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!
Name: Thomas Donohoe
Role: Product Manager
Where to? New York, United States
Couchsurfing makes a me a better… person.
Why New York?
I love being surrounded by skyscrapers.
The People Along the Way
The very first thing I saw when I arrived at my host Angie’s apartment was her and the other Couchsurfers sitting around a table covered in candy from all over the world. Right away, I knew this was going to be special. The candy, brought by Couchsurfers who had stayed with Angie before, was from countless countries and multiple continents.
“Right away, I knew this was going to be special.”
Luckily, I had brought San Francisco’s most famous chocolate (Ghirardelli) to contribute to the pile of hand selected sweets. That night, we sat around eating candy and talking about travel, food, and our Couchsurfing experiences into the early morning hours!
Board Games With Friends
My incredible host Angie had put up hundreds of travelers before and invited me in spite of her already hosting 3 other Couchsurfers. Angie is not just a passionate host, she’s so much more. Angie is a jack-of-all-trades: she is a talented artist, photographer, dedicated Couchsurfing Ambassador, tour guide, investor, business consultant, gamer and seasoned traveler. She is open to try anything and seemingly insightful about everything.
“Angie is not just a passionate host, she’s so much more.”
One of my most memorable experiences during my trip was playing the board game ‘Cards Against Humanity’ with Angie, her roommate, and 4 Couchsurfers. Because the game is all about understanding who you are playing with and what they appreciate (humor? wit? spontaneity?), I really got to know everyone as the game went along.
“Having a great time during a round of ‘Settlers of Catan’.”
Leaving it Better Than I Found It
Because I was sleeping right smack in the middle of the living room, I knew it was very important to clean up after myself and put away my things. Angie’s generosity went far beyond just a place to sleep, and I was thrilled to be able to contribute to her collection of board games (I brought her ‘Risk’). It made my experience much more fulfilling to share a thing that I love with her and leave her wonderful place at least a little better equipped than I found it.
Just before I left, Angie had me contribute a signed polaroid of myself to her collection of polaroids. She takes one of Couchsurfer who stay with her. Such a cool idea that has inspired an interesting idea for a feature I hope to add to Couchsurfing soon!
“Me (bottom right) surrounded by the polaroids of my brilliant co-Couchsurfers.”
What Couchsurfing Means to Me
Couchsurfing is about sharing experiences with people from all over the world. Even if it is just sharing your candy. It is about understanding different cultures to appreciate what makes them special… whether you be surfing, hosting or attending an event like the fun NYC weekly meetup.