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  • 27 References 11 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English; learning Chinese, French
  • 25, Female
  • Member since 2012
  • Software Engineer
  • Student at Stanford University
  • No hometown listed
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill

Hi, I'm Emily. In a nutshell I'm a software engineer with a deep love for art, the great outdoors, and adventure -- whether it be climbing, cycling, urban exploration, hammock backpacking in national parks, or hang gliding.

I've been drawing since I was a baby, doodling on my parents' PhD textbooks. Check out my art site: http://cargocollective.com/emc/

It's most satisfying when my passions intersect in interesting ways, sometimes thanks to Couchsurfing. Case in point: while I was studying abroad in Paris I befriended urban explorers who enjoyed rooftopping, crane climbing, and exploring the 200-mile network of underground catacombs. Combining my love of art with my love of urban exploration, I lugged my paints and brushes underground and by candlelight, painted images on catacomb walls and utility tunnels.

I met these Parisian catacomb friends through Couchsurfing, like so many others I've met in unusual circumstances. I've been inspired by all the Couchsurfers I've met so far, whether we've become good friends or have only met once---their stories never cease to inspire and delight me!

More about me here: http://stanford.edu/~emcheng/#fun

One quote (by Azar Nafisi) that really resonates with me, especially with regards to my Couchsurfing experiences, is: "You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place...like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way ever again."

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

I joined Couchsurfing not because I need a place to stay overnight, but because I love experiencing a new place through someone else's eyes -- there's a powerful humanizing effect I can't quite describe yet.

Currently its difficult for me to host since I'm a full-time student. When I graduate and have my own place, I'll gladly give back to the community.

All of my Couchsurfing experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. It's really remarkable how selfless and friendly humans can be.

Memories with my Couchsurfing hosts just to name a few:
* Exploring the Paris catacombs overnight, rooftopping, climbing cranes
* Riding on a motorcycle to the top of a hill at night to see beautiful views of Marseille
* Discussing society and sociology as I cooked dinner with my host in Belgium
* Exploring an abandoned sanitarium in Rochester, and watching fireflies at night
* Climbing to the top of the Williamsburg bridge in Manhattan
* Participating in a "world naked bike ride" around Aix-en-Provence to raise awareness of the lack of good bike-share systems in the town
* Helping my very first CS host paint the walls of his home
* Going to a board games bar with a guitarist from a French metal band
* Learning French slang from a CS host who worked in the French police force
* Walking around Paris with a very talented and enthusiastic Singaporean urban sketcher
* Learning how to juggle 3 balls simply because my CS host stared at me intensely until I felt pressured to get it right
* Countless wonderful conversations!


Urban exploration - roofs, underground, etc.
Nature/Outdoors - backpacking, hiking, hammocks
Social dance - swing dance, waltz, lindy hop
Drawing - making things, building things, art collaborations
Rock climbing
Designing and building physical things - woodworking, welding, etc.
General adventuring !

  • arts
  • writing
  • design
  • dancing
  • waltz
  • swing dancing
  • coffee
  • marathon
  • running
  • meditation
  • walking
  • flying
  • board games
  • eating out
  • juggling
  • painting
  • drawing
  • woodworking
  • outdoor activities
  • cycling
  • hiking
  • backpacking
  • skiing
  • rock climbing
  • hang gliding
  • emergency services
  • sociology
  • parks
  • urban exploration

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

I don't know how to count to one.

* Flying a hang glider. It's gratifying being the pilot: captain of your own flight. Embracing the mantra of "Let go, look forward, relax"

* Running my very first marathon at the 2013 Paris Marathon

* Exploring the 200-mile network of catacombs in Paris

* Learned how to form metal, mill, and TIG weld to design and build a "transforming" coffee table from scratch

* Drawing a portrait art commission when I was in high school for an writer residing in Italy who wanted to use the sketch to complement his short stories

* Waltzed underneath a waterfall at Colombia Gorge, OR

* Leading a 5-day backpacking trip for incoming college freshman through magnificent Yosemite backcountry

* Climbing to the top of Williamsburg bridge in New York

* Discovering "Smile Cards" (anonymous acts of kindness), weekly meditation sits, and Karma Kitchen through my very first Couchsurfing host in Portland, OR

Teach, Learn, Share

I can teach: tips for drawing, tips for urban exploration, swing dancing and waltz, backpacking advice

I would love to learn/improve: longboarding, slacklining, rock climbing, unicycling, building things

Old School Badges

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