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Community Living in Scandinavia: In the Wild with Paige

Staff in the Wild is a Couchsurfing program that seeks to connect the staff at HQ with the community at large. We’re hosting travelers, organizing events and will be out surfing around the globe. Request a staff member in your city!

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NamePaige Haverstock
Role: Community Team
Where to? Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark
Couchsurfing makes a me a better… explorer.

 


Why Sweden and Denmark?

I have always dreamed of visiting Scandinavia and when the community home “Collective Sunshine” in Sweden requested a Staff in the Wild trip to visit, it couldn’t have been more perfect!

Living and Sharing With 11 Couchsurfers

In Stockholm, I lived in Collective Sunshine, home to 11 (soon to be 12!) incredible Couchsurfers. On my first night, my main host Magnus (aka the creator of the collective) took me out to a cemetery to check out the candles from the All Saints’ Night celebration. After this unexpected cemetery stop, we went straight to a halloween-themed salsa dance party – what a fun way to start the trip and to get to know my host!

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“I already miss each and every one of the Couchsurfers of Collective Sunshine!”

During the course of my time in Collective Sunshine, I met and spent time with each member of the house and some of their visiting friends and families, too. We shared meals, laughs, cooked brunches and dinners together, celebrated a house member’s birthday, and strolled around Södermalm with friends. I was invited to join parties, to meet up for lunches during the work days, and felt more welcomed than I could ever have imagined.

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“Exploring colorful Stockholm without a map led me straight to the Alfred Nobel Museum in Gamla Stan, the old town of Stockholm.”

Curious to learn more about the Swedish way of life, I attended the weekly Couchsurfing event in Stockholm, the Sunday fika, which is a traditional Swedish meeting to get a coffee and chat. I love that they have a special word for that!

Copenhagen Connection

Still blown away by my experiences in Stockholm, I hopped on a train to Copenhagen to see what another Scandinavian city is like. Kia, my Danish host, and I got along so well and, frankly, I wish we lived in the same city!

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“Kia, my second host, has a wall in the room where her Couchsurfers sleep that she gets all of her surfers to sign at the end of their stay.”

Back Home

The day after my return, one of my hosts messaged me to make sure I had returned safely. He was telling me that he and a friend were watching a movie “in your room.” This kind gesture made me feel even more a part of Collective Sunshine and I was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness yet again. My Couchsurfing trip introduced me to friends I didn’t even know I had, in places I had never been before. It made my travels more personable and memorable than I could have ever hoped or imagined they could be!

 

About Paige Haverstock

Paige is on Couchsurfing's Community Team. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and feels most like herself when she's doing something creative. Her favorite way to travel is by sailboat!
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