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Born on Canada Day, but Viennese, born & raised! I've been working in health care (as a physiotherapist and yoga teacher) for the last 10 years and am currently finishing a master degree in Public Health. My studies enabled me to spend two semesters in Innsbruck and one in Oslo, both great places. But I'm also lucky to call Vienna my hometown.
I'm half-Austrian, half-Hungarian, and both my father's and my mother's birthplace (Vienna and Baja, respectively) are situated on the banks of the Danube, though 410 kilometres apart, so it's no surprise I turned out a water sign - Cancer. I typically approach my goals sideways and have strong family ties, am outgoing & good-humored, though not necessarily an extrovert by nature - but I'm curious about others and like to communicate. I grew up with 2 younger siblings, so sharing space with my Couchsurfing brothers & sisters comes natural to me! :)
My philosophy: treat everyone as you'd like to be treated. I practice Yoga and believe in self-realization through self-improvement and life-long learning. Each and every one of us, we can make this world a better place. As the great Mahatma put it: we must become the change we want to see in the world.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
A tight budget should never keep you from exploring. I've been there myself, trying to make ends meet, yet wanting to travel to distant countries and meet people from other parts of the world. Couchsurfing enables you to do both, and on a shoestring! I love the give & take aspect of it, and that you can immerse yourself in other people's culture, learn about their core values (even at family level) rather than just get a glimpse of the surface. Officially a veteran member by now, I am not all that involved in Vienna's CS community, but i try to host and surf regularly, and find both equally enriching!
As a couchsurfer, naturally, I love travelling independently and venturing off the beaten path (especially backpacking & trekking). I'm interested in foreign countries, their history, culture and people, and try to actively engage with any destination I choose. Wherever possible, I try to support local culture & small businesses, reduce my ecological footprint, and stick to the "Take only photos, leave only footprints" formula. I follow global politics, and sometimes this is what inspires me to travel - it's so important to get a firsthand look at the world, rather than just through the media.
As a physiotherapist and yoga teacher, I am fascinated by the human body & mind. It's sad that many people are super-excited about their smartphones, but largely neglect their own body, the greatest instrument they will ever own! I've always enjoyed being physically active, and practise a wide range of sports, both in summer and winter time. I also enjoy cooking, and having good food & wine. Though certainly not a couch potato, i do appreciate the comfort of cocooning at home every once in a while and therefore invested in a good couch, which is good news for you couchsurfers! :)
- rock climbing
Music, Movies, and Books
There's too many good movies to list here, but overall I prefer thrillers & dramas, independent & arthouse films, as well as good documentaries. I also enjoy going to film festivals and catching up on older films. THE THIRD MAN, a black & white classic shot in Vienna, is one of my all-time favourites, and if you stay with me i can offer you a private screening :)
As for music, I grew up on Grunge & Indie Rock, and am still very passionate about rock music, but my tastes have evolved and there's also a fair amount of Folk, Blues, Jazz, Hip/Hop, Singer/Songwriter, and Country in my record collection which consists of about 400 CDs and 50 vinyl LPs at the moment. Despite living in the city of classical music, I'm not much of a classical music person and haven't been able to sit through a single opera in my entire life. Maybe all you classic & opera lovers on your way to Vienna can change my perspective? :)
I have a crammed bookshelf that's constantly running out of space and even though I wish I had more time to read, I am always reading something. I like to mix it up between fiction, non-fiction, and biographies. Some of my favourite books in recent years were "Shantaram", "Moneyball", "The Wrong Boy", and "Three Cups of Tea". This year I've been reading a lot of scientific literature about smoking for my master thesis, which was very interesting as well. My favourite authors include John Steinbeck, Jack Kerouac, Patricia Highsmith, George R.R. Martin & Donna Tartt among the Americans, and Nick Hornby, Milan Kundera, Umberto Eco, and Franz Kafka among the Europeans.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I spent half of 2011 on a memorable sabbatical in the United States, seeing the best of the West on an epic journey by car, train, bus & plane that took me through 12 States, 13 National Parks, and 14 big American cities. Maybe the most amazing and craziest thing I've done though was travelling solo to Algeria in 2009, a whacky adventure that included a 4-hour custody with the military police and ended with me smuggling a tiny little kitten in my backpack (through customs & on 2 airplanes) to Vienna. It became my pet, received an Algerian nickname (Zizou), and if you decide to visit me you'll get to meet him.
Teach, Learn, Share
Obviously, as a native speaker, I could help you hone your German and flavour it with some Viennese idioms. I'd love to practise my Spanish in return, if you're from the Spanish-speaking world! I enjoy cooking and also don't mind doing the dishes. I play guitar & sing a little, and would be eager to learn from other musicians or teach beginners. I have a basement full of sports equipment and can introduce you to such diverse sports as tennis, baseball, volleyball, windsurfing, hiking, climbing, kayaking, ice skating, hockey & snowboarding! :)
What I Can Share with Hosts
Since I enjoy cooking, I'd be happy to prepare dinner for us if time allows it. Sitting down for a meal is always the best opportunity to get to know my hosts & guests a little better. I'll make sure to add some traditional Austrian dishes to my repertoire before i hit the road! :p If you suffer from physical ailments, i'm also happy to apply my physiotherapeutic skills and share my yogic wisdom! ;)
Countries I’ve Visited
Algeria, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Venezuela
Countries I’ve Lived In