Monday, August 16, 2010

Couch Surfing

Do you know about Couch Surfing?

Couch Surfing (well, the project) allows you to stay at other people's homes when you travel, instead of in a hostel. There is an internet network where you can browse people's profiles, see pictures and learn more about the. I think couch surfing is a great way to experience an area, as locals are usually best to show you around. I was always concerned about safety issues, but I've met a great deal of couch surfers in my area, and all of them were amazing.

I've never hosted, but I recently signed up. I think it's a great way to meet other travelers, and I've met so many of them through friends who were hosting. We took them around to udon shops, cooked pizza with them, and they tagged along at parties. A few weeks ago, I ended up hosting two French couch surfers (and their original host) who missed their last train. It was one of the best nights I've had in a long time. My apartment is tiny tiny, but I have extra futons and blankets, and the French boys seemed more than happy with the arrangements (it was either that, or sleeping at the castle).

I am aware that things could get awkward if I hosted a boy, since it's such close quarters, so my profile specifies females only. I think it will be fun to have a guest over, and show them my town and my favourite caf├ęs and sights.

{The French Boys were an exception to my rule}

What do you think about Couch Surfing, and have you tried it?

If you come to Marugame, look me up!

{My profile picture on CS... makes me look caring and inoffensive... I hope!}


thevoyageofv said...

I'm also a member! But I've never done it... I like to plan ahead and have my places booked and it seemed like when I contacted people last summer about Spain, that it was mostly last minute. And there's a certain scary factor. You never know what you're gonna get. But from what I've hear from experienced people it usually turns out great! There's nothing like staying with a local when you're in a new place.

Nicole Marie said...

i had a friend who did it in italy! i would def do it and if we didn't already have a full house i'd love t have couch surfers stay at my place

mina said...

We signed up for it before we left for our travels but never really used the site. Our profile kind of sucks.
It's one of our wanderlist items.

Did you know that you can get free guides in Tokyo. We did used one in the Odaiba area for a day. They're just volunteers who like meeting foreigners.

existentialsnowflake said...

I have a CS account and am about to host my first couch surfers--a couple of hitchhikers I met. I think it's hard to make a good enough profile that people are comfortable with you.

Genthianne said...

What I think? CS sucks. The attitude of some people who think they own the "Couchsurfing Spirit" (seems to be a sect) is unbelievable!
I started a facebook page to collect articles on bad couchsurfing experiences and I mean really bad ones.
You should read some of the articles!!!
CS took 4 months to warn others after a member was raped by a CS member and reported it. 4 months!!

Here's the page: