Jochen Elegeert

Gdynia, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

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  • News Analyst at Reuters
  • Master in History / International relations and diplomacy
  • From Sint-Niklaas, Flanders, Belgium
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

Born and raised in Belgium, in a rural region between Ghent and Antwerp, and moved to Ghent when I was 18 and started to go to university. During my studies, I spent one Erasmus year in Spain. This experience encouraged me to travel more and in a different way than I used to do before, by using couchsurfing for instance and meeting local people and other travellers.
After my studies, I spent six months in Paris to do an internship at UNESCO. Now I’m living in Poland to work as a journalist for Reuters.

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

Because I just LOVE meeting local people while travelling and do stuff you would never do as a regular tourist (for examples, see below).

Surfed in Croatia, Israel, USA, Amsterdam, Brussels, Stockholm and Copenhagen.
Hosted around 20 people from the following countries: Mexico, France, Poland, USA, Brazil, Australia, Germany, India, Spain, Scotland, Turkey, Switzerland.
Convinced a few friends to join and none of them did regret it.
Went to some meetings in Ghent, Havana, New York, the amazing CS summer event in Brussels and been quiet active in the CS community in Tricity since I live here.

Thanks to CS I had some experiences I would never had otherwise:
- Getting to know the Middle East conflict from a well informed Israeli perspective
- Hitchhiking around the Sea of Galilee, sleeping on the beach and getting my money stolen but comforted afterwards with some good tea by Israeli travelers.
- Living in Amsterdam for three weeks when I had to do research there, meeting great backpackers and one night ending up at a squat party/queer night
- Getting to know my own capital and some great people at the CS Summer event in Brussels
- Cocktails for 2 dollars at a Havana CS meeting right next to El Capitolio
- Going to a Yankees game in NYC
- Celebrating my 22nd birthday with strangers at a CS meeting in NYC
- Staying in a 27th floor flat in Manhattan (awesome view included)
- Seeing sunset in Zadar from the top of my host his building, according to Hitchcock the most beautiful one in the world (and I don't disagree)


History , (international) politics, travelling, blogging, journalism, sharing economy, social networks, human rights, Middle East.

I'm still unsure what the main goals are in my life I hope to achieve, since I always had various ideas and career plans but I'm sure I'll figure it out :)

Music, Movies, and Books

FILMS: Das Leben der Anderen, Goodbye Lenin, Der Undergang, Inglorious Basterds, Motorcycle Diaries, Reservoir dogs, Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained, L'auberge espagnole, Les pouppées russes, The Hangover, American Pie, American History X, The Godfather, Scarface, American Gangster, De zaak Alzheimer, Loft, Snatch, Fight Club

MUSIC: Punk, Rock, Indie, Electro, and anything else actually. The only thing I really don't like is Metal.

BOOKS: Since I'm at university, I don't read much anymore and if I do, it is mostly in Dutch. Three international writers I like a lot are Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Dan Brown and Khaled Hosseini.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Erasmus in Salamanca, Spain. (2011-2012)
Without any doubt the most lifechanging experience I've had. It's a cliché to say but this was definitely the best year of my life. Had the best flatmates, great parties and a lot of travel.

Partying in Tel Aviv, sleeping on the beach at the Sea of Galilee, climbing Masada and floating in the Dead Sea. Oh yes, Israel was my first but also most memorable backpacking experience!

Volunteering and travelling in Cuba for three weeks.

Seeing the New York skyline while staying in a 27th floor flat, watching Yankees - Red Sox and enjoying a college party in Princeton. Traveling in the USA was a lot of fun.

Backpacking through the Balkans

Teach, Learn, Share

I love discussing about history and politics, sharing travel stories, going out to bars and teach my guests about (Belgian) beer.

I'm not a great cook so if any of my surfers or hosts are, I'm always happy and very grateful if they cook for me and teach me about some food I don't know yet.

I'm taking classes to learn some Polish.

Countries I’ve Visited

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State

Countries I’ve Lived In

Belgium, France, Poland, Spain

Old School Badges

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