it was huge with a small screen, and a big magnifying glass could be attached to the screen so you could see it bigger. HA! I remember telling my son that computers were not worth having because it was just for playing pac man...HA! I saw the first object that man made orbit the earth, and the first steps on the moon! Back to computeres, they were as big as a house and not as powerful as my tiny tablet or iphone. Good grief! Yes, the most amazing thing I've ever seen is the change in the world in the span of one lifetime...and it ain't over yet. The most mysterious thing that I've personally "done", if you can say I did it, was to have an immediate "knowing" that someone I barely knew had died. That's a story to tell, so I won't write it here, but it was something amazing.
Teach: Sometimes, younger people seem to like to talk to me about my experiences because it relates somehow to a stage of life they're in now. They sometimes think I am insightful. I'm honored if someone thinks that about me. I guess growing old has a few perks, in that my experience may prove helpful to someone much younger. Or maybe they're being polite! Who knows? Learn: I am amazed at the young people today. They are out there in the world so much sooner than most of my generation, and they soak it all up, and they seem so brilliant. I love seeing all of this. In so many ways, they know so much more than I, so there isn't anyone of any age, I can meet, who, if they really connect, is not a teacher to me. Share: That's what it's all about. We share our experience, our thoughts and dreams, and everyone involved just changed in some small or large way, because of the interaction.
And opening our home to relative strangers is sharing. And being willing to enter a relative stranger's home, and have mutual trust...lovely sharing!
I am not good at or fond of a lot of small talk. I love substantive conversation. I love to empathize with others, and listen. I am truly interested in hearing your story(s). If there is something I can do around the house that would help my host, I'm all for it. Help rearrange the furniture? Do some cooking together? Or cook a meal for you, if you wish. Need a granny type to watch the kids so you can go out for an evening? Well, I'm there, and love kids. I expect my 3rd grandchild soon! Want company going shopping? I love shopping. Want to know a little about living in Mexico? Need tips on doing your genealogy? I'm happy to share.
Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Netherlands, Panama, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vatican City State, Viet Nam
Mexico, United States
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