Alan Wilkes

Oakland, California, United States

Not Accepting Guests

  • Last login 7 months ago

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


  • I tutor English
  • I’m a comparative literature studying lit in Spanish, En...
  • From Lakewood, California, USA
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me


to fulfill my Bodhisattva nature,to love and to be loved, to live with honesty, integrity and freedom, and to understand who I am ,where I have been, and where I am going.(and to build awesome relationships, kick ass at UC Berkeley)



I am studying at Free University in Berlin from may 24th until July 14 (2011)


I suppose four things have defined who I am today and are shaping me into the person I will become. They are:

LOVE Literature

How would I "describe" myself hmm..? well...let's see...I lived in Southern California my whole life and I always wanted to live other places. CS helped turn this vague, underdeveloped desire into a force that made me who I am today.

This process started when I studied Spanish in Madrid, Spain over the summer of 05. after my semester ended, I traveled for two months using CS exclusively. The people that I met, the conversations that we had, and the kindness and enthusiasm they shared with me inspired me to make those sort of experiences central to the way I lived my life.
So..because of this, and a general compulsion for new experiences and challenges, I decided to leave Southern California for an extended period.

After much hesitation, consternation, and many unexpected twists and turns, I became an expat English teacher in Madrid, Spain.

(the story is much longer..and probably not that interesting...but.. if we meet.. I can tell you more and we can decide together is interesting..or not.)


I lived in Madrid for a year.

My Spanish improved dramatically.
I ate a lot of Tapas.
I made more Friends across Europe then I had before..
and I got tired.

(the story is much longer..and probably not that interesting...but.. if we meet.. I can tell you more and we can decide together is interesting..or not.)

So... I came back to California to finally finish my undergrad at the University of California, Berkeley. It is a great school in a great part of the United States..and I like it very much.

What else??

Oh yeh...the other stuff.


Music has been a big part of my life.Many years ago I was a regular at LA industrial, clubs. After I grew bored with that, I started going to Jungle parties...I was involved in the LAJungle scene and then theDrum and Bass, scene in la in various ways for about 8 years(promoting and attending) I guess music and music scenes were a big part of my early adult life...and then..well.. I guess I kinda got bored(or maybe disenchanted) with that(the scenes I got back into school...and stopped going out.

(the story is much longer..and probably not that interesting...but.. if we meet.. I can tell you more and we can decide together is interesting..or not.)

.hmm.. The preceding does little to describe who I THINK I AM..well..lets see...I write poetry sometimes...I read a lot..I like to laugh and make people laugh...I get bummed about the way the world is sometimes...I get really excited and am happy about the way the world is sometimes and..well.. I am not so good at being a happy well adjusted American but..umm who is? you like stuff too?
I really hope stuff is cool.


Some of my pages:


*insert witty one liner here*

I don't have time to get into it.

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


I have been a member for many years and how I participate changes over time. I became an ambassador in 2005 and have fulfilled my "duties" in various ways since then.I am always enthusiastic and promote the site whenever appropriate. I send greetings to new users and answer as many of their questions as I can. I talk about CS with others when ever I can and pass out CS cards to potential users. I host when I can.I hope to get involved in strengthening the local community when I travel and in the Bay Area.


I am amazed to see how much the site has changed since I started using it in 2004 and it has gone from a thousand or so users to over a million...anyway..

I would not be who I am today without all that CS has made possible for me. I try and give back as often as I can. I've surfed and hosted multiple times. It has always been a great experience. These experiences have allowed me to view the cities I have lived in(3 different cities so far) through the eyes of a visitor and make some good friends I have been lucky enough to host(in the order I can remember them)
Lotte from the Netherlands

Kat from LA >

Erin From Chicago, USA

a href=""
target="_blank">Megan and Mike from milwaukee, USA
Lourdes from Peru by way of Madrid
Henri from Germany by way of London
Marc from BCN
Carly from Manchester England
Ken from the Bay Area
Nath the cosmicgirl from Montreal
Leann and Tanya from Alberta
Cindy from Las Vegas and Matt from MI
Miri from LA >
Charlotte from Bristol and
Fred from France
Michael from NC in the states
Mike from NY in the states

I would not have been able to make as many friends or travel as much as I have over the past four years without all my wonderful hosts
Robin and all the casa hosts in Amsterdam
Lydia from Chicago in the States
Miri in LA
Vas in Edinburgh
Anick in Edinburgh
Victoria in Belfast
Vicki in London
/" target="_blank">Lourdes in Madrid and Peru
Mia and Azura in Berkeley
Kevin in SF
My friend Bruno the French teacher in Budapest
Math> and Sophie my friends in Paris
Ariane in Paris
Erica in Barcelona
Cecile in Hyres France
Roberto in Padova
Deshun in Chicago
Ondra in Prauge
Cosi in Berlin
Anna in Berlin
Laura in Berlin
Chrystle in Vienna
Marcial in Zurich
Eva in Zurich
Ex in SF
Maru in Buenos Aires

In addition to these hosting and surfing experiences I have attended numerous CS meetings on beaches,in deserts, mountains, bars, restaurants, clubs, cafes and homes around the world.

There are a lot of cool people in the world and thanks to my experiences with CS I know I will have many more unexpected adventures, become more culturally sophisticated, and make tons of friends from all over the amazing planet we live on.


I am fascinated by culture. I am interested in exploring how the artifacts of culture develop and how these artifacts affect culture. (what ever that means) I like reading books of a particular type. I like music. I enjoy traveling. I hope to become a competent
Hiker/Backpacker before my next trip . I guess what I find most interesting, frustrating and, exhilarating are people.
Other things I find interesting are:
Madrid, Barcelona, Argentina, London ,Amsterdam, Paris,Learning Languages, Exercising, Street Art/Graff,, Alchemy, Zen, Libertarian social Philosophies, Thelema and The esoteric core of all religons ,Hidden pockets of graff in Madrid, Spanish History, World Literature, Nature, The collective Unconscious,Squats,SF, Berlin,Buenos Aires, NYC, The Burgundy region of France, The European Alps,..and...The Andes, The Pampas, The Northern California, Chicago, the American Northwest, Vegetarian Cooking,Fitness, Memetics, The Spanish language Fine Wine. Tasting the "real" Pisco Sour, Belgium Ale, Dutch Hydroponics....and...
i'm a fan of Visual Art: Stuff like Goya, Duchamp, Dali,Rauschenberg,Magritte Caravaggio Miro,Pollock,Picasso,Velazquez Banksy..and Creative Writing..
I guess you could consider that an "interest".
Wooster Collective
Media Lens
Information Clearing House

DnB Arena

Music, Movies, and Books

Well, I am a Comparative Literature, student.. so I read a lot. I still haven't figured out if Literature or Music is more important to me but they are both a big part of my life.


I study Latin AmericanandSpanish short fiction and poetry: Borges, Lorca, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda,Cortázar, Garcia Marquez etc.

I have recently started studying German Literature and have a lot I want to learn( so if you are familiar with some contemporary or modern/Avant-Garde writers I might not have mentioned...I'd love to know about them (-; )
umm..I am interested in/have read a bit of
French Surrealism and Existentialism: Sartre, Camus, Desnos, Breton, Eulard Etc. I grew up on
Beat Literature: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs etc.Lately I have been studying and am fascinated by Faulkner...Hemmingway is good..and.....
As far as my political reading...stuff like..Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn...and...I have read a bit of philosophy:Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault(really interesting stuff with unsetelling ramifications),Plato,Kant(not a fan)Aristotle(not a fan)Hume(interesting but possibly heinous)Descartes(important but insidious ramifications),The Pre-Socratics and a little bit from many others.I just started reading more Phenomenology,Post-Structuralism, and literary theory. I have also been reading Zen literature for some time. I also like to read books by P.K. Dick, Charles Bukowski!Tom Robbins, Bob Wilson, and I have read quite a few Crowley books

I used to promote for electronic music clubs,was in a "band" a long time ago, and experiemented with djing. I have spent countless hours listening to, laughing to, crying to,loving and leaving to, dancing to, and living with Music


I have been trying to learn more about music in spanish, I like Techno(the Berghain sound ion particular), House(good house), Dubstep, Free Jazz:Mingus, Dolphy, Be- Bop: Bird, Dexter Gordon etc. Cool Jazz: Miles Davis and stuff..umm..Mum...Manu Chao Ed rush & Optical,Marky, Marcus Intallex, High Contrast, Andy C and Drum and Bass in general,Quantic, Jazzanova, Boards of Canada,Broken Beat, Nu jazz, Downtempo, Deep house, Old Punk,Garage Rock, Old Industrial: Coil, Psychic TV, Einstruzende Neubauten(sic),Hip Hop: MF Doom, Quasimoto,Sage Francis,Aceyalone, Awol one, Rapuskeli, A tribe Called Quest, Aseop Rock, Rjd2...and umm.. Indie stuff like: Atlas Sound,Deerhunter. Sufjan Stevens,The National, The Walkmen, Elliot Smith,Iron & Wine,The Decemberists,Broken Social Scene, The Arcade Fire,and old 80's and 90's music etc..Joy Division,The Cure,The Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and stuff.. umm..really been getting into the music of Ojos de Brujo and Jorge Drexler, oh and I LOVE the music of NICK DRAKE, TOM WAITS and LEONARD COHEN
You can learn a bit more about music I like at My Lastfm page.


I haven't dedicated enough time to say I have a serious interest in film beyond its obvious appeal as entertainment. I appreciate good films..Don

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

This is a funny question. I don't know....
the sun, the sky, mud, naked bodies umm..
the back of my eye lids.. lotsa one thing in particular

Teach, Learn, Share


I believe that every person I meet has something to teach me and everyone else..If I had to name a few things I would like to learn from(or about) those I meet via CS I guess they would be:All that you can tell(and show) me about your culture(It’s defining characteristics, its strengths and weaknesses and the unique qualities it possesses which can positively impact OUR global culture…and stuff) I'd also like to learn what you think of my culture(It’s defining characteristics, its strengths and weaknesses and the unique qualities it possesses which can positively impact OUR global culture)...and umm..I really want to learn how to Salsa Dance..and I'd like to know where the good clubs and music venues are in your city..and I am really interested in finding out where the cool graff is in your city..and where the good hiking trails are near your city..and where the secluded beaches are near your city..and I want to learn how to juggle fire..and… I'd like to learn an obscene phrase in your language..I am relatively fluent in spanish but could always use more practice speaking and I have(very recently) started learning German and I have A LOT to learn..and well in general I suppose the things I would love to learn from you are your view(s) of the world,why you see it that way, and something aboutlife I did not know I did not know


I have been reading works of Philosophy for the last 13 years and I think I can pass on a few useful ideas(contact me for descriptions)...I am a Student of Spanish and I am always open to helping other students of the language practice their verbal skills....I'm also a literature student and would love to talk about my favorite writers(see the rest of my profile or contact me for descriptions)..) I am also a TEFL certified English Teacher so I could hel you with all aspects of your English skills..I am also relatively fluent in Castellano so I thin i could help you learn a bit of that..what else..umm...I have been to a lot of places in I guess I have a few tips on getting around cheaply and have learned a few things about the city I live in.. I am a big music geek..I have around 90 gigs of music (contact me for a description) on my computer..and I'd love to share it(legally of course lol)..and...Since I helped to throw a few events in LA..and used to go out all the time...I am pretty familiar with the(more esoteric underground) night in LA/Long Beach and in various cities in Europe ..I’ve been studying Zen for a year or so(contact me for details) I could show you some meditation techniques ..and lets see..I exercise numerous times each week and have fitness tips and effective exercises to share...I like to cook and have vegetarian(and some low fat high protein) recipes to share...I have hundreds of books in my library..might be able to share some of them as well..and Â…I also have tons of bodhisattva love to share (;


Countries I’ve Visited

Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Spain, United Kingdom, United States

Countries I’ve Lived In


Old School Badges

  • Vouches
    24 Vouches
  • Pioneer
    Pioneer Badge

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

My Groups