I still now and then hear from people who have never heard of Couchsurfing, or they ask me if it still exists… mostly I go like ‘’whaaaauuut….’’ to both questions. However, I get it, if you just got into traveling, then it might be something quiet unknown. But, soon enough you’ll learn why Couchsurfing is so popular and interesting to use, and not only for travelers! I kind of separate Couchsurfing into 3 sections. All 3 of them are different, but they all revolve around the same thing – connecting to other people, which is what Couchsurfing is all about.
This is probably the feature that least people know about Couchsurfing, but it’s such a fantastic one! Events. Anyone anywhere can host their own event, and whoever wants to, can join it. These events can be just about anything, and vary from comedy shows to language exchanges to mojito parties (that was a fun one), yoga lessons, weekly meetups… the list goes on and on! And the nice thing is, they are all free! These events can be used as such a great way to meet locals and other travelers when visiting a city. If you are a local yourself this is also a great way to get connected and meet new people from your very own city.
Whenever I plan on visiting a city I always have a look if there are any good Couchsurfing events being held. So far, the ones that I have been to, (and I’ve been to a lot) were tons of fun, filled with interesting people and conversations.
What Couchsurfing is probably best known for – surfing on someone’s couch.
I have used it so many times on my travels and can honestly say that I have had an absolute blast with every host I have stayed with, and have had so many memorable moments from them.
A small tip I give you in terms of safety – only request a stay with someone who has a fully filled in profile, some pictures, and a few ratings. Couchsurfing in general isn’t dangerous, however, just make sure you know who you are staying with. Also I recommend you read their profile and check if you have some common interests. If you do that, you’ll be sure to end up with a great and unique experience! Who knows, maybe you’ll go on a free wine tasting tour, or maybe you’ll be an actor in a horror maze, or be having a chat with a pilot, or get a whole apartment to yourself in the middle of Wellington city centre… these are just a few experiences I have had. Yours will be different, but for certain, you’ll end up with some good friends, some good stories, and a lot of great memories!
Having someone from anywhere in the world coming over to your place – the thought alone is already exciting! Hosting definitely brings some variety to your life and it’s such an amazing way to exchange cultures, right in your own house! I kind of use the same rules as for surfing when someone requests a stay with me. I check their profile, have a look at some of their pictures, look at their ratings, and in this case, the most important one – I see if they have any similar interests to me. I don’t host anyone, why? Because it’s just the same when you go surfing and choose a host, if you just pick the first one to pop up without taking a look at who the actual person is, your experience might not be that great. Be sure to know who is coming to your house. If you do that, the experience will be awesome!
Definitely give hosting a try, it’s tons of fun and you could learn all sorts of things from your guest. If I had never opened up my house to others, I might never have learned how to make dumplings… I’m just saying. There are some wonderful experiences to be had by opening your door to strangers from all over the globe. And in most cases those strangers, turn into great friends. At least, they all have for me so far!
And if you ever end up going to Barcelona, give me a shout, and let’s see if we can have a drink together or maybe I could even host you! ;).
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