Laura Dinstell

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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  • Former Ad Exec, Current Blogger/Marketer/Entrepreneur
  • I went to the same Uni as MLK Jr, Howard Stern and Bill O...
  • From San Francisco Bay Area, California -United States
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About Me


Self-exploration through travel


I'm a San Franciscan living in Melbourne. How I got here was a bit of a wild ride. Back in 2009 I was living in San Francisco and had the good fortune of getting laid off from my all-consuming and soul-squelching corporate job so I decided to go on a little backpacking trip. 3 months quickly turned into 6.

I met someone special (thank you, couchsurfing), and then I unexpectedly found myself visiting him in Australia. 2+ years later, I'm still living here.

Other than that, what to say? I'm a California girl (or more specifically, a San Francisco girl) at heart. I grew up there. Other than a few years in Boston for Uni, I've spent most most of my life living there or nearby.

If you haven't visited SF, and especially if you have lots of preconceived notions about what Americans are like, you should definitely make an effort to go at some point. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised and may even end up loving it as much as I do. The city, the culture, the food, the people and the fact that you can hit the beach and the snow all in one day....well, it's pretty special and dare I say unique.


“I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” - Joseph Campbell

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


A little bit here, a little bit there.


Food, red wine, and chocolate. Other hedonistic pleasures. Cooking and blogging about cooking. Crafting. Creating stuff out of nothing- collages, DIY, decoupage and all things crafty. Reading. Internet geek. Blogs. Entrepreneur-ish stuff. Lifestyle design - new ideas, creativity and innovation. Snowboarding. Pandas. Black sand beaches. The California redwoods. Studying people. Personal development. Talking about this-that-everything and the meaning of life until the sun comes up. Throwing myself into new experiences... and then relfecting on them later.

Music, Movies, and Books

Eh... I don't watch much TV. Books are good. I'm normally reading 4 at once. I read about 10 books while on my summer backpacking trip last year. My most recent favorite book was "Shantaram". I love any work of fiction that makes me think and contemplate my own way of being in the world. I read lots of business books because I work for myself.

Music... I tend to like indie rock, folksy/blugrassy rock, classic american rock. Some other stuff too- some pop, hip hop, whatever. I'm a bit tone deaf and notoriously terrible for remembering which artist performs which song, etc. so I am often askings "Who sings this?"

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

As a part of a 200 mile relay though Colorado and Wyoming U.S.A., I did a night solo run through the hills in total darkness and didn't see a single soul or other vehicle the entire way, only the sounds of crickets, frogs, livestock and my own two feet hitting the ground. Feeling so small in the vast, open space and not being able to see what was ahead was totally exhilerating. When I finished, my teammates had made me a grilled cheese sandwich on a camp stove in a dirt parking lot in the middle of nowhere. It was the best grilled cheese sandwich of my life.

Teach, Learn, Share

I'm a dabbler. A jill of many trades. A master of none.

I can teach you to cook a few things.

I can help you make a website or blog or ideas on promoting your blog or personal business (I'm always looking for ways to use my marketing background for good, not evil!)

I'm a certified TESOL teacher so I can probably help you with your English, but only if you forever agree to using North American spelling and grammar rules. The Brits and Aussies just use way too many unnecessary letters.

If you're trying to stay in Australia, I'm quickly becoming an expert on the different types of Visas here and all the different policies.

I'm currently interested in learning more about meditation. Would love it if you teach me...

If I stay with you, I can help you paint things... Rooms, fences, pictures, glassware, doesn't matter. I love painting. It's like therapy to me.

Countries I’ve Visited

Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, United Kingdom, Viet Nam

Countries I’ve Lived In

Australia, United States

Old School Badges

  • Vouches
    3 Vouches
  • Pioneer
    Pioneer Badge

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