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I genuinely love to travel and especially to territories that are unknown to me. I truly believe that People make a place unique so I would rather see a country through its People than its sceneries. It's beyond the concept of tourism and more about the human aspect of travelling.
We have this verb in French "dépayser" that is a bit hard to translate properly in other languages but it means to see something different than your country of origin.
There is also the noun "paysage" meaning landscape that sounds like a mix between country (pays) and face (visage).
But anyway, I'm Valentin, originally from France but I have been travelling for years and living in different places for a longer period of time. Notably Georgia, reason why my profile says Georgia in its location.
I love our World. I love our People, I love who we are and who we represent at the global scale. We're beautiful but we tend to forget it due to many reasons.
I'm here to experience a country through meeting People. I love EATING and discovering new tastes and food. I love spicy food and I have no specific dietery. I EAT.
I work as an online language tutor teaching French to foreigners and English to Francophones. My job follows me across the world since I work as a freelancer so I am totally independent.
I would describe myself as a quiet and spiritual person. Epicurean. Independent.
Minimalist as I am travelling around with less than 10 Kg. I'm also an introvert and I value 1:1 friendship and deep experience more.
Some of my previous hosts described me as an outdoorsy and seasoned traveller.
"Silence is golden. Be for the most part silent, or speak merely what is necessary, and in few words." Epictetus
"He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata." Māori proverb that means What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I have hosted in France, Malaysia, Armenia and Georgia. I'm always more than happy to show my guests around, especially since I get the chance to choose where I live and I completely immerse myself into the country's culture.
When I travel, connecting with locals/expats/residents is a must and the utmost experience any traveller can get. Tourist attractions are nice but I'm more looking for the human aspect of traveling.
I have surfed with travel buddies, my girlfriend at the time and even my mom!
- enjoying a drink
Music, Movies, and Books
I like jazz, blues, lo-fi music. I enjoy listening to piano composers like Javād Ma'roufi (جواد معروفی), Denis Stelmakh (Денис Стельмах), Erik Satie, Claude Debussy.
I'm into poetry (French, Russian) and philosophy (Spinoza, Epicurus).
I write poetry and prose as well.
I love to learn languages and dialects. I can speak French, English, Spanish, Malay (Bahasa Melayu) and Russian. I can read Korean (Hangul) and Arabic (Jawi) even though I haven't been practising for a long time.
I love watching movies and series.
Into The Wild, Call Me By Your Name, Her, Revolutionary Road, 127 Hours (American). Les Petits Mouchoirs, Mon Roi, Love from Gaspar Noé, Dix Pour Cent (French). Parasite (Korean). Dear Tenant (Taiwanese). The Tracker (Australian).
But I guess what defines me the most is that I'm into outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, cycling and swimming. One of my Cs host called me once a "mountain monster".
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Mountain monster achievements
🌄 Gunung Kinabalu 4.095 m. highest in Malaysia
🌄 Yushan 3.952 m. highest in Taiwan
🌄 Fujiyama 3.776 m. highest in Japan
🌄 Piton des Neiges 3.070 m. highest in Réunion
🌄 Mount Apo 2.954 m. highest in the Philippines
🌄 Pic Boby/ Imarivolanitra 2.658 m. highest accessible peak in Madagascar
🌄 Mount Karthala 2.361 m. highest in Comoros
🌄 Hallasan 1.947 m. highest in South Korea
🌄 Khongoryn Els dunes in the Gobi desert (Mongolia)
🌄 Tongariro Northern Circuit/ Alpine Crossing (50 Km loop in 4 days) one of New Zealand's Great Walks. Mount Tongariro is 1.978 MASL.
Road trip across the Pamir region of Tajikistan, also called the roof of the world. No Internet, absolute silence, high altitude, unique feeling.
Hitchhiking and riding a motorbike around the Gobi desert in Mongolia. Which I will add having three motorbike accidents in one week in Vietnam.
I hitchhiked from Adelaide to Perth in Australia that is about 2.700 Km. Made it in 4 days.
Giving an online class from a yurt.
But most importantly I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue and only 34 % of the general population can perform this act.
Teach, Learn, Share
I think we all influence each other in a way.
It happens that talking to someone new makes us think differently, even enlarging our own vision.
I also think that we could genuinely HELP and sometimes radically change someone's life with "small" actions and attentions or simply by being ourselves.
"I think that it is in human nature to want to connect and sometimes we connect with people so intensely that the enthusiasm and the satisfaction of that relationship never fades."
What I Can Share with Hosts
"Living in the same neighborhood for an extended period of time can lead one to take it for granted. But it only requires the perspective of an artistically inclined outsider to make you fall in love with the everyday scenery again."
As a host in Georgia
Georgian wine 🍷 cheese 🧀 good company and discussions in the best restaurants in Batumi. Let me know when/where you arrive and I will either pick you up or arrange a Bolt/Yandex taxi to fetch you. Laundry, hot shower after rainy days which is everyday in Batumi. The wine is always on me! It's part of both Georgian and French culture. We can also go gambling 💸 in casinos.
As a guest across the world
I'm really bad at cooking. Can only do basic potatoes omelette 🥔🍳/ French toasts but I hope to bring something else, something more.
Being a cosmopolitan person, I like to be involved in my host daily life so I'm definitely keen on helping, trying anything. In my previous experiences I have been teaching English to my host's students, joining a podcast, leading an online talking session with locals, planting mangrove seeds, composing songs using my poetry lines as lyrics, cooking local dishes, gardening, attending a tea ceremony meditation, volunteering in the observation and tracking of turtles activity (nesting, hatching).
I can tell you the origins of the word "orangutan".
As an experienced traveller (over 60 countries over 6 years of travelling) 🌏 I could share my stories, advice and CS experiences.
I have also met a lot of people interested in changing their way of living/work for whom I could give some guidance. I have already helped doing motivational/inspirational videos.
Countries I’ve Visited
Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Réunion, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam
Countries I’ve Lived In
Armenia, France, Georgia, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Viet Nam