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To explore the world through the lens of my camera, and the eyes of my soul.
I am about as care-free as they come. Pretty much always going with the flow, adapting to the situation, and seeking out like-minded people to partake in the journey. I'm a very open-minded and liberal individual who’s taken an immense interest in learning about other cultures and ways of life. I think this was spurred by me moving to San Francisco and meeting the most extraordinary people from all over the world. I've made close friends with British, Spanish, French, Mexican, South American, and many other internationals, and they have inspired me to start traveling the world.
I regret not having traveling before, but plan to completely make up for it through the upcoming years. I feel as though it's a natural fit for me to travel lightly and frequently since I'm almost always in a transitive mental state. I crave meeting new people, having new experiences, and expanding my horizons and knowledge.
I'm not comfortable with complimenting myself, but I think you may find me one of the more friendly people that you might come across. It feels weird to say that but I'll say it anyways, and the people that know me can back me up! My friendliness is rooted in wanting to understand people -- what they think, why they think it, and what personal experiences have led them to the type of people they are. I love getting to know people in this way, and it helps me apply these lessons to my own life.
UPDATE Oct 16, 2012: After backpacking through Europe this summer, I can say it's truly changed my life. Mostly in part to the people whom I've met through CouchSurfing. Right now I want to meet as many CSers as possible. I feel that most (not all) CS people are on the same wavelength, and I truly enjoy being around them.
UPDATE March 6, 2014: After dreams of my past trip 2 years ago, I am doing it again. I will be traveling more of the world this time, and for longer. I long for the personal connections and experiences I had through CouchSurfing and traveling in general the first time. I look forward to meeting whomever you may be, future friends. I have many stories to hear, and many to tell. I’ve found the beauty of transience as I’ve gone through the world and want to share it with all that I meet.
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
― Albert Camus
Go forth to wherever is possible, or seemingly impossible. Traveling is more educational than any classroom can possibly be. A dream deferred is a dream denied, so stop putting off your dreams.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Although I haven’t been able to host people since coming back to San Francisco, I have given some personalized tours to those who have contacted me through the site. I wanted to host but unfortunately have had too many roommates for it to work. I’d love to participate in more city tours and informal meet-ups and events when I go to travel again. I love meeting people from all over with the common bond of CS anywhere I go. I think for most part we are all fascinated by one another.
I've been hosted 3 times now and have gone to a few CouchSurfing events. I really think CSers are the best people in the world. My time in France, Portugal, and Germany was some of the most amazing experiences of my life thanks to CS. It's almost too good to be true that you can make such strong connections with strangers in such a small amount of time. I feel that I'll be participating in CS for a long time to come.
MARCH 2014: I could probably write a book as to how CS has changed my life, my perspective, and so many other things. In some ways it has been bittersweet, but without a doubt, I can say it’s expanded my horizons in unexpected ways. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes tragic, but always interesting.
My deep, deep passion I discovered a few years ago is photography. There are just some things you latch on to and know for a fact that this will be "it", and picking up a camera was that moment for me. Photojournalism and documentary form are what I'm striving to master, and maybe even make a career out of. Traveling the world is perfectly harmonious with my passion and I'm hoping to capture people and their stories in a meaningful way.
My other passion is LEARNING! Specifically, I really get into geopolitics and history. It's so fascinating to explore the works of Chomsky, Zinn, and others who break the myth of American Exceptionalism and the general Eurocentric model of the world. Reading is a definite passion that, again, aligns quite nicely with my wanderlust and love for photography and storytelling. But I'm not limited in any way to just one subject. I love science, philosophy, movies, music (of course!).
How are all these things related? I love exploring these passions with PEOPLE. I suppose they are my true passion whether it's meeting new people, exploring and retelling their story through the lens, or just conversing until the wee hours of the morning about anything and everything there is in this life.
Music, Movies, and Books
Extremely important.... but this section is going to take forever.
In general, I like discovering new types of music and movies that aren't always so popular and mainstream. That's not saying I don't enjoy popular movies, music, etc., but there's a joy in discovering a new band or independent film that a billion people don't know about.
I will try and come back with specifics later...
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Watching the sunrise over Porto with new friends from a secret location we snuck into after a night of merriment... things you would never know could happen without trusting people you don't know just a little bit!
Since my large journey 2 years ago, I’ve been back to France a few times and Portugal. I’ve spent New Year’s Eve in the French Alps, hiked through large chunks of Lisbon, and have met many, many wonderful people along the way.
Well, traveling through Europe for 3½ months ranks as the most amazing personal experience of my life. I feel it has changed me and opened up my eyes, and opened up the potential I see for myself heading into the future as well. It's too much to type out... you will just have to ask about my time there.
The most monumental moment(s) in my life has been moving and living in San Francisco. Although I can't pick out one specific moment, there have been times where the realization that I live in one of the most beautiful and incredible cities in the entire world was deeply striking. Going out to stare at the Golden Gate Bridge on a moonlit night with a friend was probably one of the most inspiring and awe-striking moments I have memory of.
The other may be taking a solo weekend up to Yosemite Valley and experiencing the grandiosity of nature. It was humbling and breathtaking, and almost overwhelming (in the best way possible).
Teach, Learn, Share
I'm an avid photographer and a decent videographer. I've done freelance work for local newspapers and am exceedingly interested in photojournalism and media in general. I can impart practical technical knowledge in this area and would love to do so.
I'm also really good with computers. I've been fixing them for my family since I was 12 and have since made a pretty good career out of it... I managed to fix my French roommate's computer without knowing French!! Beyond this I know web design and development and really I think I'm well versed in anything technology related. My friends are constantly coming to me for advice on computers and photography, so I think that's a pretty good endorsement.
What do I want to learn? I don't care, I just want to learn something unique about the people I visit that I didn't before... I love knowledge in all forms. It's all interesting to me.
Countries I’ve Visited
Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Montenegro, Northern Ireland, Panama, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom
Countries I’ve Lived In
Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, United States