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When most people seem try to minimize their risk exposure, I try to maximize it. When given a choice between certainty and uncertainty, empirically it seems that most people would rather choose a secure life path with set outcomes, say, going to work for a large corporation or the government, versus a life path with high uncertainty, say traveling extensively and working on independent projects and starting businesses.
My story starts with my family background, where I had been very fortunate, and have parents who are professionals. I attended highly regarded schools through my childhood, teenage years and my early 20s. By the time I finished high school, I had not seriously given any thought to what I would like to accomplish in my lifetime, and to building a lifestyle that is right for me. I drifted into a university, just like everyone else of my classmates. My four years of undergraduate life were unremarkable; I partied away the first two years without accomplishing much in the area of requirements for a degree. But I did manage to scrape together a degree in journalism within the final two years, in a field that I did not care much about, nor have much regard for.
I then drifted, directionless, for 3 years. This period of my life was the most unhappy time in my memory. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I could reason that since I had this problem, so could other people, therefore it is reasonable that there exists some kind of solution, that people who before me had the problem, had found. So, I spent my days reading books on every subject that interested me, exploring ancient Greek philosophical writings, and books that focused on fitting the right career to the person.
What came next was a breakthrough, but I absolutely hated it at the time. Taiwan, the Republic of China, where I am a citizen of, requires all men to serve in either the military, or in a civilian role in a government department. My parents, wished to protect me from a traumatizing experience with the service. I could understand their perspective, and I thank them for their sacrifices for me, but the State could not make an exception of me. I then spent a year with a fire department in a small city. My duties included being on call to respond to emergencies with the ambulance. It was a year where I had seen the consequences of many careless accidents, and human illnesses, and violence. I experienced some of the worst unkindness I imagined possible, but also the most love and kindness in my memory.
By the time I completed the service, my mid-20s had passed, and by this time I had a clear view of the life paths of many of my peers from school. All seemed to choose what was (upper-middle class) conventionally acceptable and prestigious. Many of my them were on the way to becoming medical doctors, many worked for the most prestigious companies in the world. Many are getting married, and having children, with wedding pictures and baby pictures coming up in the Facebook Newsfeed.
Everyone seemed to be living a life that was perfect, in most every way. But, the seeming perfection alarmed me. I could sense a terrible trap, and I had to find out.
Eventually, I did discover the trap, and it is an insidious one. It is, that all through the life I (and my peers) had lived, we were all told to follow a pre-scripted path, and the assumption was, that if we follow the scripted path closely, without breaking the orders from our teachers, professors, and then bosses, money, prestige in the community and respect from peers would follow. In school it was getting the grades, and then getting into the “right universities”. In universities it was choosing the “right majors” and then after university getting hired by the “right companies”.
Once out of school’s bubble, marrying the “right” person, having the “right” sort of social circle, and having the “right” sort of children. Children who would never make a mistake, or not want to follow The Script, the upper-middle class conventional wisdom.
My calling became clear to me, I was never to follow any predetermined track. I had to find my own way. Hence, the only way I could discover what was right for me, and what was possible in the world, was to take as much risk, and be as “unreasonable” as I possibly could. Since, the downsides of my mistakes were limited, and the potential upsides unknown.
So this is the background information, recently I had been driving with Uber for 4 weeks, but with Taiwan’s laws, Uber ceased business here.
For the past two years, most of my time, I am studying the Romanian language and literature, interspersed with Russian and Ukrainian.
Thanks for taking the time to read my profile.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I am on CS for the method of communicating with similar-minded individuals: people who generally enjoy travel, meeting people, and new experiences. I hope to both give and receive, not only be taking.
I study the Romanian language and literature, but I mix it with Russian and Ukrainian.
- classical music
- outdoor activities
Music, Movies, and Books
2 or my favorite movies: "Seven Years in Tibet", and "The Deep Blue".
My favorite pianist: George Winston. His performances specifically the piece "Longing, Love", and "Canon in D Major".
I listen to Piotr Illych Tchaikovsky's compositions a lot.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
- Briefly piloting a Cessna flying over Montreal, Canada.
- In about 100 SCUBA dives, a few near-incidents.
What I Can Share with Hosts
I would be happy to help with household chores, or if there is anything else I can do, I would be happy to.
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Guam, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Ukraine, United Kingdom
Countries I’ve Lived In
China, Taiwan, Thailand, United States