10 Questions with a CS Ambassador: Niko

Name: Niko
City: Celje, Slovenia
Years on Couchsurfing: 12

Niko visiting Bucharest, Romania

Hey Niko! Tell us why you got involved with Couchsurfing.
I like meeting people, I believe every person brings something new to your life. And I really liked the idea of CS. So I started. I mostly host, I only surfed twice so far.

Well we love a good Couchsurfing host! What as your first CS experience like?
My first experience was hosting two Hungarian athletes who competed in a karate competition camp in my town. Very positive and it proved me that I made a good decision by joining CS community. Still in touch with one of them.

Very cool! I hope they won! What was one of your most interesting hosting experience?
There were many unforgettable experiences so far, but if I had to put in spotlight one, it would be from 2012, when I hosted Amie and Olli, two cyclist on their way from Portugal to Vietnam. They really blended with community and stayed for 23 days. We became good friends, did all sorts of things together and still keep in touch.

23 days! Wow! They were practically roommates! And what about surfing experience?
Well, I only surfed twice so far ( NYC and Krakow) and they say you never forget your first one :-). Surfing in Brooklyn, NYC in 2009 was an unforgettable experience, I visited the city before quite a few times, but never saw any other part than Manhattan. My time with Baila and Sam was great, I could use their bike, they showed me places I would probably never visit myself and were overall extremely kind. I even participated in AIDS walk as member of “Target” group, where Baila worked at the time. I saw the city through totally different perspective, felt like local the second day :-). That stay in Brooklyn gave me even further confirmation that joining CS was one of the best decisions in my life.

As a fellow Brooklyn resident I am very glad you had such a great experience in our borough! What is the coolest gift you’ve received from a Couchsurfer?
I got a lovely (unfortunately too small) traditional piece of clothing from Couchsurfer from India. Was really touched by it.

Very sweet. Has there been any book that has inspired your travels?
There are many books that, when I read them, I get an instant itch to go traveling, especially if the author is describing cities in details. One such book was “Brooklyn Follies” by Paul Auster. I am a very visual type of person and always play a movie in my head when reading a book. So when I read a book where author describes a city (especially if I visited it) I instantly want to go there, see it again or discover new parts. And “Brooklyn Follies” is one such book.

I’ll look it up! What is something crazy that has happened to you while traveling?
Hmmm….it didn’t “happen,” I did it. I took a Greyhound bus ride from Flint, Michigan to NYC, spent two days there, returned to Michigan to spend 36 hours with girl I was crazy in love with, then drove back to NYC with Greyhound and flew home the next day. Well worth it, though.

Aw. That is a long bus ride for love! What is a food everyone needs to try when they come to Slovenia?
Cheese Burek, although it’s not authentic Slovene.

Cheese Burek by Filip Koric / shutterstock

Sounds delicious! Is there any place in your city that embodies the same ideals as Couchsurfing?
That would be art quarter with its “base,” pub TamKoUčiri. A community of artists, who always accepts my surfers, sometimes even offer studios for sleeping or safekeeping bikes and luggage.

Amazing! Sounds like a special place. Last question for you, what is your dream vacation?
Combined hiking and sailing. For example; hiking in wilderness of British Columbia, fly over to Australia and do sailing in Polynesia.

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