|Sebastian and I developed a close relationship during the 11 days I stayed with them in Peru through Couchsurfing. I slept on the lower bunk-bed, Sebastian on the upper part, and his brother and father slept in the double bed.|
Forgive me for my callous ways, but I felt no empathy.
The majority of the time, these kinds of comments stem less from one being realistic and ‘unlucky’ than from one being misinformed and unnecessarily cynical.
- Couchsurfing in the US and South America
|These two Germans, Matze and Lukas, are the first people I met through |
Couchsurfing. We hosted them in Montreal last summer, and still keep in
touch to this day.
Founded in 2004, the website Couchsurfing provides a platform for its members to either “surf” on couches in the city they are traveling to, or to receive “surfers” in their home for a few nights. In 2012, the website counted 3.6 million members. One year later, this number had reached 6 million, connecting members in 100 000 different cities worldwide. A system of references with comments (positive, negative, or neutral) allows members to gauge the reliability of the surfer they will potentially host, or of the person whose couch they may surf on.
|In San Francisco, Kevin was so generous as to prepare a delicious dinner |
for his roommates and I. He also lent me a bicycle to ride around the city.
|Jeff and his girlfriend hosted me for 2 nights in New Orleans; I forgot my |
shoes at his place, so he mailed them to me in Ecuador!
- The risks of couch surfing for women traveling alone
I have heard various stories (or rumours?) of 'couch surfing gone wrong', and of young women feeling uncomfortable staying alone with men. If they are true, it is very sad unfortunate, and I must consider myself lucky to have avoided any negative encounters.
I strongly, strongly advise everyone to try Couchsurfing, whether it is by hosting people or by surfing yourself when you go traveling. Staying with locals is not only economically advantageous and useful (your hosts know the best places to go to in the city), but will also provide you with a much more authentic experience than getting drunk with other Westerners in youth hostels.
If you would like more tips or have any questions on Couchsurfing, I will be more than happy to help out, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.