Sara Merz's Photo

Partially Verified

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

Maybe Accepting Guests

  • Last login about 4 years ago

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

Overview

  • 9 References 8 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English
  • 45, Female
  • Member since 2011
  • Local government policy, yoga, meditation and travel
  • BA, Sociology & English; MBA, Conflict Management. Macale...
  • From born in Fargo, ND, USA; grew up on a farm, Underwood, MN, USA
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

CURRENT MISSION

Be present, and be present around as many bodies of water as possible!

ABOUT ME

I'm new to Raleigh - got here in January 2013 and this town is fantastic! I just changed my address in the system so I'm waiting for the postcard to get "verified" again.

Before coming to NC, I lived in St. Paul for 20 years, and have been very fortunate to travel in Thailand (3 trips in 3 years, mostly the Chiang Mai area, for long meditation) and India (a whirlwind tour of the far Northeast, staying in people's homes, and a few days of meditation at the end).

My work has been for state and local governments, doing policy and politics, and I feel passionate about making the world a better place. I'm finding my new work now and I'll let you know when I know!

I have two sweet cats - Thomas is a big guy, and Callie is 2 and acts like a kitten.

PHILOSOPHY

Live and let live, kindness is rewarded, a lovely system I haven't mastered.

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

I've made some very good friends couchsurfing! I was generously hosted in CA quite a bit, and I couchsurfed in Raleigh when I came to find my apartment - one of my hosts here is a good friend now!

My good friend and her husband couchsurfed across Europe on their honeymoon and met wonderful people, and someone just told me her daughter did that too and had only good experiences.

When I was in St. Paul, my neighborhood was not very accessible to the downtown areas except by car, so I didn't do much hosting, but I do like the idea. I wish my space were more user-friendly for hosting right now, but if it works for you I'd love to show you around.

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

I'm newish to this organization, but have had amazing hosts. I really think this is the best way to travel - people tell you, and show you, the coolest things about their town, and it's such a fun way to experience a new place.

When I was in India, I stayed in people's homes for a month, for 3-4 days at a time (not through couchsurfing though), and had absolutely incredible experiences. My favorite host was a woman named Vimla, who ran Krisha Foods in the town of Tezpur. She was a meditator too, and although we had different meditation backgrounds, we did our morning meditations together and I felt like she was my special auntie. She said we knew each other in a past life and I cried when I left!

Being in people's homes meant I sometimes got to see how they cooked, which was wonderful, and we had much more personal conversations than we otherwise would have. The most difficult was being in a home with a child servant, just 2 years older than the daughter of my hosts. I felt like I was in Cinderella. My hosts explained their perspective, over multiple meals. Had I not been in their home, I would not have asked so many questions, and they likely would not have spent so much time explaining how things worked and their perspective. It broke my heart. And, my first day off the plane at a work lunch, jetlagged, this was the story that came out of my mouth when I was asked the most striking experience. When one listener said "that's child slavery," I found myself thinking, it's more complicated than that.

Interests

Hanging out with friends, quirky movies with happy endings, cooking (potatoes are my favorite food), yoga, meditation, being near water, animals, especially my kitties.

  • animals
  • cats
  • dining
  • cooking
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • politics
  • movies
  • traveling
  • swimming
  • public policy

Music, Movies, and Books

Alternative music, my friends' CDs, Coastal Living, The Economist.
Books: Eat Pray Love, anything by Tim Dorsey (who writes about Southern Florida and has a goofy cast of characters involved in lives of crime).
Movies: Best in Show. Wristcutters: a love story (Tom Waits cameo and soundtrack, and surprisingly, a happy ending)

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

In India, one host was an exec with Assam Oil. I got to climb up an oil rig, metal steps in the rain, in a hard hat, watch the drill bit being changed (a very long process) and was served tea in the foreman's shack at the top of the rig.

And swimming with Flipper's grandson Talon in the Florida Keys was incredible.

Teach, Learn, Share

I know how to organize people and get things done (did a lot of campaign work!), lots of public policy experience, and used to teach meditation, still could... I make a fantastic salad and can cook a potato at least 10 ways you will like.

Always interested in seeing how other people cook! I'm doing gluten-free which I've found is usually pretty easy to work around.

Countries I’ve Visited

Canada, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand

Countries I’ve Lived In

United States

Old School Badges

  • Vouches 9a938eb8eddceeeb3ee4276e3d530a48c5fcca7895c8f13b8b23592736f3d037
    1 Vouch
  • Pioneer 9e5c6d07410be6ad972e78858727f5a200c4ebab1f9bb897eb4d7cbee90959a8
    Pioneer Badge

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