Lima, Lima Metropolitan Area, Peru
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Traveling, cooking, drinking, writing (not necessarily in that order)
Born in Peru, raised in Canada, I'm a savvy traveler with epicurean habits; welcoming and friendly as much as I speak my mind. Give it a try, maybe I'll host you.
I was born in Lima, but grew up in Canada. At the age of seven, my folks returned to Peru. Homesickness they call it. Some years later, in school, I wanted to be an archaeologist. Then I started to play the french horn (I had this terrible crush on my music teacher's daughter) and that started my passion for music.
After some years of studying music in Peru, I went to Chile to continue my musical education. It was 1988. Pinochet's regime, one of Latin America's longest dictatorships, was voted out through a plebiscite. A democratic regime was elected and Chile suddenly got highly interesting. There was a lot happening and I was eager to submerge myself into it all. That's when I realized I wanted to become a journalist.
Who am I?
I've been described as a warm and generous host, a helpless foodie with decadent, epicurean habits, an ultimate conversationalist, and a knowledgeable person. But I also have been said to be quite opinionated and arrogant, or "pretending to be god because I think I know everything" (direct quote from a couchsurfer!) I should admit all of the above is true.
I am very passionate about my culture and love to share my travel knowledge with anybody that is interested. I enjoy hosting people, cooking for my guests, traveling and trying to keep fresh my sense of awe, trying to enjoy the simple things of life, despite my cynicism. I speak up and generally have strong opinions about what I think. I don't consider myself a politically-correct person. Honesty and straight-forwardness, for me, is a precious virtue. I become highly suspicious about people that tag themselves as "open-minded" because most of the time they actually are fucking uptight. I also have a difficult time trusting people that don't drink because they usually end up being control-freaks.
Last but definitely not least: I have a great sense of (dark) humor. Can't help it. But if it makes you feel better, I've learned to laugh at myself too.
I am a print journalist, travel writer, tour conductor and tourism consultant. I contribute for magazines and publications in South and North America, as well as Europe. I've also co-written or updated travel guidebooks such as DK's first edition of the Peru Eyewitness Travel Guide or the Peru Moon Handbook's third edition. I've also worked for the National Geographic Society and published in the NG Traveler magazine. I also work in the tourism industry as a travel consultant, guide, interpreter and tour-conductor for private groups.
No idea. When I'm in Lima I combine my time hosting couchsurfers, looking for an unusual story to write about, cooking for my friends, setting out a plan for my next travel or hopefully making some progress writing a book in Spanish about my travels. Once I finish it, I hope somebody is bored enough to buy a copy and read it!
The Anti-Tourist Manifesto
"... as the world has become smaller, so its wonders have diminished. There is nothing amazing about the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China or the Pyramids of Egypt. They are as banal as the face of a Cornflakes packet. Consequently the true unknown frontiers lie elsewhere. The duty of the traveler, of the voyager is to open up new zones of experience. In our overexplored world these must of necessity be wastelands, black holes, and grim urban blackspots: all the places which, ordinarily, people choose to avoid. The only true voyagers, therefore, are anti-tourists. Following this logic we declare that:
The anti-tourist does not visit places that are in any way desirable. The anti-tourist eschews comfort. The anti-tourist embraces hunger and hallucinations and shit hotels. The anti-tourist seeks locked doors and demolished buildings. The anti-tourist scorns the bluster and bravado of the daredevil, who attempts to penetrate danger zones such as Afghanistan. The only thing that lies behind this is vanity and a desire to brag. The anti-tourist travels at the wrong time of the year. The anti-tourist prefers dead things to living ones. The anti-tourist is humble and seeks invisibility. The anti-tourist is interested only in hidden histories, in delightful obscurities, in bad art. The anti-tourist believes beauty is in the street. The anti-tourist holds that whatever travel does, it rarely broadens the mind. The anti-tourist values disorientation over enlightenment. The anti-tourist loves truth, but he is also partial to lies. Especially his own."
Excerpts from the resolutions passed at the First International Congress of Anti-Tourists at the Shymkent Hotel, in Shymkent, Kazakhstan, October 1999. From the book "Lost Cosmonaut: Observations of an Anti-Tourist" by Daniel Kalder, 2006.
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I have hosted travelers and friends as long as I can remember, way before CS2 existed. I used to share a flat with a very good friend, and we once had around ten people camping out in the living room! I don't do that anymore and rather have one or perhaps two guests at a time. But it's fun to meet people, exchange travel experiences, learn in the process, grow a network, and possibly make good friends.
Some interesting facts:Since June 2009, I've hosted 138 couchsurfers from 36 different countries as of November 2013. So far, the majority have been from France (26), United States (15), and Germany (13).
with Areli Gutierrez; Oaxaca, Mexico (11/08) with Patrícia Figueiredo; Tomar, Portugal (12/08)
with Zeinab Dieng; Dakar, Senegal (02/09) with Nikolas Sweet; Saint Louis, Senegal (03/09) with Maylen Rafuls; Nouadhibou, Mauritania (03/09) with Patrícia Figueiredo; Tomar, Portugal (05/09)
with Juan Carlos Olivo & Caroline De Vreese; Brussels, Belgium (10/12) with Patrícia Figueiredo; Lisbon, Portugal (10/12) with Judith Groenewegen; Rotterdam, Netherlands (10/12)
Check my references below.
Inbal Abarbanel (Israel) in Mali (01/09) Christine van den Brink (Netherlands) in Senegal (02/09) Judith Groenewegen (Netherlands) in Portugal & Spain (05/09) Anne-Laure Bonhomme (France) in Bolivia (07-08/09) Juliette Ferrer (France) to Huancayo and Cusco, Peru (09,10/09) Paola Arenas (Spain) to Tingo María and Pucallpa, Peru (11/09)
Michal Karmi (Israel) to Chaparrí, Peru (01/10) Vanessa G. Rosa (Brazil) to Arequipa and Majes Valley, Peru (02/10) Magdalini Parali (Greece) to Arequipa and Majes Canyon, Peru (02/10) Philippa Jephson (South Africa) to Paracas, Peru (04/10) Eva-Maria Kuntz (Germany) to Canta, Huaraz (05/10) and Tingo María (06/10), Peru Ydwine Zanstra (Netherlands) to Arequipa and Madre de Dios (12/10), Peru
Couchsurfers I have hosted:
Marine Exposito (France) Sharon Kennedy (Canada) Judith Kalb (Netherlands) Jen Hsu (Taiwan) Nancy Hasle (France) Saul Elbein (United States) Eva Treichel (Germany) Mona Mathews (Germany)
Virginie Descamps (France) David Cherqui (France) Suzette Little (United States) James Kelley (United States) Hiromitsu Okimori (Japan) Jana Dolezelova (Czech Republic) Tomas Motl (Czech Republic)
Ania Wajcowicz (Poland) Marcin Narloch (Poland) Sandra Reynders (Belgium) Jef Hermans (Belgium) Charley Hesse (England) Carolina Castaño (Colombia) Minna Heinonen (Finland) Kirsti Lempinen (Finland)
Juliette Ferrer (France) Marianne Phillips (France) Delphine Sastron (France) Nancy Hasle (France) Paola Arenas (Spain)
Delphine Zamai (France) Samuel Zamai (France) Fernanda Rivas (Mexico) Marika Tamm (Estonia)
Miriam Carmo (Portugal) Sasha Clarke (United States) Sarah Saadoun (Belgium/Morocco) Mike Finn-Kelcey (England) Sarah Graham (Scotland) Hubert Piotrowski (Poland) Ania Piotrowska (Poland) Andrea Cessna (Canada)
Philippa Jephson (South Africa)
Renee Wainwright (New Zealand)
Jeremy Marie (France) Elisabeth Connelly (United States) Renee Wainwright (New Zealand) Fiona Mc Keague (Australia) Kelly Shetron (United States) Eunjung Lee (South Korea) Lucia Mondella (Italy) Cristiane Marques (Brazil)
Barbara Kunkemöller (Germany) Angela Ma (Denmark) Anastasia Pertsjonok (Estonia) Michal Stefan (Czech Republic) Jana Mitrová (Slovakia) Rowena Mortimer (Australia) Liam Furlong (Australia)
Rachel Gans (United States) Dorothee Saucourt (France) Pia Räty (Sweden) Annika Gilljam (Sweden) Antje Tara Breitkopf (Germany) Ydwine Zanstra (Netherlands)
Alysha Lederhouse (Canada) Ricardo Cosentino (Canada) Morgan Daniels (United States) Ydwine Zanstra (Netherlands)
Matt Noonan (United States) Marie Brun (France) Sandra Molina (Spain) Roger Sánchez (Spain)
Mariana Sainz (Argentina) Sasha Clarke (United States) Inga Grundke (Germany) Gemma Marcet (Spain) Katia Lasret (France) Laura Böök (Finland)
Sylvie Cazanove (France) Axelle de Smaele (Belgium) Lore Corty (Belgium) Karina Simmonds (Wales) Briony Hathaway-Jenkins (Wales)
Lore Corty (Belgium)
Aude-Marie Duval (France)
Aude-Marie Duval (France)
Astrid Forget (France) Marilia Durand (France) Pomme Durand (France)
Doris Fin (Canada)
Steffi Lazik (Germany)
Julie Cohas (France) Emma Conroy (United States) Amanda Wolin (United States)
Teresa Kallsperger (Germany) Jasmin Ziemacki (Germany)
Elisa Rozados Sauser (Argentina) March 2012Elisenda Nadal (Spain) Enric Catalá (Spain)
Elisenda Nadal (Spain)
Lana Rose (England) Laia Rodríguez (Spain) Karine Barbeau (France) Simone Barison (Italy) Caterina D'angelo (Italy)
Shannon McKenzie (Australia) Leanna Heart Worrell (United States) Stephanie Jager (Netherlands) Laia Rodríguez (Spain)
Sara Sánchez Mateos (Spain)
Magda Wieczorik (Poland) Stephanie Jager (Netherlands) Rémi Molinero (France) Claire Troigros (France) Emma Larsson (Sweden)
Maira Carpenedo (Portugal) Violeta Ferreira (Portugal) Vanesa Correia (Portugal) Rebecca Wolinsky (United States)
Sashko Morokhovets (Ukraine) Maria Sharoykina (Ukraine) Lisa Scheuermann (Germany) Georg Hasselberg (Germany) Andrea Schinko (Germany)
Andrea Schinko (Germany) Lisa Scheuermann (Germany) Georg Hasselberg (Germany) Karolina Jansson (Sweden) Grace Némirovsky (Italy)
Grace Némirovsky (Italy) Meg de Jong (South Africa) Patrícia Figueiredo (Portugal)
Patrícia Figueiredo (Portugal) Julia Hildebrand (Germany) Susanne Hildebrand (Germany) Suvi Koskenmaa (Finland) Antonin Dumont (France)
Suvi Koskenmaa (Finland) Antonin Dumont (France) Lenka Sabolová (Slovakia) Vincent Meyer (France) Esthel Davidsen (Norway) Sabrina Putz (Austria) Gyöngyi Toth (Hungary) Klaudia Borbola (Hungary)
Audrey Fremiot (France) Marine Chauchis (France) Amira Boucherit (Algeria)
Amira Boucherit (Algeria) Débora Klempous Corrêa (Brazil)
Emma Shane (England)
Sara Miller (United States) October 2013 Sofía Vizziano (Uruguay) Santiago Rodríguez (Uruguay)
Teal Balmore (United States) Helen Schefer (Switzerland) Michelle Pitts (England) Sarah Newman (England) Henry Covey (England) Elena Bargo (United States) Erica Bogart (United States)
Hannah Clare Johnson (Australia) Lucie Remešová (Czech Republic)
Mélanie Schwartz (France) Lucie Remešová (Czech Republic) Jana Ondráčková (Czech Republic) Zuzana Poláková (Czech Republic) Ani Ivanova Yanachkova (Bulgaria)
Carla Espinosa (Ecuador) Ole Bendtzen (Denmark) Eszter Laki (Hungary) Gergely Szőke (Hungary) Doris Fin (Canada) Inga Kleschinova (Russia) Florian Fischer (Germany) Oleksandra Tsyrkina (Ukraine)
Margit Atzler (Austria) Eszter Laki (Hungary) Gergely Szőke (Hungary) Sally Macgarry (Wales)
Margit Atzler (Austria) Audrey Hage (Lebanon)
Pierre Mauras (France) Audrey Mercier (France) Joanna Kuzuian (Uruguay) Kim Huang (Taiwan) Mélanie Schwartz (France)
Júlia Sangés (Spain) Rebecca Katya Danicic (England) Laura Rokaite (Lithuania)
Marie Liogier (France) Lucie Remešová (Czech Republic)
Joanna Marracelli (United States) Laurent Lhomond (France) Elahe Neshat (Iran) Mohammad Hassani (Iran)
Heng "Scott" Zhang (China) Jing Huang (China) Mika Machalek (United States) Neil Hilton (United States)
Ana Ochoa (Spain) Pablo Rojas (Argentina)
Clara Ortiz (Spain) Gaëtan David (France) Mayrah Udvardi (United States) Vilém Děd (Czech Republic) Alžběta Wolfová (Czech Republic) Sonia Mackowiak (Poland)
Lucía Rud (Argentina) Matze Geiselhart (Germany) March Vargas (Colombia)
Vida Rojo (Mexico)
Traveling, photography, history, bars, cooking, music, hiking, red wine, labradors, cats, salsa dancing, women, plane-spotting, conspiracy theories, archaeology, ancient cultures, movies, books, writing (of course), haunted houses, urban legends and pranks.
Movies: mostly David Lynch, David Fincher, Wes Anderson, Cronenberg, Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Cohen Brothers, Buñuel, Woody Allen, Tarkovsky (with tons of coffee), Bertolucci, Almodóvar and probably two dozen more;
Music: Beethoven, Kraftwerk, Yello, Seun Kuti & the Egypt 80s, Bajofondo Tango Club, Julieta Venegas, The Clash, Jorge Reyes, Depeche Mode, Ramones, New Order, Soda Stereo, Oumou Sangare, Deep Forest, J.S. Bach, The Cure, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Shostakovich, Novalima, Cesaria Evora, Stereolab, Zap Mama, John Cage, Fraktal, Los Tres, Tinariwen, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Maria Rita, Bo Kasper Orkester, Air, Stereolab, and a million more.
Books: too many to list...
Too many to be listed here. Better ask me if you have the pleasure of meeting me!
Belgium, Bolivia, Plurinational State of, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Western Sahara
Canada, Chile, Peru
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