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"I run in reverence for all living things"
Rebellious Soviet - fun, creative, outgoing, liberal, simple, minimalist, nerdy, reader, traveler, adventurous, trail runner, love animals and nature.
Life really begins when you have discovered that you can do pretty much anything you want.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Unless I'm dying or something, I will open my home to fellow travelers. (Maybe that's why I get so so many couch requests these days.) Except for two weird couch squatters, I had a blast with all the CS'ers I had met. We just moved to a beautiful log cabin in Kachina Village, AZ (just outside Flagstaff) and have been uber-active hosts. Rustic log cabin, plenty of space, beautiful pine forest all around and schnauzer Sammy to keep you company. Come and visit!
We couchsurfed only once and had a wonderful time with our Flagstaff host Ron. Actually, we had so much fun that we decided to end our US road trip right here, settle down in Flagstaff and become CS hosts. On any given day, we have guests staying at our place. Get ready for lots of great conversations and a good time. That's how we roll!
I really enjoy the concept of commute sports. Commute biking was so much fun when I lived in Minsk! Raced to work every morning through downtown parks.
I've been a runner since early teens. Ever since I got my dog 2 years back, I've been running pretty much every single day. My weekly mileage is around 40. Really love going for long runs in the forest and mountains these days. Sammy loves it too.
Music, Movies, and Books
I enjoy reading books about Imperial Russia and Soviet Union. Probably because I come from that area, and reading such books makes me better understand who I am and where I come from.
I also think Nabokov is a fantastic writer with the most exquisite command of English I have come across to date. I truly admire his literary work.
And here comes the kicker: tell me about your favorite book in your couch request. First, I'm always curious about what other people are reading. Second, I actually want to host people who have read my profile.
As far as music goes, I enjoy modern classical music and electronic creations by Emika and Marina Faib. I think that a Russian-Lithuanian musician Alina Orlova is pretty amazing. And I absolutely love digital archaica/folk project out of Belarus called Shuma. One US band that made a deep impression on me recently is Rising Appalachia - mind blown.
Not big on movies or TV shows which surprises a lot of people. I do watch TV and movies at other people's houses but I can't remember if I ever owned a TV in my life. Pretty sure I haven't.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
1. Leaving family and home in Belarus at age 15 to study in California for a year, for FREE. I remember sitting on the plane and actually thinking: "Holy sh*t, this is, like, u-n-r-e-a-l !"
2. Getting a dog. I remember seeing Sammy's cute face for the first time and thinking: "why on earth did it take me 24 years to get a dog??" Pretty sure I will always have a dog (if not 5) living with me for the rest of my life.
3. Road tripping across the US. Emotions, organized per state:
Pennsylvania: beautiful farmland, super rocky trails, crazy traffic of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Manayunk - cool place. Oh, cheesesteaks!
Ohio: amazing runner community in Columbus. Good times at the German Village. Please visit Katzinger's Deli and eat "Here's Jeanne Again" bagel with smoked salmon.
West Virginia: wild, wonderful, beautiful New River Gorge (also lots of sketchy houses and funky/weird people - like an old guy with a walker and two huge parrots perched on it; when the guy walked into a bar, he left the parrots sitting on a window pane outside - bet your parrots aren't trained like that!)
Virginia: motorcycle ride through the Blue Ridge Parkway. Breathtaking sights! Southern accent that I can barely understand.
Tennessee: surprisingly beautiful country. Gorgeous mountains.
North Carolina: good times in Asheville. Rhododendrons and waterfalls, great food. A whiff of the East Coast in the air and a bit too touristy for my personal taste.
South Carolina: actually hugging palm trees (embarrassing, I know). Camping, waking up at night to the sound of our neighbors puking their guts out (whom I mistook for bears scouring for food).
Coastal Georgia: the most beautiful terrain I have seen so far. Tall southern pines and enchanting live oaks, loud critters, birds, beautiful ferns, and huge agave plants. So captivating!
Florida: super boring drive through highway 10. Need to come back for more impressions.
Alabama: still recovering from tornadoes, Birmingham outskirts are the poorest and sketchiest places I have ever encountered in the States. Methlabs, methheads, drunks, gangsters. Went for a run there once and was happy to come back in one piece. Yikes!
Mississippi: the Gulf looks so pretty, you almost don't notice all the empty lots that used to be houses.... Cool seafood shacks by the beach.
Louisiana: Jails, lots of fried seafood, amazing tamales, jails, jails, gangsters, more jails.
Arkansas: First flat and boring, then mountainous and beautiful. John highly recommends visiting Eureka Springs.
Missouri: I lived in Kansas, and, if you are from Kansas, you know all the stereotypes about Missouri. If you don't, then I can just tell you that it's a bit trashy and backward. Pretty country though.
Kansas: Missing Lawrence. Missing dear friends in Hesston and Newton. The rolling hills and the prairies. The little trees struggling in the wind. The white forests of gigantic windmills.
Colorado: Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, the Rockies. Brutal incline workout up 8000 feet and back down. Snowy Pikes Peak is majestic. Garden of the Gods is my first encounter with the huge red rocks (which are all over the place in Arizona, I soon learned). Seriously considered ending our trip in Colorado and settling down. Excited to visit other small and cool mountain towns of this gorgeous state. If you are from such a town, invite John and myself for a visit :)
New Mexico: did not expect desert to be so beautiful. The views of elevated plateaus are incredible. Camped by the Elephant Butte lake, next to the Church at the Butte, not far from the town of Truth or Consequences. I'm not even kidding. Google it.
Arizona: absolutely blew our mind! I remember driving into Tonto National Forest thinking "wait, I thought Arizona is nothing but cacti and sand - what are these huge mountains and pine trees all about?". After couchsurfing in Flagstaff we decided to end our road trip and settle right here, if not for good then for a year at least. What a beautiful & chill place!
Teach, Learn, Share
I can help you make anything from simple websites to complex databases and information systems.
Also, if you need help landing internships or jobs in the US, I can connect you with companies and get you a US visa that allows you to legally work and/or study in the United States.
I've been traveling since I was 15 so I know quite a bit about international education and all sorts of exchange programs. If you are the type who loves traveling around the world and studying on a budget in the meantime, I will be glad to help. Been there, done that.
If you are crazy about Russian and Eastern European culture, we can probably talk for hours on end.
And, because I have been in and out of the States for more than 10 years, I know quite a bit about the US immigration system. Feel free to pick my brain :)
Countries I’ve Visited
Canada, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Ukraine
Countries I’ve Lived In
Belarus, Lithuania, United States