I have been meaning to try out couch surfing for quite a while now, but all of my travels the past few months included hotels paid for by someone else. The whole idea is to crash at someone’s house who is registered at CouchSurfing.com as having an available couch (or guest room etc.) Millions of couches around the world sit empty each night and traveling is much more fun when you don’t give your money to a hotel chain. The bonus is that you get to meet people who live in the area you are visiting – people who are likely friendly and outgoing folks. I mean, if you didn’t like people, you wouldn’t list your couch.
Well, rather than me trying it out at a stranger’s house, I got a last minute request by Chad to stay at my house (I gave him the guest room). He is a young (mid 20’s) traveler on his way down the Eastern seaboard of Mexico. He intends to surf couches the entire way and discover whatever adventures pop up. I think this is his third trip out of the country via the kindness of strangers as he “discovers who he is as a person.” I agree that this kind of travel education is invaluable and if you are smart person who knows how to avoid trouble, I think it is a very safe way to travel.
He showed up last night beat from driving all day and I found him very friendly. After he showered and ate (he packs his own food) we chatted for a bit about his travels and he hit the sack. As of this writing he is still crashed out but I expect he will be waking soon. His next stop is Corpus Christi where he has another couch arranged and then it is on to Mexico.
As the letters on my refrigerator spell out, my first encounter with a couch surfer was not at all unpleasant. I gave up a room that was empty for the night, made an interesting acquaintance and expect to hear more from his travels. Plus, I have a new listener to the podcast and convert to podcasting in general. I gave him a thumbdrive with myPodder software installed so that he can now grab new podcasts anywhere he can get WiFi.