Not Accepting Guests
- Last login about 10 hours ago
Join Couchsurfing to see Mark’s full profile. It’s free!
Ok, this whole profile needs some serious updating, but it does give you an excellent insight into who I was 18 months ago.
I'm a nomad taking a breather from the demands of the road in Berlin. In February 2012 I gave away all my possessions (seriously ,be careful that they don't posses you!), emptied my bank account of my last 200 pounds, left Cardiff where I was crashing on a friends couch in a failed attempt to find employment in our wage slave system, and backpack still overpacked and strapped on, I started walking. First to catch a boat to France, then in the vague direction of east. There were a thousand different reasons for this, but ultimately it just felt right. Never feeling so. happy, so free, so alive and so in the moment. With the soul travelling at walking pace, I had time to spend with incredible people in amazing cities, time to be alone, camping in the nature and most importantly time to just be. I recommend to try something similar to everyone :) With nothing, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Six months and six countries in, I met a wondrous free spirit. Some completed studies, an Alpine crossing and two months later, and she was walking hand in hand with me. Now she is my partner in crime, my closest friend, my lover and my twin planet in this cosmic dance. Never have I experienced a soul so full of love, tolerance, understanding, patience and forgiveness. Three years on the road together has brought us a lifetime of experiences, memories and dramas and our love continues to reach new levels that I never knew existed. Her way of being is a constant inspiration to me. (https://www.couchsurfing.com/people/janakowalski)
Snowstorms in the mountains of Croatia compelled us to rethink our plans and start hitchhiking south for the winter. We fell in love with Greece and I ran out of money. In the spring I went to in Switzerland, picking organic flowers, Jana returned to Germany for the birth of her nephew. A couple of months later and we were back adventuring through the Balkans, then all around Turkey, a winter on Cyprus and on to Georgia and Armenia before visa complications and expenses checked the progress towards India. It's really hard to explain all the reasons why, but by November 2014 we had hitchhiked all the way to Portugal, less far east than when I started. We then worked on the Christmas market in Germany, selling reibekuchen in a grey city so that we could afford to rent our very own place together for the first time. We chose to live in Paris, but lost our money when the girl we subletted from stopped paying her rent and disappeared to Africa. Still wanting a home together, but needing some temporary help from the state, we moved to Berlin. The deeper I go with the city, the more I am fascinated by it. This is more than just a nomads holiday, I want to paint, I want to grow plants, to get a regular pattern with yoga, meditation and exercise, to have a kitchen with all the right herbs and spices, to write a children's book, learn the harmonica and have more time to explore inner conciousness. The route might be zigzaggy, backwards and fowards, and round and round in circles, but the dream is still India. This time via Greece, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and a boat hitchhike from Djibouti.
Countlessly, we've been blessed by acts of breath taking kindness, hospitality and generousity. We have always given back as much as we could, but have been eagerly awaiting our new roles as hosts.
*Update - we just had a beautiful baby girl, Maya and hosting is reserved for friends and family for now*
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
For the people. I met so many truly amazing individuals, many whom I became close friends with via this website. This is the reason I am still here, despite the work of volunteers being sold for corporate profit to be run by people who clearly have never couchsurfed in their lives and the following (illegal) bullshit in the terms and conditions:
4.3 Member Content License. If you post Member Content to our Services, you hereby grant us a perpetual (i.e. lasting forever), worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free and fully sublicensable (i.e. we can grant this right to others) license to use, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, create derivative works from, distribute, have distributed and promote such Member Content in any form, in all media now known or hereinafter created (including in emails or other communications to our members) to administer, operate, develop and otherwise provide the Couchsurfing Services.
After I read that, I decided I prefer to receive requests on non-corportate hospitality networks like these, I'm much more likely to accept requests there:
Jana, Maya, adventures, new ideas, politics, philosophy, being the fool, gardening, nature, altering and exploring consciousness, the universe, the planet, maps, modern history, traveling, live music, science, conspiracy facts, dinosaurs, dragons, cricket, camping, sharing, new food, new drinks, new places, new people, anything new, life, anarchism, pancakes, falling over, chess, building sandcastles, ancient civilizations, getting lost, avoiding the monetary system, hugs, zombies, pokemon, cryptozoology, yoga, learning to forgive and not judge others, learning to forgive and not judge myself, learning in general, economics, spirituality, world religions, table-tennis, table-football, football, tea, hiking, evolving as a person, dancing badly, listening, dumpster diving, chilling, climbing trees, obliterating the ego, laughing, trying to play the harmonica, sacred geometry, super-massive raves, walking all day and camping solo, plants, animals, vegetarian and vegan cuisine, playing with herbs and spices, tolerance, painting, massage, binaural beats, debating, reading, alternative economic systems, jogging, deep discussions, moss graffiti, protests, festivals, sleeping, dreaming, being alone, being in the moment, being inspired, feminism, revolutions, stupid jokes, meditation, peace, love, you.
Music, Movies, and Books
Enough with the lists. Let's talk.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
In all the places I've been, I've never seen anything as incredible as human beings. Connecting with some of them has been, by far, the most amazing thing I've ever done and continue to do.
Teach, Learn, Share
Whatever it is that you love, that gets you excited, interested and enthusiastic, whatever your uncommon knowledge or specialization or talent is, I would love to learn about it. It's just so beautiful to see someone's passion for something shine through, regardless of the subject.
I was given a harmonica while travelling, I tragically do not possess rhythm, timing or any sort of coordination, but if you possess patience, maybe you can teach me something simple. Practicing yoga or meditation together by the nearby Halensee would be beautiful too. I sometimes need a push in this direction.
What I Can Share with Hosts
Conversations, communication and connection in a variety of forms. I can keep the place clean and tidy in the wake of Maya's chaos. I can cook delicious vegan meals and though I am 100% vegan in Berlin, I'm prepared to be flexible while traveling if you're struggling to prepare food without animal products.
Countries I’ve Visited
Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican City State, Wales
Countries I’ve Lived In
England, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Wales