Most of all the backpackers out there have probably heard of Couchsurfing before, and some probably already signed up, and for all you that haven’t, well it’s about time! Let me tell you why!
Last month I was having breakfast with a guy from India, a few weeks ago I was drinking beer at Oktoberfest (well the closest I’ve even been to the Munich version anyway, which if you don’t remember is on my bucket list. But, even if the beer happened to be German, and part of my company as well, a party tent at the Santa Barbara Brewhouse still feels a bit too far from the real deal…) Although I did have a great night, together with a Chinese girl, a Swiss exchange student, 2 local Santa Barbara guys and a whole bunch of German travellers. Last week I was having dinner with 12 people from 7 different countries. We were talking and laughing the whole night long. Trying to pronounce each others names and some of us were even taking the chance to use the little spanish we learned in school, all while covering topics ranging from how to best get rid of bedbugs to the presidential debate.
All this because of Couchsurfing.org
With millions of member in over 207 countries it’s simply a great way to connect with people. A community by travellers, for travellers. A simple way to meet like-minded individuals, to learn from and share experiences with. A great way to get a bit more local flavour to your next trip, and chance to not only see but to actually experience the place your visiting, beyond the top tourist attractions, by spending time with the people who actually live there, because at the end of the day they are what makes this place so unique. Imagine having friends all around the world, someone to show you around, ride share to your next destination or get out of the typical hostel experience by sleeping on someones couch for a night or two, all of this for free! Who said it has to be expensive to travel the world?
Even if you’re not travelling yourself but still interested in meeting new people, learn about different cultures and make some new friends, well then you should take the chance and invite someone to surf your couch. Or simply buy someone a coffee, give them a tour around your hometown or invite them to a BBQ. I know I will, when I get a more permanent base.
It is simply about me wanting to pay it forward.
Have you signed up yet?