For me, couchsurfing it’s like climbing a big mountain, I’ve started in the comunity some years ago, I’ve heard amazing things about a community of travelers, was kind a utopian comunity, you travel the world and you are hosted for free? It was like a mistery for me, that I’ve needed to discover by my self.
I’ve join into the community in 2015, kind of skeptical about being hosted by a stranger or host one, in 2016 I’ve join as a volunteer at the “Paralympics Rio 2016”, by then I had not any contact with anyone in that city…. so I though “Ohh what about to start using that utopian community?” so I’ve started creating some conections with local people for hang outs on the city.
My first experience was at 21 years old, and to be honest I was afraid to meet someone on the internet, but once I’ve heard “there are two riskes in life risking too much, and risking too little, but if you found something to be passionate about, that’s the place to risk”, I was passionate about traveling so I did it and since then I’ve met, hang out, surfed and hosted more than hundred of people.
Sometimes to travel as a backpacker it’s like having a long hike to a mountain, you find incredible things on the way, from beautful landscapes, you meet people, but that’s just the surface. When you start hosting people or being hosted, you create higher level of trust, you start to know deeper a person, it’s like sleeping on a tent with someone, it’s an exchange, you share food, travel stories, even it’s possible to join to more social circles with their friends or family, and that’s the real local experience.
In the way to the peak of the mountain, you’ve start noticing new roads on the way, new archetypes through people life’s, you started learning new things, as the same you start to being more flexible and patient, you adapt to new grounds, new weathers, sometimes it’s very different than you expect, sometimes you get surprises, sometimes it’s not that easy as it seems, but that’s fun and part of the adventure, you realize it’s no more a physical test, it becomes a mental development.
When you get to the top of the mountain, there’s moments of reflection, you realized how much you have grow from those experiences, you become to feel lucky to be where you are, to be with those people around you, also you get a new level of philosophical thinking, and in those moments that I felt on the top, I think I’ve understood the philosophy of couchsurfing, and I’ve realized is something very simple, for me “couchsurfing it’s not free hosting but a cultural exchange“.
Here some of my great experiences I had with couchsurfing:
Thanks for reading