My #ComingOutDay: “I Respect You, But I Will Not Use Your Pronouns”
My #ComingOutDay Travelers: I have some news for ...
Have you ever woken up on the couch of a complete stranger? If you have CouchSurfed before, you know the feeling. This is no new situation for me, Calen Otto, the host of the “Will Work For Food” podcast.
If you keep up with my blog, you’ve seen me travel across the U.S., twice. You’ve probably noticed that I do it with little to no money. Let me tell you, CouchSurfing has been a big part of that.
While in Idaho Falls I had the pleasure of interviewing the CouchSurfing King, Sam Handcock. Sam has hosted over 150 people in his home, and is no stranger to waking up on stranger’s couches himself. After Sam’s interview, I pulled some of his most helpful tips and tricks to Couchsurfing. Listen to the interview for the full story.
CouchSurfing is an app that travelers can use to find a place to stay in any given area. It is not only used in the U.S., but travelers can find places to crash all over the world.
Well, to be honest, there strangely isn’t one. After setting up a profile, surfers can browse through different hosts in their chosen city. After they’ve reviewed the host’s profile and feel as if they may be a good match, the surfer than request the nights that they wish to stay.
If the host accepts, the surfer has a place to rest for the night—for free. There are no monetary transactions while using CouchSurfing.
Although there are no monetary exchanges for CouchSurfing, there are some exchanges that take place. Now, remember: this is all situational. Some hosts like to chat, make dinner, show the surfer around, and hangout. Others don’t have time, aren’t as interested, or may just be too busy on the given dates.
Hosts and surfers may exchange multiple things.
Exchanges may include: a meal, travel stories, teaching a new skill, gifting something from their hometown/country, advice, music, and time. These exchanges are completely up to the host and surfer!
If you’re already a part of the travel world, you most likely already know about the gift of paying it forward. Just because you can’t give anything to a host immediately doesn’t mean that you never will be able to give back. You can always pay it forward to the next traveler that you meet.
Now that you know how CouchSurfing works, let me give you a few reasons to listen to this specific episode. You’ll have the chance to:
(Especially Solo Femme Travelers)
a) Look for hosts with great references.
b) Look for verified accounts.
c) If possible, stay with a group of other surfers. They may request the same dates as you.
d) Pay attention and be alert.
e) Be ready and willing to say “No.”
Although I have had almost nothing but good experiences, (I felt uncomfortable with a host’s roommate in one instance), you can’t predict how situations are going to unfold. CouchSurfing does their best to keep a safe space, but this is still a system that runs on references given by real people. Please use discretion when choosing places to stay.
2. The sharing.
d) New, Created Experiences
3. Conserve money, electricity, and energy.
4. See your own home through a fresh set of eyes. Each adventure is unique because of who you decide to share it with.
a) They are putting their trust in you, so BE TRUSTWORTHY! Or don’t host.
2. Give your time.
3. Provide a clean place to stay.
4. Make your house cleaner than when you are normally there.
5. Be open to new experiences.
a) Don’t make it a free hotel.
2. Be your best self.
a) Remember, the only currency is the currency of sharing each other! (Chao cheesy, I know)
b) Be willing to spend time with your host.