Traveler's Test

What is Couchsurfing – or welcome to my couch!

What is Couchsurfing – or welcome to my couch!

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Or how and why you should sleep in a stranger s bed, in a city you don t know.

Up until recently, sleeping in the bed of a stranger, in a foreign country, sounded like the beginning of an unthinkable feat, possible only for those without a shred of self-preservation instincts. Today, however, travelers from all over the world choose to make their trip cheaper and more interesting, by utilizing the hospitality of locals, who have registered to the website Couchsurfing.

Since you are reading this article, you are either already a participant, or you are asking yourself “What is Couchsurfing?” and if it could work for you.

The third option is that your roommate keeps dragging in people with huge backpacks every week, and sometimes asks to use your bed.

Couchsurfing is a community of millions of hospitable people from around the world. They will offer you a place in their home, while you are visiting their city or village. Sometimes you ll have your own room, and other times you ll be sleeping on the couch, or on an air mattress. Sebastian from France reminisces with a smile, when he says that in Norway he had to sleep under a table, and then get up to dress in a sharp suit and go to work. On the other hand, when you are the one offering a place to sleep, you can view your hometown in a new light, and meet people from every continent, without leaving the couch (yes, every continent – there are registered users even in Antarctica!)Since you are reading this article, you are either already a participant, or you are asking yourself “What is Couchsurfing?” and if it could work for you.

“Our goal is nothing more than to change the world”, say proudly, and justly, the creators of Couchsurfing, one their website. Every week, between 14 000 and 40 000 new users are registered.

When you share your couch, the most important rule is that you are not a hotel – you don t ask for money, rather you share your culture, your experience, and a night with no plans. You won t have the desire to think of any other rules, just minutes after meeting your host or guest. Usually, the host would show you and tell you about the most interesting places in their city, amazing finds that have been left out of the tourist guidebooks, and if they have the time, they might even take you on a tour. Your guest might cook a delicious recipe from their native country for you, help you learn to play that new song on your guitar, tell your future…

Another option is to register under the category “Wants to meet up” and to simply meet foreigners, who have traveled to your city, to exchange experiences, and ideas about life, over a glass of wine. “Couchsurfing helps us overcome the difference between ‘us and ‘them and creates a world where there is only ‘us ”, says Rob Dud, who has hosted over 50 people on his couch in Bangkok.

Even if you live with your parents, or don t have a single square meter of free space on your floor, for one sleeping bag, that doesn t mean you will be rejected by Couchsurfing. In every city, regular meetings are organized, where people go see plays together, hike, and do all kinds of other things.

Hospitality Club is similar to Couchsurfing, however, like every other club, it will evaluate your application, before you can become a member.

So, welcome to my couch!