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Phil Tseng

Durham, North Carolina, United States

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Last login 7 months ago

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Overview

  • 22 Positive References
  • Fluent in Chinese, English; learning French, Taiwanese
  • 27, Male
  • Member since 2012
  • chemistry teacher turned medical stu...
  • B.S. Chemistry & M.Ed.
  • From Nashua, NH, United States
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

CURRENT MISSION

To see the world, become inspired by it, and then use what I've learned to transform others.

ABOUT ME

As (yet another) American who had never traveled much, especially beyond the States or the West, I've always wanted to spend some time seeing the world. This past year, I quit my teaching job, roadtripped from Los Angeles to New York City over 6 months, and backpacked in Southeast Asia for another 5 months.

Overall I'm a pretty relaxed, Zen guy who loves to witness different cultures and ways of living, off the beaten path. I love a great adventure - my best have been in an aboriginal farming village in northern Vietnam and in Hua Hin, Thailand, trying not to get killed on my motorbike in city traffic.

PHILOSOPHY

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." — Mister Twain

Why I'm on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

Right now, I'm surfing couches. When I get back home and have my own place, I'd like to host as well. Unfortunately, I'll be in the middle of North Carolina; we'll see how much action that place gets...

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

(Domestic CS experiences shown below. Will update with international when I'm back home.)

This has been my CS journey from August 2012 to January 2013, where I almost exclusively couchsurfed during my roadtrip from LA to NYC (made with Google Latitude location history):

Interests

swimming, singing, rock climbing, dance (hip hop, ballroom), vegetarian cooking, kayaking, running, piano, tennis, hiking, photography, tubing, alcohol in moderation :)

I went skydiving last year - phenomenal experience. There are also many things I haven't done yet that are on my bucket list, e.g. hot-air ballooning.

I randomly stumbled into commercial and lifestyle modeling about a year ago. I actually have a decent portfolio now and have started seeing myself in random places, which is always extremely entertaining.

Music, Movies & Books

I'm usually not one for reading fiction, and hadn't for years, but then a friend of mine recently got me into reading Fifty Shades of Grey. And then the sequels. I was... intrigued?

I mostly read nonfiction though. Recently, I've been trying to educate myself on current economic and political issues - especially in regards to the nitty gritty behind healthcare reform.

My favorite movies & shows are generally action-based with some kind of mild sci-fi component. Examples include Avatar, Inception, V, 24, Walking Dead, Once Upon A Time. Having been a chemistry teacher, Breaking Bad is quite apropos. Love comedies—Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Ted. Speaking of Ted, TED videos also rock. As I've grown older, I've come to find horror films increasingly more enjoyable.

I don't know how to generalize my favorite music; it's kind of all over the place. The top-40, trending stuff on the radio does frequently blast in my car (2000 Celica GTS six-speed manual with turbo, my baby). Rob Thomas and Adam Levine are two of my all-time most idolized singers—when I want to learn something new to sing, it'll usually be one of their songs. I also love listening to contemporary instrumental stuff like Yanni, Jon Schmidt, and Jim Brickman. I'm not big on heavy metal or any music that involves screaming.

One Amazing Thing I've Done

Over the 5 months I spent backpacking in SE Asia, the most incredible time I had was spent living with the Hmong village people in northern Vietnam. I spent days without running water and with minimal electricity. Even though the lady that hosted me could barely speak English, I understood her enough to immerse myself in their ancient agrarian culture. It was an amazing experience, and I became rather emotional when I had to leave.

Teach, Learn, Share

My 5-month trek in SE Asia has forever changed the way I view life back home in the States. Let me know if you're interested in hearing about it.

I know a few things about vegetarian cooking and would be happy to muster something up for you should the opportunity arise.

I spent a month at a Muay Thai camp in Thailand. I'm still a crap fighter but can teach a few things.

If you know anything at all about hip hop or ballroom dancing, I can probably learn quite a bit from you - provided you'd teach me. Warning: I'm a terrible student.

The most challenging experiences in life are the ones from which I have grown the most. They're also the ones I cherish most deeply. Ask me about my experience teaching in a low-income high school through Teach For America.

Countries I've Visited

Cambodia, Canada, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, Viet Nam

Countries I've Lived In

United States

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