- Last login 8 months ago
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I've done a lot of weird things for money. I began my working life as a research intern and lab assistant in a pathology lab. While in university, I worked as nurse aide. Since this time, I've given in to nomadism. Working seasonally for the last two years has allowed me to live in places many wait there whole lives to visit. I've embraced voluntourism by working at a couple of different hostels and I'm always searching for the next adventure. Dipping in and out of the gig economy, I've filled roles as a brand ambassador, whitewater raft guide, server, and many more to keep the journey going. More recently, my professional ambitions have gravitated toward entrepreneurship. I'm hoping to lay down roots somewhere and establish a workshop with a minimalist, possibly mobile, living space. And of course, open my doors to travelers.
I'm sort of a perfectionist. When I began writing this section, I poured over how to avoid defining myself with my work or starting with where I was born. I'm from southern Wisconsin, smack dab in the middle of some cities you might recognize--50 miles from Madison, 70 from Milwaukee, about 100 from Chicago. Making sure that travelers have all the knowledge they need to get the most out of their destination is a passion of mine. I'm an eternal optimist. I'm a basic whiteboy that enjoys a good IPA. I believe in the power of collaboration and education, I'm perpetually seeking education. Some people accuse me of not talking enough, but I think that's only half true. I do ask a lot of questions and I love to learn people's stories, from the broad strokes to subtle hints. I find learning about other's cultures, passions, and goals to be invigorating.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
In short, to make travel more accessible.
Let's be honest. Free accommodation is awesome, and paying for a place to sleep is often overrated. Some argue that the spirit of Couchsurfing is lost when members project this to the forefront. While I agree that free accommodation shouldn't be the sole reason you find yourself reading this, I do think it's a core benefit worth acknowledging. I proudly admit that I'm a cheap travel junkie, and my favorite place to cut cost is accommodation; why pay for a place to sleep? A travel budget works on a sliding scale. If you're lucky enough to save money on a bed, consider spending the surplus at a local business. Give your bartender an extra generous tip. Or the best yet, travel farther. In a sense, pay it forward. Sustain the journey, spread the love.
While I fully embrace the mentality described above, Couchsurfing has provided so much more than just the opportunity to sleep in other stranger's homes. I've benefited immensely from the language exchange. Having friends all over the world is a powerful thing, and that's what I feel like I get out of Couchsurfing. It helps me avoid feeling like a tourist and provides a fast track for becoming familiar with the essence of a city. Local meetups have introduced me to the most genuine, interesting, and vivacious people living in different cities, including right in my hometown.
I enjoy taking in eBooks on my tablet or computer, often while taking notes. I love learning, and I don't feel that I can fully digest the written word without writing some words myself. I'll listen to audio books when the circumstances are right. I've found YouTube to be home to some of the most passionate and creative individuals of my generation, and I love consuming the content of my peers. Cooking never gets old. I like organizing and learning practical skills. The ultimate way to explore is to go for a walk. I'm enamored by the architecture of big cities and derive a lot of inspiration from pounding their pavement. In contrast, nothing beats the meditative force of immersion in nature.
Music, Movies, and Books
I absolutely love music and books. I'm always obsessing over new artists, but some of my staples include Brandi Carlile, Leonard Cohen, Jay-Z, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ingrid Michaelson, Tom Petty, Wheezer, Andrew Bird, Wild Reeds, Trampled by Turtles, Bon Iver, Sylvan Esso, Norah Jones, Avett Brothers, Blink 182, Daniel Johnston, Death Cab for Cutie, DeVotchKa, First Aid Kit, Connor Oberst, Julieta Venegas, Modest Mouse, Tallest Man on Earth, Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lykke Li, Memphis Bleek, MGMT, and Regina Spektor. I'm a huge fan of female vocalists, anything indie, rap, folk, and classic rock. Saint Paul's 89.3 The Current puts all other music radio stations to shame. The DJ's at The Current have introduced me to many of my favorite artists.
My taste in books and movies is a little all over the place. I read a lot of non-fiction. Classics like Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto and Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations are some of my favorites. I've also enjoyed some novels like The Brothers Karamasov by Dostoyevsky, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I'm always looking for good suggestions on what to read next. When it comes to movies, I like anything. It's more about the relaxation for me.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I've hosted several Couchsurfing meetups that involved me and at least one other person. That's an accomplishment where I'm from.
Once, I was the co-pilot on a commercial flightseeing plane (I was randomly placed in the "sit down, shut up, and don't touch anything" seat).
What I Can Share with Hosts
General labor. I sincerely appreciate hosts that allow me an opportunity to pitch in, be it cleaning dishes or working on a project. I'm happy to help however I can.
I might also have a few stories to share.
Countries I’ve Visited
Mexico, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In