Riley Cook's Photo

Partially Verified

  • Payment verified
  • Phone not verified
  • Government ID not verified
  • Address not verified

Wants to Meet Up

  • Last login 1 day ago

Join Couchsurfing to see Riley’s full profile. It’s free!

Overview

  • 2 References
  • Fluent in English; learning Spanish
  • 26, Male
  • Member since 2013
  • Freelance Web Developer | ESL Teacher
  • BA-Anthropology
  • From Bryant, IA, USA
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

I'm currently embarking on an extended trip around the globe. My plan is to country hop, staying up to a few months in each location. Along the way I'll be working remotely, but am also open to volunteering my time with NGOs, nonprofits, WOOFing, taking odd-jobs here and there. I want to be able to give back to the communities I visit in some way, as I know they'll be shaping and inspiring me for years to come.

I've spent the past few years living in Denver, CO. While there, I worked at the statewide crisis hotline (think: suicide hotline, but also for any mental health and/or substance use concerns) and spent a part of that time as a supervisor of one of the call-center teams. It was equally challenging and rewarding to be able to provide a helpful, listening ear to people who are at their most vulnerable and from widely different backgrounds than my own. (I found some of the best connections happen despite our differences!)

Iowa born and raised (for those of you not familiar, Google "Children of the Corn" for a semi-accurate depiction of my upbringing), I went to school at the University of Iowa to study anthropology. While there, I was a member of a local improv comedy group and fell in love with improv as an artform and philosophy. So much so, I made that the topic of my undergraduate thesis!

Recently I've been focusing on being more active-- I've tried my hand at skiing in the Rockies, summited my first mountains over 14,000 ft, did a week-long bike ride across the state of Iowa, and I'm ready to push myself to stay healthy and explore the outdoors.

As a white male (and a tall one at that) I know I come from a place of privilege. I want to continue to learn how to use my status for the betterment of others, and to be an ally to causes that empower those who don't enjoy the same privileges as me.

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

I love meeting people from different walks of life and learning the many different paths people take to get where they are, especially now that I'm at a crossroads in my own life.

Also, as a child of the corn in rural Iowa, I'm eager to find experiences outside my comfort zone and travel beyond the cornstalks.

Interests

  • writing
  • salsa dancing
  • bachata
  • swing dancing
  • cooking
  • wine
  • beer
  • politics
  • movies
  • board games
  • reading
  • traveling
  • socializing
  • music
  • guitar
  • cycling
  • hiking
  • camping
  • rock climbing
  • swimming
  • languages
  • volunteering
  • comedy
  • jamming
  • intellectual conversations

Music, Movies, and Books

Movies: Jurassic Park, Amelie, Run Lola Run, First Reformed, Waking Life, The Last Picture Show, Mad Max: Fury Road

Music: Everything Everything, Lizzo, LCD Soundsystem, Kendrick Lamar, The Mars Volta, Xenia Rubinos, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Kaizers Orchestra,

Books: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Ender's Game, Slaughter-house Five, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Everything's Eventual, Dreamcatcher, Lifespan of a Fact, No Man's Land

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

I joined protesters in Taksim Square during the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul. It was an amazing display of peaceful resistance and comradery among Turks of all ages and disciplines, even despite flagrant oppression and brutality from the police. I was fortunate enough to only be there when police were on standby--but I had goggles and a bandanna ready in case of tear gas.

Teach, Learn, Share

I can offer some basic lessons on guitar, percussion, and improv comedy (I'm always up for riffing with people). But many less tangible things can always come from good conversation.

My main interest is learning from others-- I want to learn from your perspective; I want to know what you're an 'expert' in, no matter how niche. Of course, I'd love to have help learning languages for travel (mostly Spanish and French, but Chinese or Arabic would be great, too)! And I'm also always up to learn how to cook a new dish -- let's eat!

I can share a home-cooked meal, a song, a story, a new experience. As a freelancer, I can potentially lend my talents to helping you with a side project or small business problem, or help coach you with learning more fluent English.

What I Can Share with Hosts

I can help out around the home if need be with cleaning or other chores, and at 6'6" I can reach things on the top shelf that you've never been able to get to.

Countries I’ve Visited

Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey

Countries I’ve Lived In

Italy, United States

Join Couchsurfing to see Riley’s full profile. It’s free!