Visit the world, sleep on couch
A guest post by Elen Collins
Elen is a brand new travel junkie. Ever since she visited her friend in Turkey, she has become fond of travelling. She likes the sense of freedom while on the road, and prefers to blend in with the locals in order to experience the authenticity of the place. Her story is about the Couch Surfing project… She is to soon join that society of travelers and adventure-seekers.
I recently traveled to Turkey and stayed at a friend’s apartment. When I first told him I was to visit Turkey, he said, “Hey, no need to couch surf, you can stay at my place anyway.”
This was the first time I heard about Couch Surfing, and of course I researched it right away. CS appeared to be one of the biggest travelers’ communities in the world. True travelers really, really love the CS experience simply because it’s free of vanity; it’s unadulterated. It’s a pure adventure where you enjoy the moment, the place and the strangers with every bit of your body and mind. And makes you appreciate the value of a …vacant couch…
Couch Surfing in general is a Web site for travelers and more specifically for those who have a spare room/couch/bed/spacy floor at home and also have the courage to invite strangers to sleep over for a day or two. In order to be part of Couch Surfing, you also need a good introduction of yourself so people would actually be interested in inviting you at their home.
Ever since I got interested in CS, I found out that many of my friends and colleagues have been participating in CS for while now. Here’s what a colleague of mine went through after he and his roommate registered at CS:
He invited their first guests from Poland. A man and a woman were supposed to come. To their surprise, however, four people arrived at midnight…yeah, four people instead of two. Somehow they found space for all of them and all went great. They took them on a tour around the city, did some grilling, walked on the beach, shared their travelling experiences, and exchanged travel ideas… My colleague told me he never felt so comfortable around people before like with those complete strangers who visited them.
Then, the two roommates hosted two guys from Venezuela for a day… and then they had a girl from Portugal – an actress with the biggest heart in the world filled with so much love. She spent a whole week with them.
“We had a lot of fun on the beach. We also went to a picnic with her and attended a play at the summer theater. She even spent her birthday with us,” they said.
Another friend of mine told me he found a place to stay in Brazil; slept on a couch in the apartment of a young couple. During his backpacking and Couch Surfing experience, he met a guy who left his home country –England – to backpack…and never returned home. He wondered around the world for years, and definitely had stories to tell.
To my question whether the Couch Surfing could be dangerous, my colleague replied:
“We strongly recommend the Couch Surfing project to every open-minded person and a friendly traveler on the Earth. As we believe most of the people participating in Couch Surfing are very friendly and open-minded, we don’t find it dangerous to have a complete stranger at your home for a couple of days.”