I love to travel, have visitors, and meet cool people from around the world.
My favorite travel destinations are tropical ones with beautiful beaches, and mountains to hike around in. To me there is nothing better than swimming in the ocean, running on the beach, and eating fresh fish & fruit.
I also like to visit big cities. In the U.S., my favorite ones are New York & San Francisco. I've been to Tokyo, Bangkok, Paris, Rome, and Rio de Janeiro. There are still a lot more mega cities on the list, like Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Madrid, Milano, Berlin, and Shanghai.
The best vacation reading I recommend is Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, Villa Incognito, and Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. I also highly recommend The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie.
I learned Spanish in Caracas, Venezuela in an exchange program at Centro Venezolano Americano. I taught English & learned Spanish in the school, and made many wonderful friends. Then I worked as a journalist at The Daily Journal, the English language newspaper of Venezuela. That was a great experience because I was the cultural reporter and wrote about the arts, theater, music, and dance scenes in Caracas. I also got to meet & interview most of the ambassadors stationed there, and write reports about their countries, and the activities of their embassies in Venezuela. I ended up living there for three years and having a fabulous time.
Then I traveled around Colorado, Oregon, and California selling Venezuelan artesanía at art fairs in mountain towns. I hung out in Berkeley for awhile until my uncle convinced me I ought to move to Maui. That was a great idea!
I moved to Maui to go to massage school and stayed 5.5 years having a good time. I worked as a massage therapist at a hotel on the beach and was a DJ at night. I got to DJ for many wonderful weddings in gorgeous Hawaiian settings. I also held down a great Friday night party at Jacques' in Paia for four years. That was a blast, and I got to meet cool music lovers from all over the world.
I got married to a wonderful woman from Venezuela. We eloped on a beach in Margarita Island, lived in Caracas for almost a year, and then moved to Miami Beach for two years. Sadly, the marriage didn't last. So, I'll be going back to living my old freewheeling tropical lifestyle in Costa Rica.
I'm really into funky music from across the globe. I love 70s funk, new funk, & Brazilian Samba Soul. I'm a huge jazz fan too. Reggae & Dub are right up there as well. I love African Soukous, and other joyful African dance music. Salsa & Samba are a couple of my favorites too. I love happy, melodic, poly-rhythmic music from anywhere.
Currently, I'm finishing up a social service program in Columbus, Ohio (my hometown). I work with AmeriCorps VISTA at a non-profit to help them build capacity, so that they can better alleviate poverty. It is kind of like the domestic Peace Corps for the U.S. I mostly do grant writing, publicity, and fundraising. As soon as I finish November 2, I'm moving to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica to manage my friend's vacation rental, The Jungle House.
My style of travelling is to live as local as possible. It is fun to meet people from there, or ex-patriates that have been there a long time, wherever it may be. I often travel to visit a friend that lives in a cool place. When I go to exotic places I like to travel to learn something -- the language (like I did in Italy) or Thai Massage (like I did in Chiang Mai). I like to go places to do outdoor stuff too, like trekking in La Gran Sabana in Venezuela. I also like to go to big cities and just eat & drink my way around funky neighborhoods like The East Village NYC, or wandering ancient streets in Rome. Travelling for a music fest is great too. I really want to go to the Montreal Jazz Fest.
I'm the manager of The Jungle House, a big rustic vacation home with 6 rooms, 150 feet from the beach, and surrounded by jungle. I am making it available to independent teachers -- yoga, massage therapy, surf guides, ecologists/naturalists, photography, watercolor, etc. -- that want to bring their students down for a learning retreat in paradise.
My motto is explore the world and invite others in to share what you've learned.