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- Last login 6 days ago
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I come from Moscow, Russia, but half of my life I lived outside of it - as a child in Laos for 5 years, as a teenager in the U.S. for 4 years, and for 3 months each in Austria and Canada. When I was a student, I went to Spain for one semester with the Socrates-Erasmus program.
And on top of it all, I got married to a Swiss guy, so now I live in Switzerland - a very beautiful country with amazing views everywhere and somewhat introverted but really nice people, some of whom speak Elvish... ups I mean Swiss German!
I love hiking so I'm always down for one if you need a hiking buddy. We also like playing board games.
I work as a communications manager for NGOs and international development & sustainability projects.
Something I believe in
The secret of happiness is to find a balance between freedom and attachment, between not needing anything and wanting everything, between having strong viewpoints and accepting people who are different.
Some quotes I like:
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. –Mark Twain
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Qualities I value in people:
Honesty, kindness, intelligence. I prefer truthful people over tactful people.
I like people who are a bit nerdy, but you don't have to be nerdy for me to like you.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I enjoy discovering people, ideas and cultures more than discovering places and sights. (With the exception of nature sights - I like discovering those too.)
Nature, psychology, walking, mountains, hiking, thunderstorms, board games (including complicated and strategic), gardening, fantasy, sleeeeeeping, sociology, animals, cooking (my favorite is probably Middle Eastern cuisine), daydreaming.
- board games
Music, Movies, and Books
Books: I love fiction books, but one of the books that influenced me most is a non-fiction book. It's called The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives. I also like books on neuroscience for laymen.
Movies: esp. fantasy, adventure, romance, comedy. Lord of the Rings, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Moonrise Kingdom, Forrest Gump, Game of Thrones, etc.
I also sometimes like 'stupid' fantasy series like Grimm (I had to admit it...)
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Grew a papaya tree when living in Laos. Traveled from east to west coast in the U.S. Painted the fence of an elk's pen, while the elk was licking my hands. Organized an event with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Was interrogated by a drugged Russian police officer for saving birds that suffered from an oil spill. Managed to get rid of office life for 2.5 years (but went back to it recently). Wrote a book about Switzerland. More stuff that I wouldn't mention here, but can tell you in person :).
Teach, Learn, Share
I can teach you:
- any of the languages that I speak
- basics of public and media relations and social psychology
- how to survive in Russia
- fun facts about Switzerland (and explain which ones are myths)
If you are interested, I can also explain to you Russian politics and the economic situation. I'm not an expert myself, but I have a basic understanding of what's going on, which can give you a new perspective.
I can move my ears but I'm not sure I can teach that - I think you gotta be born with some extra muscles there.
I would be grateful if you could teach me to cook your favorite dish, especially a vegetarian one (my husband has been a vegetarian since birth. I call myself 'vegetarian by association' or flexitarian - I eat almost only vegetarian but rarely make exceptions).
I want to learn Swiss German - if you could teach me that in exchange for some of my skills, that would be so awesome!
What I Can Share with Hosts
- I have hosted A LOT in my life (much more than my references section shows - most guests were not from Couchsurfing) so I know how time- and energy-consuming it can be to host. And yes, I also had those who treated my home as a hotel :). So I try to make the job of the host as easy as possible by being accommodating, polite and grateful.
- Im addition to that, I try to do other small nice things to my hosts - e.g. cook a dinner or buy a beer. But it depends on how long I stay and how much time we have together.
Countries I’ve Visited
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Moldova, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State
Countries I’ve Lived In
Austria, Canada, Laos, Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland, United States