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Unverified Profile

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  • Phone verified
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Maybe Accepting Guests

  • 7% response rate
  • Last login 29 days ago

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Overview

  • 56 references 49 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English, Finnish; learning Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish
  • 40, Other
  • Member since 2007
  • No occupation listed
  • Master of education
  • No hometown listed
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

Wow, we reactivated our CS account in December 2022 after almost 3 year hiatus. Damn you covid-19.

Please make a request instead of a general message if you wish to stay at our place! Otherwise your message might get lost in amongst other messages and requests. If you just have a general question or just want to hang out without a stay, general message is fine. Or if you have a non-verified profile and you have used all your weekly/monthly requests, you can send us a general message where you mention your request limit is full so it is obvious you have actually looked through our profile and haven't just copy pasted all your messages to various hosts. This way if we can host you, we will make you a request to stay and it shows up in the front page! If you make a last minute request, we cannot guarantee a stay or even a reply as we do not check the app/website every day (or even every week or thanks to COVID-19, apparently every year). However, don't get scared or overwhelmed of our demanding and descriptive profile, we've only written all this information as we've noticed it creates a more comfortable atmosphere for everyone. We haven't had any problems with any visitors and all these standards might actually weed out all the incompatible personalities. Just look at our references and, at least so far, visitors have enjoyed staying with us too! You can use our profile to copy info to your own profile too!

In addition, if you wish to experience the northern lights, they cannot be guaranteed as they are only occasionally active and the sky should be dark and cloudless. The best period for northern lights is September-October as the nights are the darkest. The snow reflects light from moon , street lights and Christmas decorations so the northern lights might not be as vivid during the winter. From mid-September to early October we also have 'ruska' when the nature is in its beautiful autumn colours. Just google Ruska Lapland for pictures! Thank you for your understanding! Also note Northern lights are not visible during the summer time but we got the midnight sun which is a beautiful experience as well! :)

I'm (Markus) 39 year old master of education. I am originally from Kemi (about 100 km from Rovaniemi to South-West) but I have lived in Rovaniemi for the past 10 years or so. I'm currently working for the Labour union of the service industry called PAM. In the past I have worked as a teacher and in retail, and spent some time as an assistant for MP. I am also the original owner of this Couchsurfing account, I have opened it in 2007 but started again in 2016 after few years of hiatus when I moved in with Mona.

I am living with my partner Mona (31) who is from Rovaniemi, born and 🍞. I also have 2 kids from my previous marriage, aged 15 and 18, who live with me half of the time (i.e. they are always two weeks at my place and after that they go to their mom's for two weeks as well).

We might host you when the kids are here. Nowadays they need their rooms often even when they're not staying here so it's more likely you'll stay in the living room. It's very cosy and lots of friends and few surfers have slept or taken a nap there. We have limited quantity of pillows and duvets though, so pillow or sleeping back may be advised. We have enough for two, maybe three and four is pushing it.

I have a car and hence, I can occasionally offer transportation. However, guests should note they need to adapt to my schedule (not vice versa) as I cannot offer a ride if the car is needed for other/personal reasons.

We have few dietary restrictions. Mona does not eat any pork or gelatin and Markus is also trying to cut down his pork consumption. Mona also rarely eats red meat but game meat (moose, reindeer etc.) is fine with her in small amounts. We cannot consume any lactose so we would prefer everything lactose free or even better dairy free. However, cheeses and chocolates are fine with us in moderation, the bigger problem is with actual milk and cream. Our diet follows FODMAP guidelines and typically onion and soy products don't work well with our stomachs. We prefer organic, local, eco-friendly and Fair trade (our favourite) products, especially with coffee, bananas, chocolate and eggs. These are good to keep in mind if we would make any food together! We also try to avoid big transnational corporations, especially Nestlé. Please don't bring us anything produced by Nestlé. If it's a mistake, don't worry. That company has bought so many brands and products, it's difficult to keep track. Still bitter about them buying the ownership of Valio ice creams, one of the biggest national milk and ice cream producers. We aim to refrain from consuming palm oil but that's another tricky industry as palm oil is in everything and the industry has renamed palm oil with various new terms to confuse the customers. So don't worry if your gift has palm oil but avoid it if possible!

We don't mind if you are new to Couchsurfing or if you don't have any references and your profile is unverified, but you should write something about yourself in your profile and/or your messages. We wish to connect with our guests and if you give no information about yourself, your interests and experiences, it is highly unlikely we will host you. We have often thoroughly read the profiles and messages as they give ideas for the first conversations. E.g. these first conversations can range from your favourite book to that intriguing photo you have in your profile or a country you have visited which interests us as well. These are also matters of feeling secure and comfortable, it would make us rather awkward and uneasy if we were to host you when your profile contains no information about you, couple blurry pictures, no references and your request only consists of information about the travel dates etc. So to even ensure a consideration, you have to make some effort with your requests and profiles. It might be even unlikely we can respond to the perfect messages as we are both busy with work and other errands. You don't even need to like same things as we do, but you should be curious and excited to learn and share whilst visiting us.

We also wish you have some ideas what you want to do when you arrive at our place. We can give you tips and suggestions but we don't want to be your travel agency and plan your whole trip for you. For example, you can have a general idea of what you want to do and we can give our ideas where you should do that. Some tourist companies are pretty much scams so research them properly if you wish to book their tours or use their services.

PS. If you send us any messages, you will be most likely talking with Mona! She is better with managing this account. Just a heads up! :D

PPS. We'd seriously recommend you to really research the place and climate when you decide to book your holiday. Accommodation in Rovaniemi can be very expensive during the main holiday season and if it is obvious you haven't even researched the town before booking your travel tickets, it is very unlikely we will host you. Few years ago I heard most accommodations are fully booked for Christmas around March-April time, not sure about the current situation. We occasionally get these requests where the traveller is surprised about the cost of ho(s)tels in this town, especially in the Christmas season. Sometimes they are already in the town without any place to stay in the freezing cold. It would create a weird atmosphere where we would host someone out of pity instead of their personality, interests and experiences. That is not what Couchsurfing community is about, at least for us. Oh and another tip, at least research how to correctly write Rovaniemi, that is a big plus! It is completely understandable to have a typo here and there but continuously typing Rovaniemi incorrectly is bit intriguing. There are no special letters so that cannot be the issue, just copy and paste it from our profile, if you have trouble spelling it.

In addition, November-January time is the coldest and darkest and the weather can be very unforgiving with just couple hours of sunlight. Personally speaking, we'd recommend any time between early February-late October, there is minimum of 7 hours of daylight and the temperatures can be somewhat manageable. Of course Christmas season is super magical and should be experienced by everyone but just keep in mind that it is also the darkest time of the year and usually the coldest too. If you are interested in photography, the lack of daylight can make it difficult to take photos and the cold temperatures can damage your photography equipment. It also causes batteries to die out much faster so prepare some extra portable batteries with ya! Local people also sort of hibernate during these months; we just stay inside our houses and enjoy their warmth so we are not really active either. In any case, you should still pick the best time for yourselves but just remember your own physical needs, especially if lack of sunlight in -30C degrees makes you uncomfortable.

[Winter Holiday season note: It is highly unlikely we can host during the Christmas season. We have our own activities and we can be away from home for couple nights. If you wish to stay with us on Christmas, you should have an exceptional profile and write more info than just your travel plans in your messages. That is the time when we get a huuuuuuge influx requests and we will purely just decline or even ignore the requests which only consist of travel info. We can sometimes get 5+ requests each day for Christmas-New Years period so it is already a chore to go through them, never mind answer all of them, especially if we will accept the stay.]

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

Started because I wasn't able to travel myself and wanted to get connected with the world. Now it's mostly because this has been such great fun. I have met amazing people from various cultures and Couchsurfing is a great way to destroy any remaining prejudices for all parties!

Interests

We enjoy relaxed way of living and we love the underground rave scene. We are also politically very active and interested in the global human rights. We do not care about your political affiliation (or lack thereof) but if you support the occupation of any nation or other geographical areas (e.g. Taiwan, Palestine, Ukraine and Kurdistan) neo-colonialism, fascist regimes, human rights violations or the suppression of free speech, minority rights (e.g. Sami and other indigenous people, Uyghurs and Rohingya) and various independence movements, we might not be the people to host you as this would create very tense atmosphere. (Story time! Mona actually got to vote in the Scottish referendum in 2014 and she is part of the 45% who voted Yes for independence!)

The three words to live by are educate, organise, agitate!

  • culture
  • music festivals
  • dancing
  • human rights
  • wine
  • beer
  • fitness
  • politics
  • technology
  • video games
  • music
  • electronic music
  • cheerleading
  • martial arts
  • history
  • philosophy
  • sociology
  • food
  • underground culture
  • activism
  • techno

Music, Movies, and Books

Music: You will be hearing various genres if you stay at our place. We listen to anything from atmospheric black metal, hardcore punk, psychedelic rock and progressive metal to acid techno, freeform, hyperpop and kpop. We enjoy underground dance parties so our music taste reflects that. (Though, chart EDM and trap music is not our forté...)
Mona's Last.fm: https://www.last.fm/user/moanmona

Movies: 80s and 90s cult classics, from action to drama. Markus loves action movies from those eras, anything with Schwarzenegger or Stallone. Or Batman and Indiana Jones. Mona loves horror movies and is looking for a movie that would truly frighten her. So far the only really scary ones she has seen were As Above So Below, Noroi The Curse and Blair Witch Project. Anything with time travelling and alternative universes are our favourites too (Donnie Darko, Back to the Future, Memento, Bill and Ted, Everything Everywhere All at Once...).

As for TV shows, we love Parks and Recreation, South Park, Cobra Kai, Archer, Brooklyn 99, Glow, Westworld, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Last of Us, Community, Black Mirror, Game of Thrones, John Oliver, Twin Peaks, Adventure Time, The Good Place, Ash vs. Evil Dead etc.

Books: If you ever visit us, check our bookshelf. It is one intriguing piece of furniture in our house. We both enjoy utopian/dystopian literature. We also read a lot of research journals, as a part of our jobs, interests and education.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Markus: I swam in the hole in the ice in river, or in other words ice swimming (avantouinti in Finnish) in the middle of winter without any way to heat up e.g. a sauna!

Mona: I've been in a helicopter ride which flew over the waterfalls in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil/Argentina and it was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen!

Teach, Learn, Share

I can play a bunch of instruments, and would like to learn more. We have a contra bass, one right-handed and one left-handed regular electric bass, couple electric guitars, flute, balalaika and mandolin in our apartment. Markus has been dj'ing and playing records and remixing and producing music with Maschine studio since autumn 2019. Mona is also interested in this and started practicing in the autumn 2022!

I am interested in different cultures and I enjoy learning more about them. I know how to make good food and love to exchange recipes and suggestions. Thus, I would appreciate it if we could make some of your local or favourite cuisine. I have good knowledge about the surrounding environment and wilderness and I can offer tips and ideas for different activities.

I am Master of Education and I've studied philosophy. Mona studied social sciences (BA with honours) in Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland and completed her master's degree in Media Education in University of Lapland.

If we are not answering to your message, try sending a DM to Mona in Instagram @moanmona. Little tip for you since you've read this far. I mean, how do people write short profiles? Just wanna tell everything and adhd makes prioritising difficult.

If there is one thing we can teach you about Finnish culture, it is the fact there is no awkward silence in Finland. We only have silence and content silence. If you are feeling tired or bit introverted, we do not mind about just being quiet and enjoying the moment. We can also talk a lot as well if necessary, whatever fits you the best. If you are in Finland, you do not need to force any behaviour which does not fit your personality, we appreciate it if you can just be comfortable, honest and enjoy your time. Plus we're both neurodivergent so ADHD and ASD spectrum are very present in our household. E.g. Mona cannot do eye contact for several reasons so the lack of eye contact is not a sign of disinterest.

Countries I’ve Visited

Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, England, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, Russian Federation, Scotland, Spain, Sweden

Countries I’ve Lived In

Finland, Scotland

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