But what I am here to do is clear up a bit of the glamour surrounding the concept of gorgeous foreigners showing up at your doorstep. Picking someone up at the bar requires approximately three hours of lame, dry martini-fueled discourse. Picking someone up at the airport, preparing your home for their arrival, making them feel comfortable and safe and taking them on numerous adventurous outings is actually quite a bit more work.
Our best Couchsurfing experience definitely comes from our time in Veracruz, Mexico, during the carnival. Our host for the weekend was Carlos, a local Mexican guy who was offering up a big two-storey house to as many surfers as it would fit. When we arrived at the house, it was already packed with at least 50 people from Mexico and all over the world, and the guests kept coming over the weekend!
Locals offering free housing and good company in a beautiful location? Is it still so, though? Famous all over the world, Couchsurfing is a hospitality service and social networking website which counts more than 14 million members, whose number grows daily.
He describes himself as "amazing, outgoing, funny, smart" and says his interests include friends, eating, drinking, the gym and puppies. His photos show the good-humored Latin American native — dark, handsome, and fit — in exotic destinations around the world, from Cairo to Capri. Nowhere does the profile state explicitly that if you are an attractive female traveler, you might skip the couch entirely and wind up in Riccardo's bed, but it's a good possibility. In eight months using the service, Riccardo, who is 32 and works for an ad agency, has let eight visitors crash at his apartment, of whom he's hooked up with five, for a 62 percent "success rate.
My apologies for the delay in posting, noble readers; I have recently relocated to Vimutti Buddhist Monastery and have limited Internet access. Some Couchsurfers may have already had the fortune of reading Sleeping Around by Brian Thacker, the story of a man surfing his way across the globe; incidentally, if you are in New Plymouth, New Zealand, I left my copy to their CSing community — find it and leave your autograph to the ages. From Kenya to Iceland, Thacker takes us on a global tour of the hospitality of those bearing their souls… but mostly their couch cushions.
InI was a professional bellydancer and went on a self-organized tour of Canada and the United States. I was on my way to a solo camping trip in Cape Breton Island for a few days before teaching a workshop in Halifax, and had to pass through a small town called Antigonish. Using the Couch Search, I found a doctoral student with a spare room who seemed nice.
The more chicks I hosted, the better I was able to handpick those who wanted to have sex instead of those who merely wanted to use my place as a free motel for the night. Although most of the time I singled them out purely using my gut by quickly scanning their profiles, I decided to see if there were indeed common factors in the profiles of the chicks I banged. This is one of the obvious ones.
For a budget traveler like me, options like Couchsurfing, Airbnb are more than welcome. About an year and a half back, I logged into Couchsurfing and started hosting. My guests so far have been gracious, fun, open to different experiences and kind. I have also tried Couchsurfing as a guest and my experience has been great.
An introductory handshake had somehow mutated into a full blown hand holding session. I knew this was a part of Indian culture but after a couple of minutes I began to feel decidedly uncomfortable. I had been in the country less than a day and, after meeting two Australian friends at Delhi airport, we had rocked up at our couchsurfing hosts humble abode.