During my trip to Chicago and Milwaukee I got to experience Couchsurfing for the first time. Couchsurfing is something that I had heard a lot of people mention, but I have to confess that I thought it sounded a bit crazy. I liked the idea, but I still had my mom’s voice in the back of my head reminding me of all the times that travelers (especially girls) are harmed or taken advantage of. However, when Zach and I started dating he told me about all of these amazing experiences and really great people that he had the opportunity to meet through Couchsurfing, and my worries faded. I met a couple of surfers who stayed with Zach, and when we decided to go to Chicago and Milwaukee, Zach introduced me to the wonderful world of Couchsurfing.
We stayed with a college student in Chicago and a transportation engineer in Milwaukee. Both were really interesting people and we had two very different experiences, and I think that that was a good thing for my first time Couchsurfing. We stayed in a fraternity house in Chicago, and in Milwaukee we had our own separate room with a lot of privacy. In both cases our hosts went out with us and gave us recommendations of what to do. I didn’t feel unsafe sleeping or leaving my things there, and both of our hosts were really great about working with our schedule.
Couchsurfing is all about community. It’s not simply a free place to stay and shower (although it is helpful in making travel more affordable), but it’s about connecting with like-minded people and others who have this insane urge to travel. I also feel like it is safe. With all kinds of reviews, you can be selective on who you surf with or host, and trust that they are looking for the same thing you are. I love the idea of a sense of community, and it reminds me a lot of the sense of community I’ve found here, blogging. So, I highly suggest looking into this, even if you can’t surf, host! We all have things to teach and contribute and Couchsurfing allows us to share those things.
I’m really grateful to have had this experience and look forward to having many, many more! Zach has so many stories about really incredible experiences, and I now want to attempt to do this every time I travel and I am very excited to host my first surfer- hopefully soon!
I found this on Pinterest, and it’s full of a lot of interesting stats about Couchsurfing!
Seriously, guys… This is great. Please share some of your own Couchsurfing experiences or tips! I want to learn and help others learn more about this great opportunity!
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