Exploring Sydney – In the Wild with Iryna


Iryna Australia



We’re hosting travelers, organizing events and will be out surfing around the globe!

Name: Iryna
Role: Engineering Team
Surfing in… Sydney, Australia

My journey to Sydney was like a dream came true. Australia has always felt distant to me, almost like another planet, like Venus or Mars.

Looking for a Host

It turned out that  finding a host in Sydney wasn’t easy! It was the end of summer, and a lot of tourists come to visit Australia during that time. Most of the hosts I sent requests to already had surfers coming to stay with them!  The moment I saw Helen’s profile, I knew that I would really like to stay with her and her husband Chris to listen to their beautiful and romantic story – how they met through Couchsurfing.  

I read in Helen’s profile that she and Chris were not hosting for the dates that I needed, but I wrote them a message anyways, explaining why I wanted to stay with them and hoping that they might have some time. And a miracle happened – they responded that they liked my message and would love to host me!

My Hosts

I felt so happy and flattered when they accepted my request and I felt really grateful to meet this amazing family – they are truly an asset to the Couchsurfing community. Ever since Helen and Chris discovered Couchsurfing in 2007, they have been both hosting and surfing. Together with their daughter, Evie, they have surfed on many couches around the world and have hosted people from Bulgaria, France, Germany, the States, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Puerto Rico,Hong Kong, Portugal, Latvia, Poland, Iceland, France, Switzerland, Italy, South Korea, Holland, Brazil, Belarus, Sweden and Hungary.

Helen, her husband Chris, and little Evie were simply wonderful. They went above and beyond and from the very first moment I felt really at home and part of their family.  Chris even played guitar and sang for me! I have never met such an open and social child as Evie, probably due to all of her Couchsurfing experience. When she saw me for the first time she gave me a big hug and started to show her toys, telling me stories about them.

They have a very positive attitude towards life, very social and happy personalities. Our open conversations, jokes, walking together in the city, and homemade dinner were much appreciated! One of the best highlights of my trip was reading books to Evie and being amazed by her open, friendly and curious personality.

Exploring Sydney

Mina, a family friend of Helen and Chris, was staying on their couch at the same time when I was Couchsurfing. We got along so well and started to explore Sydney together. It was wonderful to have someone to share my awe of the beauty of the city. We had so many adventures together: took a ferry to Manly beach, one of the most popular beaches in Sydney with miles of lovely sand, walked to the Shelly Beach, and saw some water dragons. We enjoyed the breathtaking views of Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, browsed through Botanical Gardens and were  amazed by Gothic style architecture of St. Mary’s Cathedral .It was great to discover the amazing places and then in the evening to come home and discuss what we have seen with our hosts.

On the Ferry to Manly Beach!
On the Ferry to Manly Beach!

Another highlight of my trip was racing on a boat on Sydney Harbour. The event organizer, Scott Francis Scott, is an experienced sailor with a lot of great and inspiring sailing stories. He  gave us all tips on how to get around the city and what is good to see. Everyone on the boat was very welcoming and informative. I was able to speak to many Couchsurfing members during the event and have been gathering valuable feedback about our website while Celestial was racing. During the race, we moved from one side of the boat to another as human weights! We had an awesome time.

Boat Racing in Sydney Harbour!
Boat Racing in Sydney Harbour!

My trip to Sydney was so memorable, mostly because of the people that I have met and was surrounded with all the time in Australia. I’m already looking forward to my next Couchsurfing adventure!

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