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So... What Are You Waiting For? Carpe Diem - Live the Dream

The Things We Do - Couch Surfing

USA | Monday, 25 April 2011 | Views [491] | Comments [2]

The sacrifices we make to travel and see the world come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us do some pretty crazy things (or just things we wouldn't normally do) just to get around or make ends meet. After 5 months of living off two minute noodles I'm completely sick of them. In fact its making ME sick. I can't really afford to eat 'well'. As you all know, fruit and veg are so damn expensive! So as it stands, 1 week from my due arrival back in Aotearoa, I’m facing what is quite possibly the most horrendous cold/flu I’ve ever had and I blame it entirely on poor diet. I’ll coin this as ‘travellers malnutrition’. It can also get a little tiring when your constantly counting pennies and living from pay-check to pay-check. Then there’s living out of a suitcase, relying solely on public transport or living with really shitty flatmates. Forgive me, I’ll stop with the self pity... but what I'm really getting at here is the things we do to travel; the lifestyle we choose, the sacrifices we make and how we go about making ends meet all in the hopes of exploring this fabulous world. 90% of the time they are small sacrifices which are easy to deal with, and 100% of the time it's worth it, but travelling on a shoe string can be haaaaaard work. As I said before, to make it work you often have to do things you wouldn't otherwise do and put yourself out there with an open mind.

So while most of my peers are sitting back home working their 9-5 jobs, earning some decent coin, enjoying their material possessions and indulging in their banquet meals, I'm looking into how to go about travelling the world by living off peoples couches. You heard right people; COUCH SURFING!!! 

Read on...

For those of you who don’t know what that heck I’m on about, Couch Surfing is an international hospitality exchange network/website that connects travellers with locals in over 230 countries and territories around the world. People use this network to come together for not only free accommodation but more importantly cultural exchange, friendship and unforgettable learning experiences. Basically you can either offer your couch for like-minded travellers to sleep on, or as in my case, be the one seeking other hosts couches for my own accommodation. Even if you’re not up for offering or needing a couch to stay on, this network opens you up to 2.7 million other people who are willing to show you around their area for a day or give you some local insider tips. Best thing is, it often provides more than just a couch – it could be a bed, a spare room or even a place to house sit for however long you’re welcomed for. Maybe if you’re really lucky your host will even provide you a meal or two! Now tell me that’s not a unique opportunity.

So if your anything like my boyfriend Tom (who takes a hell of a lot of convincing) you’re probably wondering what hosts get out of it, or why in heck would anyone want to invite a stranger into their home for nothing in return (remember its all entirely free). Well, have you ever heard of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? Asides from this being an age old excerpt from the good book, it really has some truth in it. Have you ever travelled before? Have you ever needed a place to stay for cheap or better yet, free? If you have, then you’ll know what its like to travel on a shoestring budget and hopefully know how easy and hassle free it is just to provide someone with some basic shelter for a night or two. Plus, the favour goes both ways and it gives hosts the opportunity to meet people from all over the world without leaving the comfort of their own home. It really sounds like an opportunity for travellers and hosts alike to meet an array of people from all different backgrounds create unforgettable memories and encounter cross-cultural experiences that are unique, engaging, and inspiring.

You really need to check out How Couch Surfing Changed My Life and read about how it impacted on one girls life saying it encouraged her to become more outgoing, more open minded and to have nothing but positive thoughts for everyone that she now meets, whether she knows them or not.

I’m young, broke and out to see the world. This is probably the only time in my life when sleeping on a futon is a practical way to travel. Plus I’ll have a guide make new friends. You gotta look at it realistically; if you’re uncomfortable with staying at stranger’s homes and prefer to pay to stay in a hostel you’ll still be sleeping next to strangers anyway! I've gotta say, I'm convinced and am utterly invigorated with the whole idea! Couch surfing sounds like an entirely new adventure, even on top of travelling, so I’m ready to give it a try.  

If you’re interested in signing up, it’s totally free. If your not a traveller, do your good deed for the day and invite a needy traveller into your home, even for just a night – remember, floor space or a tent in the back yard does the trick and would make any traveller all the more richer for having witnessed a kind gesture. After all, it might change your life for the better too. 

SO... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

Tags: couch surfing, trying something new

Comments

1

Looks like a great option for those low on funds while travelling!

  Tom Apr 26, 2011 11:19 AM

2

Does that mean you're in then? :P I've signed us up already haha...

  tizleilani Apr 26, 2011 11:20 AM

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