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Welcome! I'm on a 10 year journey around the world visiting hundreds of destinations in 60 countries with over 1000 hosts. I will teach you everything I've learned. Focusing on people, nature and gastronomy, I hope to eventually find a new home. Recently, I completed a 2 month Hawaii/Alaska hitchhiking trip via Yukon, Banff & Vancouver (stayed 1 year). Next, I moved to Saudi Arabia to work as a Math teacher. Then, I went overlanding in Africa. Now, a new 12 nation Latin American survey begins this winter.
Note: People ask me similar questions, so I've made a shortlist of answers:
Q: What are you doing? When are you going to stop? And then what?
A: I've been traveling for over 10 years (non-stop). I am in the last leg (with Latin America). This is Level 1. After the survey is complete, I will move up to LEVEL 2, which involves picking my favourite spots (from Level 1) as temporary bases. When I find my place, I will have reached Level 3 - the final level.
Q: How do you make money? How can you afford it?
A: I've taught English Pronunciation and Math in Saudi Arabia (High Salary). Now living off my savings. I cook, specializing in raw dips (from organic vegetable gardens).
Q: Why don't you have facebook or a smartphone?
A: Youtube is the only social media I have. I like the old school phones.
Q: Why did you decide to travel the world?
A: To see (and survey) the world.
Q: What are you looking for?
A: I'm looking for amazing views, speciality local cuisine, hidden places and anything else off-the beaten path. I'm also looking for specific people to connect/resonate with.
Q: How do you do it? Travel around the world?
A: I often need to spend a lot of time on the internet to plan for couches and other logistics. The amount of time depends on what I'm looking for in a certain area, which is ongoing work and sometimes I need a couple hours per day and then I could be free for many days.
Q: What's the best country? (The dreaded question)
A: There is no answer. Everywhere is good and bad simultaneously with shades of grey and infinite diversity in infinite complexities. My favourite places are Iceland, Norway, Switzerland for quiet nature and then Italy for food/people and of course Morocco, Oman and Iran for the hospitality of the East. I also liked Australia and Saudi Arabia to some extent. Places i really want to go to (in addition to Latin America): Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Algeria, Libya, the Sahara.
Q: How did you decide to travel?
A: Waited for window of opportunity and then flew the nest.
Q: Don't you want to stop traveling?
A: No, not really.
Q: Do you speak any languages?
A: Yes, many languages.
Q: Always traveling alone?
A: Yes, always alone.
Q: You meet any other travelers like you?
A: No, not exactly.
Q: What are you going to do with all this travel?
A: Nothing/everything. The more experiences, the better.
Q: Do you want to write a book (after you travels)?
A: No, it is not my way.
Q: Do you have a blog?~
A: No, just couchsurfing ;)
Q: Where are you based?
A: I am baseless.
Q: Do you have any siblings?
A: 1 little brother
Q: What about your parents?
A: Mother is a retired nurse, father is a former theatrical director.
Q: Do you keep contact with your parents?
A: Yes! I use email, skype and ecards to keep in touch. Both my parents traveled in their 20's (about 4-5 years on international student visas (in the 1970's). I miss them very much!!!
Q: Don't you want to get married? Settle down.
A: Yes. I like the idea of having 5-10 children.
Q: Don't you ever get tired of traveling?
A: Sometimes i get the traveler's blues, but those feelings go away quickly.
Q: Why are you a vegetarian?
A: 1) It's healthier. We are what we eat. 2) torture videos of animals 3) industrialization of animal products
Q: Have you eaten strange foods in your travel?
A: I don't like industrialized animal foods, but i do eat happy meat, dairy and eggs (not from the supermarket). Organic, free trade, free range.. these are just labels. I prefer the original backyard chicken & food direct from the source or the wild. Otherwise, I often go vegetarian. Also, i like to cook wholesome, natural ingredients and & avoid artificial foods bloating me. But, I always make exceptions for the delicious, the beautiful.
Q: What about your name?
A: "Kaveh" is my given name and the main character in Shahnameh, the epic story written by famous playwright Ferdowsi a thousand years ago. Many traditional Iranian names originate from this play. Kaveh is hard to pronounce so I use a nickname or travel name, Kia (which is also a character from Shahnameh). It's also an archaic word meaning crown. You may call me Kia, but, I respond most amicably to Kaveh, pronounced Kāve, with emphasis on the first syllable and a soft ending like the "e" in "pet". There is NO eh sound like in Canada eh? NOT Kavey, Kavi, Kavah, Kovay, Kevah, Kavesh, Kovah or anything else. Click here to pronounce my name: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7as9p8YqWUM
Personality traits: crazy, sincere, observant, direct, intuitive, intrepid, bold, specific, original, radical, thorough, unpredictable, mysterious, analytical, cheeky, funny, silly, wilful, productive, moody, curious, intense, strict, logical, confident, sensitive, demanding, alert, meticulous, unique, frank, complex, determined, adventurous, instinctive, musical, resourceful, industrious, conscientious, evaluating, attentive, focused, vigilant, pragmatic, categorical, unconventional, calculated, dominating, systematic, challenging, selective, precise.
Other traits: A hawk's eye, exotic tastes. A desire for power to heal the world. Usually joking. Loves to tease. Plays tricks, pranks. Imaginative mind. Interested in knowledge, ageless wisdom and mind expansion. Good with words, articulate, insightful. Deals in truth, Straight shooter, Cuts to the chase. Very active inner life, psychic ability. Sensory, energy based ability to read minds and finish other people's thoughts, sentences. An aesthetic sense, affection for pets and small animals. Perceptive, investigative, Original, unconventional approach to life. I like doing what hasn't been done, testing my boundaries.
Probing mind, deep conversation, researcher, healer, self-improvement, tendency to drop out of the system, intense relations with others, preserver of values, against superficial. Strong foresight & vision, often feel punished for attempting to stir the minds of others. Impact people without realizing. Powerful inner resilience, nourished by facts and details, complicated thoughts, strong association to the power of the Earth, gains calm and inspiration from pleasures of nature. Easily misunderstood. Sometimes supercritical in communication. Absorbs information like a sponge, interested in systems, structures & patterns.
Usually the first to notice when something doesn't work as part of a system or process. Focuses on meaning such that it's embarrassing in its directness. A strong personality, doesn't put up with excuses, choosy with people. Arguments upset, prefer harmony in communications and to provide service, not leadership. Independent within one-to-one relationships. A keen appreciation of the mysteries of nature. A bit of a hypochondriac. A realist, not an optimist. Sensory sensitivity (enhanced lights, sounds and odours).
A quick flow of ideas, inclined to view life and relationships from an intellectual perspective. Trustworthy with secrets, finances. Strategic. Unhappy when faced with uncertainty or lack of goals. Restless. Very curious, asks many questions if interested. None, if not. In love with mysterious people and intrigue. Headstrong, occasionally rude. Unpredictable changes where goals are concerned, will change direction a number of times before focusing on true path. Strong willed, penetrating (but enjoys harmony in groups).
Unfamiliar, interesting sense of humour. A photogenic memory. Perseverance. Uncommon ability of expression. Comparative mind. Appear to be the odd one out in groups. Philosophically eclectic, deep thinker, original creativity. Spontaneous enthusiasm (not by request or expectation). A strong sense of tradition, rebellious thoughts, resent the limitations time imposes. Desire to be social/enjoy time alone. Often generalizing/judging/correcting but never with conjecture. Rather than trying to fit in, inadvertently prefers the world to discover the unique truth connecting everyone.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
China, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia - 45
Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria - 35
United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland) - 42
Mexico, USA, Canada - 106
Iceland - 10
Belgium - 8
Switzerland - 18
Austria - 13
Canaria - 15
Sri Lanka - 10
Nepal - 10
Australia - 150
New Zealand - 40
Saudi Arabia - 5
Egypt - 10
Sudan - 15
Ethiopia - 20
South Africa - 25
Like: the sound of wind, storms, tropical fruits, lush, green mountains, gardens, sunlight, blue sky, the ocean, white clouds, breeze, waves, clear nights, low traffic, starlight, cool forest, natural water. Chilli, feta, yogurt, garlic, basil, mint. I also enjoy hidden knowledge, mediterranean cuisine, homemade products, freshwater activities (not saltwater), watching movies in bed, plants, birdsong, off grid living, animals, greenery, calm sounds, the cosmos, moonlight, candlelight, flowers, sweets, fragrances, the desert, the silence, and the wild.
I also like singing, dancing, acting & impressions/accents (all improvised).
Dislike: Pop music/culture, artificial foods, like hot dogs/sausages, tourist traps, crowds, nudism, gray sky, big city life, museums/zoos (prefer a more hands-on approach), screen culture, shopping/malls, facebook/smartphone, loud/smoky bars (enjoys a drink), aggressive economic/athletic competition, interviews, endless, heated discussions, radio/TV commercials, infotainment, loud noises, biting insects, rootlessness in an increasingly plastic world (the mainstream). Commuting, bright lights, cold/humid weather (love the dry heat), repetition/small talk, traffic noise, history (misleading as usually favours one-side), heavy marketing/advertising, most popular stuff like corporate news and newspapers (independent sources are better). I disagree with many big corporations/institutions (i.e military, banking, public education, parties/government, religions (love God) and other hierarchical social control systems). Also with unicultural societies (illusioned as multicultural). Basically, I don't like the current way governments or corporations (public or private) affect the beliefs of people. I'm against the material trend toward a herding mentality.
People I like: It's not just restricted to these people: Uncommon, happy, living an alternative lifestyle or people of the anti-establishment. People who live off grid, growing food, self-sustainable, ready for anything. Limitless, crazy, genuine, funny (or with a sense of humour). Agreeable, laughing, uncomplicated, extrasensory, carefree, helpful, loyal, considerate, deep, hospitable, generous. Smiling people with kind eyes, a warm heart. People who don't care/need to know what time it is. People with a non-mainstream approach/outlook. Non-trendy. Compassionate, different, unusual, eccentric, altruistic. Also, people who pick up hitchhikers. Strong cultured people. Psychic, mysterious.
People i dislike: (I'm sorry if it seems long and daunting): People who try/need to be a leader (the Alpha male). Passive-aggressive. Dishonest taxi drivers. Crude, unreliable, vulgar, drunkard/alcoholic, violent, fashionista, superficial, vane, artificial. Those who depend on the media for their information/watch a lot of television. Idealists with imposing philosophies/little practical experience. Ignorant, superior, insecure, misinformed (and OK with it). Fake Loudmouths. Pushy, creepy expats. Nosy, shallow, fearful, anal-retentive, corporate, greedy, distant, insincere, angry, paranoid, disloyal, robotic, dry, nervous, dull, sticklers (for the rules) or overly obedient. Suspicious, confusing, excessively sarcastic, cold, rigid, tightly strung up people or those who always need to have the last word. Trendy, typical, conformist, yuppie, classicist, touchy, insular, irritable, macho/feminist, noisy eaters, (esp. slurping tea). Superficial chatter. People who watch or read a lot of biased news or opinions (even off the internet) and get set in a rigid thought pattern and find it challenging to hear opposing new information. Basically people who don't like to be rebutted. Other incompatible types: People who still refer to the developing nations as third world countries. People who insist on following rules without fully understanding them or the status quo for its own sake. Those who are too much into business, worry a lot or always talk about not having enough time, safety & security. Those who regularly dine at McDonald's (and similar restaurants). Say "ignorance is bliss" instead of seeking answers, lazy MTV people, media whores and other masses of sheeple.
Music, Movies, and Books
Music: Beautiful, traditional, instrumental, peaceful, devotional, spiritual. Japanese/Chinese traditional wind instruments. Tibetan, Sanskrit, Indian classical music (flute). Slow Jazz, happy Jazz, folk, oriental music, drums, celtic voice, harp, very particular African music, 1920's, 1930's music. Duduk, Aboriginal (flute again), romantic French music, Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, and other classical, 80's music, Various American oldies like johnny cash, pink floyd, etc. Electronica sub-genres like 2-step garage, breakstep. Amalia Rodrigues and her fado, Alpha Blondie, bouzouki, mariachi, guitar of the Canary islands, Portuguese guitar, tarantella, steel drums, mandolin, marimba, charango, classical Napoletano
Film: Epic, Award winning, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Documentary, Foreign, Dead Poets Society, before night falls, Dances with Wolves, malcolm x, tombstone, lean on me, braveheart, once upon a time in america, godfather, heat, legends of the fall, lost in translation, mongol, no country for old men, scarface, rob roy, ladykillers, warrior, the life aquatic, kingdom of heaven, outlander, lotr, star wars, star trek, gandhi, ratatouille, submarine movies, dystopia/utopia genre, blue planet, frozen planet, planet earth, human planet, national geographic, other nature, food or science programs, or anything more nostalgic from childhood.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Finding God is the first.
Also, I've climbed sea rocks off Malaysia's tropical Islands. Riding motorbike through hilly Northern Thailand. Bamboo boating on the Li river. Climbing the East Tibetan Himalayas, running out of oxygen, food and water at 4500m and following locals on the mountain back to their village for dinner.
What I Can Share with Hosts
I can teach you everything I've learned from 10 years of traveling as well as ongoing personal research. Also ethnomusicology, improvisational cooking, alternative health, the natural world, Internet research, English pronunciation or debunk myths about current events (to help widen the perspective).
I can also share powerful documentary films. I can help individuals looking to break out.