Sharing San Francisco through Food and Fog: Staying with Staff

Staff in the Wild is a Couchsurfing program that seeks to connect the staff at HQ with the community at large. We’re hosting travelers, organizing events and will be out surfing around the globe. Request a staff member in your city!

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NameMartina Steinmann
Role: Community Manager
Hosting travelers from… Prague, Czech Republic
Couchsurfing makes me… more curious.




Why do you host?

Hosting allows me to bring the world into my home when I can’t be traveling myself. (It helps ease the travel itch a bit). Couchsurfers carry that contagious energy of a curious traveler into my daily life.

What unforgettable moments did you share with your Couchsurfers?

My guests Daniela and Tadeas made me learn to appreciate my neighborhood more. Together, we discovered a tiny, family-run honey store nearby that I now go to frequently. The couple was on the search for a present for their next host and we had a sweet time choosing between dozens of honey samples. Having picked our favorites, we walked home to celebrate our find with homemade pizza.

The next day, we set out to explore the beach that lines the city of San Francisco. As we reached the far end of the sandy shore the fog suddenly closed in on us in what felt like a split second. Surprised and dazed, we started a small scavenger hunt to get a glimpse at the famous Golden Gate Bridge. (We were successful!)

Ocean Beach with Couchsurfer Daniela

Little did we know that within minutes, fog would build up and close in on us.

Couchsurfers Daniela and Tadeas chasing the Golden Gate Bridge

My Couchsurfers Daniela and Tadeas, chasing the perfect picture of the Golden Gate Bridge towering out of the fog.

Soon after, our empty stomachs led us to a delicious burger restaurant.

Belly Burger Restaurant

Hunting down some truly American food, “Belly Burgers” sounded like perfect choice, right?

How can you be a better host?

I was glad that I got to spend a lot of time together with my Couchsurfers, and I hope to keep doing that when I host in the future. One small thing I am working on is making my home a little more traveler-friendly. One of my past hosts had a little basket full of shampoo and soap samples set up just for her surfers. As small a gesture as that may seem, I remember those kinds of amenities feeling like the most luxurious things when you’re on the road.

What does Couchsurfing mean to you?

When I first learned about Couchsurfing, I was thrilled to hear that there was an entire community of people out there that were opening their homes to strangers. I only really believed it once I experienced it myself and it did strengthen my faith in people. The trust, kindness, and friendship I experienced was overwhelming and continues to amaze me.

Curious to hear more? Our Community Manager Martina spoke with Travis of the travel podcast Extra Pack of Peanuts about travel safety, common sense, and the most interesting Couchsurfing stories she’s ever heard!

Podcast with Martina

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