I’ve been a big fan of Couchsurfing since the first second. That’s why I think it’s time I share this magnificent medium with the world.
As the word explains, you stay on the couch of someone. You can stay one, two or more nights, don’t need to pay, but it is definitely not a hotel. Couchsurfing is about exchanging cultures, travel stories, experience; meeting people that are the same and yet so different than you. I find it the best way to discover a country. You see everything from the eyes of a local. You live for a couple of days their life, and that can be so rewarding. Much more than being the typical tourist and only do the main highlights.
Through Couchsurfing I had the luck to do a cheap, thrilling plane flight over Hoover Dam in the US; take some hidden rock water slides somewhere in Yosemite National Park; go cliff jumping in the area of Vegas on a beautiful undiscovered place; to have a not so traditional thanksgiving; to sneak in a casino pool and take a slide that goes between an aquarium filled with sharks; discover all the best bars in Melbourne; have a legendary night with great people, a guitar and a fire in a cave in Yosemite; go hiking in Arizona in the middle of nowhere; see a bloody weird movie about a penis detaching itself from a body to kill women and so on.
Couchsurfing is a community; but you participate as much if you want. You can open your couch or extra bedroom for travellers, you can organise events, pub-crawls or just go for a coffee with someone. Nothing is obligated, you just look what interests you. And before you know it, you have a network of friends around the world.
Ok there are weirdo’s out there and some guys just use it to get laid, but that is only a small amount. Couchsurfing uses a system of references, which is really convenient. If you meet someone or stayed at their couch (or vica versa), you can write a reference that can be positive, neutral or negative. Like this you know what kind of people they are and if they are truly genuine.
So before you decide to sleep on a couch somewhere, check the profile, check the reviews and photos. I always couchsurf with people that have photo’s and have good references. If you’re thinking of couschsurfing at a guy his place, have a look if all his references are written by women. If so, this can indicate he is a player and mostly has some hidden incentives to host you.
I’ve been using it during all my travels the last two years. I love it, especially when I travel by myself. I’ve met some of the coolest people ever and I’m so thankful for that.
If you want to have a look if it is something for you or not: www.couchsurfing.com
Visiting US National Parks with a lovely bunch I just met
TJ and Matt, The best hosts in Yosemite National Park
Hanging out with my host in Melbourne bars!
Flying in a tiny plane over Hoover Dam
Thanksgiving in California
Moody weather in Yosemite
Natural waterslides in Yosemite
Cliff jumps near Vegas!