Travelling & Couchsurfing
|May 7, 2009||Posted by thefrugalvegan under Travel|
If any of you own some of my zines, you know that I’ve talked about budget travelling and Couchsurfing before. It’s such an amazing network that brings fellow travellers together! I haven’t actually couchsurfed but I’ve been hosting for over 2 years now (maybe 3?). I LOVE meeting new people and opening my doors for a more communal feeling in my house.
Many people ask me how I can let strangers in my house and even give them the key and full access to my entire house. People worry about stuff being stolen or broken. I swear, our society lives in constant paranoia sometimes. You have to put yourself out there to trust people, sometimes you might get burned but most of the time you probably won’t. I always trust my intuition and to be honest, I haven’t let everyone who’s emailed me crash at my house. There have been guests I’ve loved a lot more than others, but in the end no one gave me trouble and everyone was respectful. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I don’t feel like anything really belongs to me, that it should all be shared (it’s the anarchist in me!) that makes me not worry about silly things like someone stealing my stuff. Stuff is stuff. Whatever. If you stab me or hurt my cats then that’s another story!
I definitely don’t do this to get anything back from people, I quite enjoy cooking and baking and having more people around means I can do it more often and share. I have been given wonderful gifts, taken out to lunch, drinks, given some amazing artsy ceramic handmade mugs, and am still in contact with a handful of them. Sometimes you’ll make friends for life, sometimes just for a short time, it’s definitely worth it.
The nice thing about Couchsurfing is that you get to see people’s profile, leave feedback and read feedback that was left for them. If people hosted someone and they all give that person rave reviews, then chances are it’s ok to let them stay. Most people are in a communal mindset and are willing to help around the house, cook or barter. I once had a wonderful artist give me a free henna tattoo when she stayed. I loved it.
I am hoping to get on the road again after my contract is over and be able to do a little couchsurfing myself. The other beauty of it, is that you get to stay with people who know the area you are visiting and give you inside tips that you won’t find in tourist guides. I have made a special zine for backpackers travelling “on the cheap” so they can take full advantage of the funky places in town and not spend a fortune.
So get on the bus, plane, car, boat or train and get on the road! Stay with some funky folks for free and have some fun! Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive