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We are currently travelling around the world for 2 years.. discovering places, initiatives and people that make a difference in not just our life but also in the lives of many others.. aka "Choose Your Own Sustainability Adventure" (www.facebook.com/forumvia).
We (Matt and Valentina) are a married couple from the U.S. (Matt) and Germany/Italy (Valentina), who have spent the past 8 years or so living, studying and working in different countries, mostly in Europe and primarily in the area of sustainable development. The last three years were in Vienna, Austria at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), where Valentina worked at the Institute for Organic Agriculture and Matt at the Center for Global Change and Sustainability. At the end of 2012 we started our own NGO, called the Forum for Sustainable Visions in Action, or Forum ViA (www.forum-via.org).
We are currently volonteering in a project (Choose Your Own Sustainability Adventure- see mission) through Forum ViA in the context of the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development that is taking us (and hopefully many others soon) around the world without flying (we'll be traveling by bicycle, bus, train, cargo ship, etc.). The first leg of the trip took us from the Northwest of the United States to the border with Mexico, much of this by bike. We continued by land to Central and South America and then took a cargo ship over to Europe from where we continued to Asia by land (mostly amazing train rides). We love meeting inspiring people and Couchsurfing is a good way to encounter them. We can't wait reciprocating once our project is done and we have a place again to offer to someone! :-)
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
In spite of being pretty mobile over the last 8 years or so, we've luckily been able to host a few people over the years and also meet up with traveling Couchsurfers in some of the places we've lived. And of course we've had great experiences meeting and staying with wonderful hosts while traveling ourselves.
Great experiences! Still in touch with some previous hosts, who are now friends and inspired our way of hosting people. We're looking forward to meeting lots of new Couchsurfers over the next couple years while we're traveling!
traveling, learning, meeting new people, the outdoors, relaxing, music, movies and FOOD ;-) ...
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Life is just one amazing thing after another - you just have to be able to recognize the "amazingness" in each thing: whether it's drinking a good wine with friends at home, swimming in a "cenote" in the Yucatan, sleeping in on the weekend or taking a bus over the Atlas mountains to the Sahara.
Teach, Learn, Share
We're both interested in environmental and political issues and enjoy discussing things like: climate change, sustainable production/consumption, simple lifestyles, migration, international politics, etc.
After a few years researching and working in the field of sustainable development, we decided to start our own NGO (Forum for Sustainable Visions in Action) and carry out our own project: Choose Your Own Sustainability Adventure (currently in progress).
What I Can Share with Hosts
Experience, stories, cooking, travel tips, etc. etc. etc.
Countries I’ve Visited
Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Kenya, Laos, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Spain, Switzerland, United States