Well the day finally came, when I got that little notification in my email “couch request has been sent”. Its just under 120 days until I leave on my journey (not that anyone is counting) and I have had the privilege of having my first ‘surfer’ stay and my house. I say privilege because I find it incredibly trusting that someone has asked me, a complete stranger with no references and no reviews if they can stay at my house.
If you don’t know, couch surfing is where you allow travellers to stay at your place for free in exchange for good company, stories, and new friends (and dinner if you get a nice surfer who likes to cook!).
Many people I’ve spoken to about couch surfing are fascinated by the idea, many are super hesitant – “Do you give them a key?”, “How can you leave them in your house when you’re not there?”, “Aren’t you worried about security?” – when did society develop such a negative attitude towards the goodness of humanity? Probably the media and the fact that most of what we see on TV and the news are bad stories, cruelty and violence – one episode of CSI is enough to put anyone off of going to Vegas, but I’ve been there four times with no such troubles.
But this is not a rant on why I don’t watch TV….
Its an exciting time – having a complete stranger stay in your home – their life experiences, adventures and beliefs colliding with yours, both as insecure as each other about the “things” that could go wrong. But in the words of George Michael – sometimes you just “Gotta have faith” in people, like the time I lost my phone in Marrakech and had it returned to the Medina at 5am one morning. But that’s a story for another time.
Suffice to say my “Hosting” experience has been great. My surfers are now my friends and have offered me places to stay when travel Europe – what better outcome could you ask for than 2 new friends, a couch to crash on and 2 weeks of great memories.
I’m chuffed to have made friends with two people who were once perfect strangers and can’t wait to meet more people, surfing or hosting – I’ve had a great experience.