Born in Connecticut in the USA I was lucky to have parents who taught my 4 brothers and sister the joy of experiencing all you can in life. I learned to ski when I was 6 and I think that started my love with the outdoors. Spending time in the fresh, cold air with the expanse of mountain views around…what’s not to love! As I grew older my curiosity to explore more than the local area grew. I yearned to see and learn all about the world but not just the planet…. but it’s inhabitants. I LOVE people and love to surround myself with great friends and strangers who become friends. I’ve always been outgoing and never hesitate to strike up a conversation. I think this is why Couchsurfing means so much to me. It feeds my social addiction and curiosity of the world. My passion in life is attending World’s Fairs which occur in all over the world and I use it as a way to plan trips as I know it will always be somewhere different and each one has a theme and has country pavilions from all over the world and while I might not be able to travel to all of them (yet!) what a great way to learn about them and see what they contribute to our lives. While some of my trips were prior to Couchsurfing, as luck (or my outgoing personality) would have it many times I ended up surfing on couches from striking up conversations with people I met and cherish those friends still today. I learned about Couchsurfing in 2008 from and old boss asking me to host someone from Amsterdam that hosted her son. Little did I know that first experience would lead me to using CS on my World’s Fair trips and surfing all over the world. Even better it let me open my doors to surfers from around the globe to stay with me to share my corner of the earth. So many of my hosting and surfing experiences have given me lifelong memories that I’ll never forget. I’ve shared laughs, tears, food!, smiles and truly bonded with so many unbelievably generous and kind people. One of my deepest experiences was a Couchsurfing Hangout in Lecco, Italy in 2017 when I met Majd from Syria. At the time the USA and Syria were really not in a good place with each other and yet on that day Majd and I spent 4 hours together, hanging out on the lake, exploring hidden corners of the town and more importantly having some deep conversation about our lives in our countries. We bonded and we proved that people around the world like each other and want to learn about each other…it’s our governments keeping us apart. The author Mark Twain said it best — “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” I truly believe Couchsurfing helps to rid the world of the above as well. Even now while I am in the position to stay in hotels when I travel, I am committed to never staying in one again when Couchsurfing is available as the experience, the knowledge and the memories I gain with Couchsurfing can NEVER be achieved by staying in four walls of a rented room. There is nothing better than sharing your life with someone who wants to learn about you as much as you want to learn about them.