When I planned to play pro squash, my biggest fear would be that I’d be lonely, sitting in a vacant motel room watching days pass. So I made an itinerary that would give me the first few weeks on couches with friends of friends. After that, I figured I would have to deal with being on my own.
That didn’t happen.
A few weeks on couches turned into nearly two years on more couches and under mosquito nets, on mountain tops and basement bunk beds, crashing with friends, friends of friends, and strangers while stepping into peoples’ lives right as they’re being played out
This passage from the book is one of my favorites, because it captures what happened:
I had lived out of my pair of Levi’s and a roller bag, said yes when offered a seat at the dinner table or a stool at the bar, and had polished of wedding cake with newlyweds in Chile, parachuted in the South Pacific with the 1990 skydiving world champion, played guest of honor at a school show and tell with a ten-year-old who had never met an American until the day before when one woke up on the couch in her family’s house in the southern farmlands of New Zealand. I had tagged along to the best dive bar in Zimbabwe with my friend’s friend’s mom’s best friend’s sister, crashed Van Morrison’s seventieth birthday jam in Northern Ireland, road tripped through the Moroccan desert with a pair of best friends I’d met in the airport a few hours earlier.
This dream and, this book that followed, is tied directly to these folks - literally hundreds of them. From Manoel in Brazil to Aliis in Estonia, to the couch surfing hosts of ~50 countries +/- a few territories in the Pacific in between - this book is for you.
To the 400+ friends and wonderful strangers who made my dream happen, this call out in the book is the least I can do to say thanks, and I hope you know you’ve got a couch with your name on it here in San Francisco.
When To Jump
What If the Job You Have Isn't the Life You Want?