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To explore the parallel universe that is the US, and to return Europe's incredible generosity with a couch of our own
Reubs: 'Me? I'm a 28-year old student. A trillion, trillion, trillion particles in motion through space-time. A neuroscientist-cum-climate-policy-wonk. A son, with one brother and one sister. A rare conscious light within an endless void. A reluctant but diligent washer of dirty dishes. A traveller. A dancer. A self-reproducing pattern arising from 4 billion years of relentless evolution. A lover. A single node within the Earth's emerging nervous system. A living idea.'
Julia: 'A writer of extremely over-the-top self-descriptions?'
Reubs: 'That too!'
We're a pair of Melbournians studying in the US, and exploring this strange parallel universe, and sharing experiences, ideas, mad fun and laughter with its many curious inhabitants.
After 6ish years at uni (so far), it's no surprise that any description of us closely resembles that of the archetypal student - sipping lattes, living in sharehouses, exploring alleyways in search of the perfect cafe/bar, going to gigs, cruising the curious internet tubes, volunteering at NGOs, travelling during uni holidays, and taking the occasional break from all that to do some actual study.
Alongside uni we've both spent a few years working in neuroscience labs. The brain is very cool. It's the most complex object in the known universe, the greatest frontier in science, and it's behind your understanding of this very sentence. Neuroscience will change the world over the next few decades. Alas, it will do so without our help - the lab is hell, so Julia is going into law to save the humans and Reuben is going into policy to save the world (and therefore the humans!).
Both of us have a hankering for the good things in life. Lazy Sundays. Time spent chatting away in bars over beer, in cafes over coffee, around the dinner table over red wine (a strangely drugged species, aren't we?). Travel. Wild dancing at forest parties. Theatre, art, dance, music. House parties. Weird things. Meeting new people. And becoming well acquainted with old, loved couches.
Try almost everything once, keeping in mind the infinite value of your body and mind. Question authority. Keep learning, and keep diverse. Be willing to test the limits, but always come back to seeking balance. That whole "do unto others" thing. And someone had "fuck it, let's go bowling" here, which is on occasion as good as any philosophy gets.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Currently plan to host travelers in our new US home.
Have surfed around Europe for 6 months. Incredible experience. Lifelong friends.
Music! Dancing! Cooking! Eating! Drinking! Art! Science! Yoga! Reading! Hugs! Coffee! Sunsets! Everything, almost. The world is so full of wonder, and of opportunities for joy, so why not let it in.
We're interested in people. We love animals, and while we try not to have favorites, our favorite animals are definitely the humans. Pretty much every one of them has something interesting to offer, if you'll just suspend judgement.
We're interested in consciousness, the mind and the brain, and also its diametric opposite, the environment, sustainability, and the energy infrastructure that underlies our civilisation. And whether we'll survive the next century.
(The answer's "yes". Phew!)
Music, Movies, and Books
Favourites are hard, but here goes:
Huxley. Wilde. On the Road. Isabel Allende. Catch-22. Point Counterpoint. The God of Small Things. Neil Gaiman. Robert Anton Wilson. Witty. Clever. Thought-provoking. Insightful. Inspiring. FUN.
"Without music, life would be a mistake." -Friedrich Nietzsche
Music... everything good. Most genres. Generally so long as they're intelligent, creative, talented. Especially if they've achieved something amazing. If they'll still be listened to in 50 years. Besides that, chunky doof beats are most appreciated at Melbourne's beautiful bush parties. Favourites for home listening: Bob Marley. Pink Floyd. Bob Dylan. James Brown. Tool. Bjork. Underworld. Shpongle. David Bowie. Miles Davis. John Coltrane. Ella Fitzgerald. Nick Cave. Mars Volta. Zappa. Aphex Twin. Buckley. Radiohead.
Dr. Strangelove, Pulp Fiction, City of God, Children of Men, Angels in America, Fight Club, Monty Python, Lock Stock, Hot Fuzz, Dogma, 2001: a Space Odyssey, The Usual Suspects, Amores Perros, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Studio Ghibli (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Castle of Cagliostro), Big Lebowski.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Julia's 20th birthday party in a massive 20 x 50 metre chamber deep within a stormwater drain - candle lit, complete with couches, a stereo playing Bjork, and Melbourne's famous graffiti covering the walls. And, of course, a stormwater river through the middle, rising as the rains grew heavier...
Bush party moments. Sunrise sets with great music, warm rain falling on our faces, lightning striking, friends faces smiling, moving in time with the music. Rainbow Serpent, 2007, three rainbows in the sky during the opening ceremony.
New Year celebrations in India. Indian traffic. Indian weddings. Indian anything!
Teach, Learn, Share
Reuben knows a lot about the brain and mind, neuropharmacology (how compounds affect the brain), the environment, energy infrastructure, sustainability, gardening and growing vegies. Would love to learn guitar, your local history, your dance moves, and what you get up to on the other side of the globe.
Julia knows many tasty recipes to share, and knows a few languages. She's very keen to learn more languages, and is currently studying Spanish.
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Australia, Russian Federation, United States