I first heard about the couchsurfing community about a year ago. In case you are not familiar with it, l will enlighten you a little. It’s basically people who travel and need a place to stay for free to cut down on expenses. It’s a great way to meet like minded people and not feel so lonely. One of the blogs l read fairly often (nicoleisthenewblack) had stayed with a great host in Japan and she had nothing but good things to say.
That decided it for me. I had thought about it for a while, not to surf, but maybe host. Anyway, l signed up and got a request from a surfer coming to Malta for a week and wished to stay with us for 1 or 2 nights. Always the overachiever, l told him he was welcome to stay for 3. He was coming from the Ukraine. I didn’t know what to expect, this was our very first time not hosting friends or family. He, however had been couchsurfing for about two years.
He arrived on a saturday evening. His name was Alex and he was 32 years old. He was such a gentleman. He brought me some chocolates..(yum!) and 4 samplers of Ukranian Vodka (haven’t tried any yet). My dogs took to him immediately and by the end of the week, this is pretty much what he got..
He was a perfect guest, went out in the morning (sometimes joining us for coffee) and came back in the evening (sometimes we had dinner). He was a photography enthusiast and since my husband is a pro, Alex was more than happy to pick up some tips. He saw improvement within the week and that pleased him. He was also very knowledgeable about football, both the Premier League and Serie A and joined my hubby watching and talking about it, which thrilled me no end. It was so nice not to hear or pretend to care about all these teams. I follow his team, but l refuse to care about all the others.
Long story short, he ended up staying with us the whole week. The fact that it was an en suite guest room made it bearable for us. Had he been on the couch, the 3 days would have been more than enough l think. Overall, it was a good couchsurfing experience and would probably do it again at some point. I don’t know if we ourselves are surfers by nature though, l think we might just be too old and prefer the comfort of hotels. In case you are interested in signing up, the website is couchsurfing.org
How about you? Have you ever hosted or couchsurfed? How was your experience? I know couch surfing is not for everyone.