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To make friends around the world
I love to travel, meet new people and experience unique cultures across the world!
I live to experience as much as possible and to give my boys an international experience. I recently visited Jamaica, Nevada and California. Colombia and Colorado are next.
I travel to see a country and meet people, both the locals and other travelers. I carry a backpack, travel light, dress down, and always treat the locals with respect, and patience.
I am also politically incorrect.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I publish a guide for CS visitors in Polk County giving them a list of good restaurants, museums, activities and points of interests other that the mainstream theme parks.
I run CS kayak trips on the Hillsborough River in Tampa.
I plan and assist in CS socials in Central Florida to introduce new members to CouchSurfing and to provide information on other upcoming CS events.
I've had many great experiences surfing at other member's homes and have had surfers at my place for a total of eight weeks combined visits; all good.
In addition to travel, I enjoy yoga and meditation, kayaking, biking, hiking, indoor rock climbing, sky diving, astrology, rune casting, art/jewelry shows, flea markets, antiques, coffee shops, wine tasting, museums and more. I’m open to trying almost anything.
Music, Movies, and Books
Music: Classic Rock, Alternative, Rockabilly, Blues and random performances.
Friends: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Skinny McGee and his Mayhem Makers
Movies: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Action Adventure, Independent, Spiritual
Books: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Personal Improvement, Spiritual, Military History.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I drove in a 2000 mile race in Mexico called La Carrera Panamericana. It starts in Tuxtla Gutierrez, north of Guatemala and ends at Nuevo Laredo on the US-Mexico border. We drove on public roads and weren’t required to obey any traffic laws. 160mph+ on the highway. What a ride!
Got to helm a nuclear attack submarine at 700 feet.
Teach, Learn, Share
I teach Yoga Nidra (meditation), kayaking (sit on top), Backgammon (a great social game for the coffee shop), rune casting, painting miniatures.
I also offer help in packing for light weight carry-on only travel.
Photos are under the headding "Light Weight Travel List"
LIGHT WEIGHT TRAVEL LIST & GUIDE
(This list is carry-on for air travel)
Pack rain cover
Combination Lock for Lockers
Light Weight Duffle Bag
FANNY PACK (With water bottle holders for day hikes)
Camera (in zip-lock or watertight bag)
Light Weight Rain Jacket
Toilet Paper (in zip-lock)
Pens & pencils
Book in open pocket
PacSafe key on key strap
Safety pins on outside strap
Refillable water bottle
IN POCKETS (safety pin shut)
Cards (in zip-lock)
Cash US$ (in zip-lock)
Cash local currency (in zip-lock)
Sun glasses with neck strap
Passport and Visa (in zip-lock)
International Certificate of Vaccination (in zip-lock)
2x Debit Cards, Credit Cards, DVL (in zip-lock)
Jacket (depending on weather) x1 (wear)
Light Weight Rain Jacket x1
Tank Top x1
Nylon Shorts/Swim shorts x1
Pants x2 to 3 (wear 1)
Shirts x4 to 6 (wear 1)
Nylon Money Belt x1 (wear)
Underwear x4 to 6 (wear 1)
Socks x4 to 6 (wear 1)
Hankerchief x2 to 3 (wear 1)
Walking/Hiking Shoes x1 (wear)
Water Shoes x1
(I layer clothing rather than carrying extra clothing)
Phone and Email List
Detailed Travel Item List
Castile Soap (Shampoo, Detergent)
Bug spray (100% DET) (double bag)
Sun screen (solid)
2 sets earplugs
Small Fingernail Clippers
5) FIRST AID
3 Gauze pads
Sanitary napkins, Condoms, etc.
Pens & Pencils
Cards & thank you notes
8) SPACE BLANKET, CLOTHSLINE
AND EXTRA BAGS
Information from Internet
11) BED LINER
I check the carry-on size and weight rules for the airline I will be traveling on. Rules can vary greatly from one airline to the next and can even vary on the same airline when flying international verses domestic. I chose a rucksack that can be a carry-on item for overhead storage on an airliner. A small backpack will fit too.
My rucksack: Surplus German Mountain Rucksack ($22 on line)
Dimensions: 18”x16”x10” with a main compartment and two flapped side pockets
Fabric: Cotton canvas, with waterproof, rugged vinyl bottom
Volume: 1830 ci (30 ltr) (Spirit allows a carry-on; 24”x16”x12” or 4608 ci)
(Delta allows a carry-on; 22”x14”x9” or 2772 ci)
Weight: 2 lbs 5 ozs (1049 g), 21 to 24 lbs packed
My fanny pack: The North Face – Sport Hiker ($52 on line)
Dimensions: 8" x 14" x 6" (21 cm x 35 cm x 15)
Fabric: 420D nylon, 1680D Ballistics
Volume: 550 ci (9 ltr) (Spirit and Delta allow this as a Personal Bag for carry-on)
Weight : 1 lbs 1 oz (480 g), 5 lbs packed w/o water
I carry a PacSafe to secure my rucksack. I’ve used it to secure my rucksack on busses so I could sleep, on the beach so I could swim by myself, and in my bed in hostels.
I scan and email all my documents and prescriptions to myself as well as all the email address I may need while traveling. I can open my email on most computers world wide.
The light weight duffle bag I carry in my rucksack can be used as a laundry bag and as a check-in bag on return flights to carry purchases. The garbage bag in my rucksack is big enough to cover my rucksack and can be used as a liner for my rucksack or duffle bag in wet weather.
My light weight rain jacket packs into one of its pockets. The bed liner is silk and very compact.
I wear my hiking boots and my heavy jacket (when traveling in cold weather) on the airplane. They don’t count as a carry-on and I can also stuff the pockets with extra items. I tie knots at the end of my shoe laces so I can loosen them up to take off my shoes without the laces coming out of the eyelets. This is good for airport security checkpoints. I also keep a length of parachute cord tied to my rucksack as a spare boot lace and for tying things to my rucksack.
When going through airline security I use a gallon size zip lock bag to hold everything in my pockets and keep my items together.
My water shoes are also water proof hiking sandals. I use them as shower shoes, doing water sports and they are a back up if my hiking boots have a failure. I keep them in a plastic bag in my rucksack.
I use Castile soap as a body soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent. Sometimes I also carry Woolite.
I carry a folding walking staff. It fits in my rucksack and airport security hasn’t questioned it in three countries so far. I also had my doctor write a letter stating I needed it for walking because of injuries (just in case it is questioned). It folds out into a 5’ staff with a pointed carbide tipped end and is handy for hiking rough terrain and fending off aggressive dogs. It is also a camera monopod.
I carry small bills when starting my excursion for tips and taxis. I check the exchange rates on line before I depart and, if possible, I exchange at least $50 at my destination airport for spending money before visiting a bank or ATM. I carry at least two debit cards including one on an account with an international bank to increase the chance of a card being accepted at my destination.
It is a good idea to notify your credit card companies of your destinations before you go to help ensure charges won’t be refused. I always confirm my reservations before I leave for the airport.
I use safety pins to pin my pockets shut so nothing falls out when I am sitting or climbing and to ward off pick pockets. I pin a zippered pocket or double pin the pocket with my passport.
I pack light weight, comfortable, fast dry cloths. At least one pair of my pants are zip-offs that can convert to shorts. My clothes can be washed in the hotel/hostel sink and usually be dry by the next morning. I wear quality padded hiking socks to prevent blisters. They take longer to dry but can be hung on my rucksack to dry when traveling. I carry a light weight pair of gym shorts and a cotton tank top to sleep in. The tank top can also be used as an extra layer of clothing for cold weather travel.
I usually use sun screen and wear a Tilly hat. My hat also has a small hidden pouch under the care label. I keep backup money in my money belt and in my hat.
I plan my trip with fellow travelers, via the internet, and the Lonely Planet publications. When in a foreign country, I talk with as many of the locals as I can to get pointers on places to go, hostels/hotels, restaurants, transportation and what to avoid.
I will take a language book and write out a few phrases such as: how much?, where is the bathroom?, thank you, where is the bus station?, etc. TravLang and Bablefish are good sites for translations. I carry thank you notes and a few small items as gifts to thank people for a place to stay or for helping me.
I have found that a small roll of electrical tape is handy for a variety of uses. Duct tape would work too.
I check the government web sites for updates of political situations affecting my destination and visit my local county health department to determine what precautionary shots or medical treatments are recommended for the area I will be visiting. Always check to see if the country you are visiting requires a visa in advance.
Helpful websites include:
TravLang Translating Dictionaries: www.dictionaries.travlang.com
The North Face: http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/index.html
Walking Staff: http://rockymountainamblers.com/index.php
Tilly Hat: http://www.tilley.com/
Money Belt: http://www.eaglecreek.com/
Countries I’ve Visited
Bahamas, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela
Countries I’ve Lived In