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Left the safety & security of my cold, wet, wintery home in Manchester (UK), on a mission to keep my feet warm & have just landed in the wonderous land of The Philippines.
Some say i'm lucky to be able to travel, but i prefer to say i'm fortunate. Luck doesn't really come into it, because as i'm sure you know, you have to make it happen. You make your own luck. Although I have learnt, it certainly helps if you're born in a developed country.
I spent about three years working up to it & then it all happened rather quickly in the end. I realised it could really happen in August (2010), decided on New Zealand in September, flights booked in October & on my way in November. The day i left Manchester, the sun was shining, a week later it was -10. Fortunate indeed.
I spent my first 6 month trip living in Auckland & Bay Of Islands & general Wwoofing around the Far North.
For my second trip i settled in Wellington for five months & very nice it was too (it really is the coolest little City in the Southern hemisphere), before working my way up the West coast of America - enjoying the sun in Californ-ia.
And now, watch out Philippines - Here I come!
I don't consider myself a backpacker (i have a bag with wheels & have been very grateful for it on numerous occasions so far). This is more of a temporary emigration, moving my life to the other side of the world, for the cold half of the year.
Oh yeah, 'about me'. I'm pretty down to earth, honest, reliable, genuine, dry, cheeky, dark sense of humour. People who don't know me, can think i'm quite serious (and i guess i can be sometimes), but my friends find that quite amusing. Because i'm not. No, SERIOUSLY i'm not.
If i like you, i'll probably tease you a bit (you should take this as a compliment), but i'll also look out for you too.
I was getting close to the point, where i was beginning to have regrets, that i hadn't 'done it'. So now 3 years on, my adventure has become my life and so it's quite clear, it was a great decision (yes, i feel smug sometimes, when i think about the snow back home). One day when iâ
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I sit in the corner & avoid eye contact, until someone gives me a slap (or a large Rhum), then i miraculously turn into the life & soul of the party...
Seriously, i have found CS useful for meeting interesting people & socialising, when away from home.
Little bits here & there both surfing & hosting. I'm not really cut out for it full time, but i don't mind the occasional 'dabble'. I've actually found CS more useful for meeting people to do stuff with.
Films, TV, history, radio, documentaries, Filipinas, New Zealand, comedy, photography (amateur), cooking (even more amateur), beer & banter (highly professional), spirituality (not religion), the meta-physical, good conversation, not taking myself too seriously, taking myself too seriously & keeping warm.
Music, Movies, and Books
Indi films with unhappy endings are among my favorites. I go to the cinema at least once a week (NZ cinemas are lush), i could list scores of recommendations here, but here are a few favs from recent years: Metro Manila, Frances Ha, Take This Waltz, Shadow Dancer, In Search Of A Midnight Kiss, Alpha Papa, Submarine, Electrik Children, The Benefits Of Being A Wallfower, The Descendants, The Artist, Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Skin I Live In, Higher Ground , Drive, Senna, Black Swan, Boy, What Maisie Knew, Filth, The Skin I Live In, Social Network, The Ghost Writer, Matariki, The Kids Are Alright, A Prophet, Four Lions, Winters Bone, Girl Who Kicked... Not all have unhappy endings, but i still like them.
I love quality TV (i have no time for TV snobs), but then we're lucky in the UK, we have the BBC. Currently on my laptop, i'm working through; Curb Your Enthusiasm, Carnivale, Borgen, Homeland, Homocide, Oz, Studio 60, Larry Sanders, The Street, Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica. Best ever? Either The Wire or The Killing (Danish version). Plenty of British stuff too, that you probably won't have heard of (Dr Who?) - but do ask, i'm very happy to share.
Music; deep house, chill out, jazz, latin, disco, funk, 4Hero, Cinematic Orchestra, Reel People, Crazy P, Rotary Connection, Naked Music, Carole King, Paul Weller, The Beatles obviously. Anything else before 1990 i probably have an opinion about. After that it gets a bit hazy & the emotional impact much less (or i have just got lazy).
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Does getting so drunk in Hong Kong that i - puked in the street, walked into a glass door & then fell from the top of a triple bunk count?
Driving Highway 1 up the central Californian coast (first time on right hand side, first time in automatic, first time pulled over by a cop), was pretty 'epic'.
The madness of Manila, the warm clear waters of Borocay at sunset, Island hopping in El Nido & Cameroan,
Teach, Learn, Share
I do reiki healing. You should ask me about it. It may change your wife.
I'd recommend http://www.filmarchive.org.nz/, i've spent quite a bit of time there (useful when it rains), learning about NZ culture, psyche & history (& it's all free).
If you like films & a bit of proper banter, this is my favourite podcast- Kermode & Mayos Film Reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lvdrj
A few excellent NZ films, that will tell you a lot about NZ & it's people that you don't get in the guide books.
Once Were Warriors
Hook, line & sinker
Love Story (set in NY but made by & starring a mad kiwi)
Not a film but 'Flight Of The Concords' will help you 'get it' big time.
Metro Manila is a masterful piece of film making, set in Manila of course, directed by a Brit with tagalog dialogue.
UK TV - i have some fantastic comedy & drama to share.
Countries I’ve Visited
Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Spain, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
New Zealand, United Kingdom