City: Saint-Brieuc, France
Years on Couchsurfing: 11
Why did you decide to get involved with CS?
Speaking and learning foreign languages is one of my favorite occupations… that leads to meeting people at home or traveling. When I heard about CS my first reaction was ‘that is for me!’ So for years now, I have been active in hosting, surfing, organizing events, participating in events…and ‘doing my best’ to moderate groups.😉”
What was your first CS experience?
After entering the site I had many questions but, locally, I didn’t find anybody who answered my questions. That is when the CS French volunteers community called for an event in Nantes (200 km from me), they opened the event to non volunteers on CouchSurfing. I joined the event, there I met some of the French ambassadors and moderators, had my first experience as a guest, and got my first references, and maybe my first vouches!”
What was your most interesting surfing experience?
A family in Argentina, 5 young children from 2 to 8 years old, if I remember well. Family life in a little town.
The mum took me on her Vespa up to the mountains ( 3 hours climbing, crossing rivers…) to visit her own mother and grandmother in the middle of nowhere. We overnighted in the little house. For breakfast, the mum took her ‘tambor’ and sang for me. (Unfortunately, there is no photo of this magic moment).”
What an amazing experience! What is the coolest gift you have received from a surfer? Months after she stayed with me, my CouchSurfer Lisa sent me a hot air balloon flight ticket!
If you could surf with any celebrity alive or dead, who would it be and why?
I would like to surf with Manu Chao. He is an inspiring and generous guy, not only as a singer or musician but as a human being involved in human rights fights, caring for the planet and living according to his ideals.
What is your favorite travel quote?
It is in Spanish from a poem by Antonio Machado:
Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar
What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you while traveling?
In a village deep in Colombia (3000 inhabitants), in a little hostel, a woman came up to me and asked:
“Are you from Saint-Brieuc ?”
I was stunned by the first question and even more with the second one:
“Aren’t you Ben’s mum?”
The answers were yes and yes.
She was one of my son Ben’s friends when they were teenagers, 30 years before!
This kind of moment teaches you that you must take care of how you behave wherever you are😉
Wow! What a small world! Speaking of Saint-Briuc, what is your favorite local cuisine from your city?
In Bretagne you have to taste the ‘galettes’ !
It looks like a pancake! What is the one thing you never go on a trip without?
My little electric resistance to warm water.
Ah! Handy, you must be a tea drinker! So what is your dream vacation?
I would like to cross USA, from east to west, by train.
That’ll be a long trip! And an 11th question just for fun, what is your one piece of advice to a new member of Couchsurfing?
Read all the information you can find on the site. Take your time before jumping in the big bath, try to meet local CS to ask your question.
Learn to balance between giving and taking.