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I run a website EnClave LA where I post a weekly list of events around LA and have a newsletter with ticket giveaways:
If you like live music, dance and cultural events, not touristy stuff, you can check it out.
I truly believe in the good of this community and we each have a responsibility to make it what it is. I am an outspoken advocate for member safety and I don't believe anyone, even ambassadors, have the right to dictate or own a community or abuse their roles. I have publicly outed 2 male Ambassadors who are sexual predators after numerous reports to me by female CSers who are too afraid to speak out, and speak out against an organization and culture that protects them and other predators on this site. Because of my zero tolerance and willingness to speak up publicly, I have been threatened by both members of the community as well as the organization itself which do not take these issues seriously and seeks to censor members like myself who are trying to keep this community safe for all.
UPDATE: Effective January 21, 2013, I am no longer active in the CouchSurfing community and am very selective in who I host. I've committed 3 years of my life to what was once a wonderful, vibrant community that redeemed my faith in the goodness of people and changed my life. Now the shady organization's priorities are profit-driven, they don't educate new members how to use the site correctly, and it's become a community of entitled freeloaders. These articles pretty much sum up the history of how CouchSurfing has lost its true spirit over the years:
NEW MEMBERS! Even if you're not looking for a couch, most new people are not aware that there are active and friendly community groups! So even if you don't need a couch, you can communicate and socialize with friendly locals, ask questions and find out the latest happenings! If you're on FB, join:
*** Due to the amount of people I host & events I organize, I have very little time to reply to friend requests and leave references and the website makes it very time-consuming to do so - I apologize in advance if it takes me forever - it's not personal! ***
Hola amigos! I was born in Vietnam, fled from the war as a refugee, loves learning languages, dances salsa, and loves African music! Everyone calls me El Chino Latino and I don't believe in limiting who I am just because of where I was born, how I was raised or what culture I was born into, and thanks to CouchSurfing, the whole world has been opened to me!
Losing my job in 2009 as a software engineer in the horrible economy was the best thing that ever happened to me! I saw it as the perfect opportunity to realize a dream of mine...to travel the world. So I joined CouchSurfing and it not only changed my travels, it changed me.
I traveled through South America and Europe and it was as much an inner journey as it was an outer one for me. I honestly donât see myself ever going back to being shackled to a regular corporate type job, working long hours for someone else, and not having the freedom to travel whenever and wherever I want. I did a lot of soul searching on my travels, and figuring out what I can do in the next phase of my life that is more impactful and meaningful.
So I came back and while pondering my next step, kept doing what I've always loved - teaching and sharing what I know with anyone interested. I've always taught my friends and visiting CouchSurfers how to surf and so many people asked me why I'm not doing it for a living...so last summer 2011, I started my own business as a profesional surf instructor and in less than a year, was #1 customer rated on Yelp.com and TripAdvisor.com and opened up my own surf shop in Huntington Beach!
Now, my next adventure begins. I run my own blog Enclave LA to keep a pulse on music, dance and culture in Los Angeles and spread the word to people! My future dream is to move to Brasil!
In life and in traveling, more important to me than where I´m going and what I´ll be seeing, is who I´ll encounter along the way. It´s the personal connections with other people that make traveling exciting, spontaneous and fulfilling for me and I have made wonderful life-long friends. If anyone is nearby wherever I´m at, let´s meet up! Add me on Facebook.
I oppose fraud and my couch and hospitality are not for sale.
Get your own profile photo with a message stating how you feel about CS going for-profit here.
Welcome to my profile. Now that the CS non-profit organization has been bought secretly by the for-profit corporation "Better World Through Travel Inc." and shares have been issued to a few people and venture capitalists for their personal enrichment I give preference to requests received through BeWelcome.org, a non-profit hospitality network.
For the Fast Lane to my couch, join the BeWelcome.org network and send me a couch request to my profile below:
Life is short. Live and love passionately every moment. I will try anything that stimulates and pushes me mentally and physically, and broadens my perspective and enlightens my being. Anything that challenges me to go beyond my comfort zone.
Best inspiring travel quotes ever!
Some of my random tweets:
how can u disparage, hate or attack another country if u had a close friend in each? u would think twice & care more. thats Couchsurfing.org
sometimes growth seems stagnant for years, then comes at quantum leaps & bounds that i dont recognize who i was. travel has done this for me
ur old self that won't change must die for a new you to be reborn with an open mind,fresh eyes,free heart,new spirit. repeat this often.
i dont fear getting older, i fear becoming so rigid, complacent, closeminded that im no longer really living. that can happen at any age.
the more open your mind, the more u see, the more open ur heart, the more u feel, the more people u embrace, the smaller the world becomes.
travel taught me im not only a citizen of a country,im a citizen of the world. im not only a member of a race,im a member of the human race.
born in VN,raised in US,speaks Español,dances Salsa,listens to African music,moving to Brasil & unable to ever conform to ur expectations
why is it the more ppl have, the more selfish they are? i believe less is more & time+relationships cant be bought, cant be easily replaced.
better to be idealistic than to capitulate to unquestioning conformity.
the more blank slate u are, the more people will try to label u & project their own insecurities & limitations on u. don't let ppl define u.
trust ur 1st instinct. take a chance. lower ur guard. by the time u realize there was nothing to fear & so much to gain, ill already be gone
2011.Always have a backup plan. PlanA:move to Argentina. PlanB:move to Brasil. PlanC:move to Costa Rica. PlanD:move to..You get the idea ;-)
we're all on borrowed time here. embrace yourself, embrace people in your life, embrace the moment now. u can't have that precious time back
nothing u really possess in this world; nothing is urs, not even ppl. let go & simply love & ppl will stay cuz they want to, not have to.
Working from home has its risks:acculturation to nudity; sensitivity to natural light; proneness to sleeping in. Warning:pure joy may result
denying couchsurfing requests from newbies who send me selfish requests thinking they can just crash for the asking. CS isnt 4 freeloaders!
i love hosting CouchSurfing events but hate covering cheap CouchSurfers, who are generous with their couches but not with their wallets!
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
CouchSurfing has redeemed my faith in the goodness of people, if we all give each other a chance to connect in an open, genuine and positive way. So many people have helped me along my travels, the least I can do when I'm back home is host and be an active welcoming part of our community. I am part of the Emergency Hosts for LA and OC and was a moderator for the OC CS group. I organize monthly Taco Tuesday meetings and world culture events in OC and LA.I truly believe in the good of this community and we each have a responsibility to make it what it is. I am an outspoken advocate for member safety and I don't believe anyone, even ambassadors, have the right to dictate or own a community or abuse their roles. I have publicly outed 2 male Ambassadors who are sexual predators after numerous reports to me by female CSers who are too afraid to speak out, and speak out against an organization and culture that protects them and other predators on this site. Because of my zero tolerance and willingness to speak up publicly, I have been threatened by both members of the community as well as the organization itself which do not take these issues seriously and seeks to censor members like myself who are trying to keep this community safe for all.
This community only works if people leave honest feedback and I don't flinch from leaving honest feedback for fear of getting negative retaliatory feedback in return. Negative references say more about the person writing them and I trust that most people are smart enough to recognize the difference. I also teach salsa dancing and surfing! I've taken so many visiting CSers to surf their 1st time! It's a must-do if you come to Southern California! I am very proud of the CouchSurfers I've taught to surf at our beaches...spreading the surfer stoke! Photos & blogs of some CSers I've taught:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKJNe7Q1Anshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OopL9tJZj3Mhttp://surfwithtom.com/2011/thanksgiving-surfing-lessons-with-my-couchsurfers-from-canada
Hosted me:So many wonderful, generous souls I have had the good fortune of meeting and counting as friends for life! Forever indebted to you all!1. Thai Binh, Canada2. Andressa, Brasil3. Jose, Chile4. Marco, Peru5. Delia, Peru6. David, Ecuador7. Elena & Cristian, Colombia8. Pato, Argentina9. Kai, UK10. Enrico, UK11. Chris & Patricia, N. Ireland12. Ton, Spain13. Maria, Spain14. Patrick, NY, US15. Jennifer, NY, US16. Sara, NY, US17. Freeda, Canada18. David, Florida, US19. Alex, Florida, US20. Juan Carlos, Costa Rica21. Manuel, Colombia22. Rob, Florida, US23. Renee, Florida, USSurfed my couch:1. Bill, Ohio, US2. Shea, California, US3. Nick, Netherlands4. Eija, Finland5. Jimmy, California, US6. Guillaume, France7. Jennifer, Canada8. Michel, Netherlands9. Leah, Nevada, US10. Mila, Nevada, US11. Richard, California, US12. Alexander, Germany13. Matthias, Germany14. Justin, California, US15. Chung, Massachusetts, US16. Kennedy, Arizona, US17. Katie, New Jersey, US and her friend Ana18. Philine, Switzerland19. Priit, Estonia20. Alvaro, Switzerland21. Susan, Italy and 2 kids (my 1st negative hosting experience)22. Louise, California and boyfriend23. Lauren, France24. Hector, California, US25. Kai, UK26. Roland, Switzerland27. Juliette, France and her friend Oumie28. Alex, Nevada, US and his friend Dominique29. Bao, Russia30. Jake, Minnesota, US and 2 friends31. Pierre and Marina, France32. Tom and Basia, Poland33. Attila, Hungary34. Florent, Belgium35. Leandro, Brasil36. Tina, Puerto Rico...and I stopped counting after 50+ in the last year...lol...
Live Music & Concerts, World and Indie Music, Foreign Films, Travel (duh), Salsa, Swing, Anything You Can Dance To, Surfing, Tai-Chi & Chi-Gong, Guitar and above all, being a Goofball and Dork!
- salsa dancing
- live music
- martial arts
Music, Movies, and Books
My music taste is very eclectic...love discovering new world music on KCRW, my local public radio station. I love watching foreign and indie movies.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
where to start...
The one day I didn't have my waterproof camera on me, pod of dolphins surrounded my surfboard...a magical moment with majestic intelligent beings.
Teach, Learn, Share
I love teaching and learning from others! I have taught children's martial arts for over 10 years, and I've taught swing and salsa dancing, surfing and snowboarding. I like to say I'm a jack of all trades, but master at none...meaning I can teach anyone the basics to get started, but my mission is to let you take it from there and inspire you to take it even farther than me! I don't care about being the best at anything -- I only care that I'm enjoying what I'm doing and that's enough for me.
Countries I’ve Visited
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Ireland, Japan, Peru, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Viet Nam
Countries I’ve Lived In