City: Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine
Years on Couchsurfing: 5
Hi Kateryna! Let’s get started. What made you start using Coucshurfing?
Well, I bought very cheap flights without checking the average price of accommodation in advance and needed a place to stay! But after my first CS experience I understood that it’s much more then just a free stay. After my 1st surfing experience, I stayed with locals in almost every trip and they introduce me to country traditions and their lives so it’s priceless. Mainly I surf because these last years I haven’t lived in just one place but sometimes I also host and meet travelers and locals through CS hangouts.
Amazing. And tell us about your first time Couchsurfing?
It was amazing! My host in Milan was so nice – gave me the key and everything I needed, we cooked risotto together, he gave me useful tips about the city and we had very interesting conversations so it was a great start.
And what about your first time hosting?
My first guest was a pilot student from Turkey. At first I was a little bit worried about how it would be but we spent a few awesome days walking around the city and speaking about everything. This experience made me more open-minded about other cultures.
Amazing! That’s what CS is all about! And what is the coolest gift a surfer has ever brought you?
A piece of real Camembert cheese from France. Even after I ate it, my fridge smelled for another week or two 🙂
As a cheese lover, I would LOVE that gift! If you could host any celebrity who would it be and why?
Ed Sheeran! Because I love his songs!
Hoping for a sing-along I see! Has there been any book that has inspired your travels?
“Angel and Demons” by Dan Brown. While reading it, I was in Rome so had the chance to follow the route of characters and visit places from the book – totally another impression of famous sights.
Funny enough, my mom did the same thing in Rome! What is one travel quote that inspires you?
“Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.”Paulo Coelho
Great quote, could be a Couchsurfing slogan! What is one thing you never go on a trip without?
A sleeping mask where is written “If you give me 5 more minutes, I’ll cook you breakfast”.
Wow. I really love that sleep mask. Both a necessary travel accessory and an important message to your host! So what is a crazy thing that has happened to you while traveling?
Once I didn’t find a host because I decided to visit Siena (Italy) last minute and I didn’t know it was a public holiday and many people were out of the city and hostels were fully booked. At 10 PM I didn’t have a place to stay and just asked to use WiFi in a cafe, started to talk to the waitress, after I went out with her and her friends and they offered for me to stay secretly in their dormitory (because it wasn’t allowed). I ended up staying there for 3 days instead of one and met many cool locals.
Incredible! Off-app Couchsurfing at its finest! And lastly, what is one piece of advice you’d give to new Couchsurfers?
Just start! Hosting, surfing or simply meeting other travelers and locals – CS will change your life!