Wants to Meet Up
- Last login 21 days ago
Join Couchsurfing to see Raffael’s full profile. It’s free!
I discovered Couchsurfing through my girlfriend Eva (https://www.couchsurfing.com/people/vivoin). Eva is now my wife and mother of our sweet little daughters Lisa (2 years) and Lea (baby). Eva is Slovak and I am German, our kids grow up using both languages. Like many international couples we experience small bits of cultural diversity in everyday life and it adds spice to our family life.
We've been living in the Slovak capital Bratislava for the last years and I've been working in Vienna and New York. Eva has worked as a pediatric doctor in Tanzania. I'd like to think that our experience of living and working abroad has helped us to become very open-minded people. I don't think it's a surprise that most of our friends are either expats themselves or local people who have travelled a lot. Travellers are just really interesting people to talk to. It's never boring listening to somebody who has been to a place that is culturally very different from where you are.
When we travel, we always look for a combination of experiences: nature, and the cities. We enjoy a quiet hike in the mountains and a walk at the sea as much as hitting the busy roads of a metropolitan city and seeking the urban adventure. My taste was probably influenced by how I grew up: as a kid and teenager I spent much of my time running and cycling both in the forest in the city. This is still my preferred way of discovering a new place, and I feel tremendously lucky that Eva shares my passion for spending lots of time outdoors. On our honeymoon in 2013, we were hiking the Canadian Rocky Mountains and cycling around the bay and peninsulas of Vancouver. It was just SOOOO wonderful! And of course, we met couchsurfers there, too :-)
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
As probably most couchsurfers, I love this platform because it allows me to meet open-minded people from other countries. I think that we can only really understand a culture to the extent that we have talked to real people living in it. Travelling is of course the sweetest way of cultural education, however if we don't have the time for travelling, meeting international people in our city is the next best thing. Before we had our kids, we hosted lots of couchsurfers at Eva's flat in Bratislava. The single greatest experience was hosting the 2003 New Years party for couchsurfers in Bratislava. We had food and drinks from all sort of European countries and finally all went out together to see the fireworks high above the Danube River and Bratislava castle - great fun!
Since we became parents in 2013, things have of course changed a bit, however we have travelled just as much as we did in the past. Turns out, it is not so difficult - everything just takes more time and a bit more luggage. Lisa and Lea are very happy children, they smile and laugh a lot, and connect easily to other people. When we meet families with toddlers, it's easy to make friends both for us as parents and for the kids. Besides, seeing another country from the view of a child adds an entirely new dimension to the travel experience. Our next big trip is planned to Singapore and Indonesia. Looking forward!
As mentioned above, I really enjoy being outdoors and discover a new place in my running shoes or on the bike. If somebody likes to join me for the run, it's even better!
I'm generally interested in other cultures and countries. So, if you can tell me something about a city or country I don't know yet, I'm an avid listener.
I try not to talk about work when I'm travelling. I will disclose however that I'm a business graduate who has worked in the internet economy for the last years, so I'm of course interested in any related topics.
Oh yeah, and can spend hours discussing social trends, economics, and international development... but trust me, I can shut up if you are not interested ;-)
- outdoor activities
Music, Movies, and Books
Movies: Everything of GOOD quality, I usually go by the ratings. My latest favorite movie has been 'Mandela'.
Music: Depends on the situation, but I like many styles...
Books: non-fiction books about travel, international development, entrepreneurship, biographies, personal development, and whatever I'm currently learning about
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Running the 2009 Marathon in Luxembourg. What an atmosphere! What a challenge! What a pain and what a wonderfull feeling of making it! I can still see the many people cheering in all different languages for all of us crazy runners who liked to torture themselves :-)
Teach, Learn, Share
Share: great places in Germany. I know my own country pretty well. So if you are interested in studying, jobbing, travelling somewhere, I can probably provide you with useful information about most major cities and regions.
Besides, I have worked in entrepreneurship, online marketing and HR for several years, and I'll be happy to provide professional advice if needed.
What I Can Share with Hosts
It is very important to us that our hosts are perfectly happy with hosting us. We take utmost care to keep the place clean, respect the rules, provide help wherever needed, and cover any cost that might be incurred by our visit.
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, United States