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Eating, drinking, and strolling my way across the world, gathering stories all the way. "We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down." - Kurt Vonnegut
Trying to get the most out of what I've got.
I'm living out a dream - working as a journalist abroad. I had spent last year doing a fellowship in journalism, researching multiculturalism in Germany, and it convinced me that I really did want to stay here and learn more. At the last minute, when I had all but given up hope, a great opportunity presented itself in Bonn, and I decided to take it.
1. Don't be a jerk.
2. Always bring a towel.
3. Be grateful for everything you have.
4. Share what you have with those that have less.
5. The shortest route between two cultures goes through the stomach.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Right now, I participate in forum discussions as well as surfing in different places.
I wish I could host, but it's not possible in my current living situation. But I'm more than willing to meet someone passing through or moving to any of the places I've lived!
I've stayed on not only couches, but floors, inflatable mattresses, bathtubs, spare room beds, and chairs throughout my travels. I've stayed with a last-minute host in Brussels who was great, as well as with wonderful hosts in Lublin and Warsaw, Poland.
I've also offered up my own bed and couch many times to friends or friends of friends who needed a place to stay for one reason or another.
Cooking, reading, writing, painting watercolors, history, salsa dancing (still learning!), dancing to anything until I'm all sweaty and happy, solitary walks, photography, local wines and beer, beach lounging, hiking.
Music, Movies, and Books
Music: Almost anything, but I especially like: Bob Marley, The Clash, Gogol Bordello, Desmond Dekker, Ella Fitzgerald, Missy Elliot, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson (especially pre-1993), Beastie Boys, Manu Chao, Jimi Hendrix, The Violent Femmes, Stevie Wonder, Vampire Weekend, U2, Old School Rap and Soul.
Books: I love to read - novels, short stories, poetry, nonfiction, historical fiction, comic books/graphic novels, cookbooks... Anything I've ever read by Sherman Alexie and Isabel Allende, "GIs and Frauleins: The German American Encounter in 1950s West Germany," by Maria Hoehn, "What is the What," by Dave Eggers and Valentino Achak Deng, "Kindred," by Octavia Butler, "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain, "Casino Moscow," by Matthew Brzezniski, "Persepolis," by Marjane Satrapi.
Movies: Don't get to see a lot in the theatres these days, but I tend to like dark comedies and documentaries: In Brugge, When We Were Kings, Ghost World.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
If I pick just one, it might sound underwhelming... I've been blessed with many beautiful, significant moments in my life: Fishing at Lake Erie with my parents and grandparents. Cooking a full Thanksgiving meal (two turkeys, stuffing, sweet potato pie, cornbread, the works!) for an international milieu of classmates in the Netherlands and listening to everyone around the table share what they were thankful for. Folkdancing in the mountains outside of Pecs, Hungary and singing old Beatles songs while drunk on red wine. Walking through a rainforest in Grenada, West Indies and smelling all the cinnamon, nutmeg and guava trees. Sitting with my great-grandmother and hearing her stories about growing up in rural Georgia in the early 1900s and moving alone to the northern United States as a teenager- she died last year, at 104, and I miss her terribly.
Teach, Learn, Share
I cook delicious peach cobbler and sweet potato pie, and pretty good curries.
I'm interested in almost everything. I like learning about quirky people, places and things. I'm really intrigued by the stories of minorities in majority cultures: Roma in Hungary, Sorbs in Germany, Chinese in Jamaica, Ethiopians in India, Sephardic Jews in Mexico, Samoans in Arkansas, immigrant communities all over the world.
I'm always trying to experience local foods and drinks, despite a really annoying allergy to shellfish that prevents me from enjoying octopus and shrimp as much as I'd like.
I love both learning and sharing new recipes!
Countries I’ve Visited
Belgium, Grenada, Hungary, Sweden
Countries I’ve Lived In
Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, United States