OK, I admit the first time I heard of Couchsurfing I thought it sounded dangerous and strange. I poked around some and found a girl’s testimony of staying with a family in Mongolia and how awesome they were to her. They shared one room in a round enclosure that was their house and they had made room for her to sleep even with grandmother living there! So I decided to try it when I went to Florida for a political campaign and my boyfriend came with me. The stay was amazing and our host was everything I could write home to mom about! We got our own room and it was lovely. He went with us to the political thing and we took him out to dinner.
My next experience was a girl from Brazil staying at my house for 3 days. Again, an amazing experience because I got to show her around my town and she shared her experiences with me. I did my first solo overnight at a single mans apartment in New York City a few years later and it was also a great experience. We shared one room but had 2 sleeping areas. He gave me his bed and slept on an air mattress. We had a great discussions on politics and he was very helpful about the sites I should visit.
Fast forward to last month. OMG! Everything I knew about Couchsurfing just got better! I went to Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Macau for a month. I Couchsurfed through Japan and it was an experience that you can’t imagine unless you experience it for yourself! I now have 4 friends from Tokyo that are always welcome in my home! It was not about staying somewhere for free as it had been the first 2 times. It was about me traveling alone in such foreign places that I needed a bit of help from time to time, not knowing the language. It is also about never being lonely when traveling alone. Mostly it is about fellowship, community, and friends with common interests that you can trust! From all over the world!
When I reached Hong Kong I only stayed with one person for a few days. I never want to over stay my welcome. But I did meet-ups with many people there and it was a great experience. I will never travel internationally without Couchsurfing again! It made the entire experience better and more memorable! I think Couchsurfing is the best thing you can find on the internet if you are a traveler!
This post was written by a member of the Couchsurfing community. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or opinion of Couchsurfing.
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