For the past 2.5 years CouchSurfing has been a big part of my life. What is “CouchSurfing” you ask? It is a community with approximately 3 million members around the world from 246 different countries. The main concept is to meet people from all over the world and “surf” or rather sleep on their couch, mattress, or whatever they offer for no money. As a “host” you write a description about your couch, and your so to speak “rules”. But it is more than just sleeping somewhere for free; the best part is getting to know these amazing people and learning from them whether it be how to cook a new dish or say a few words in another language. I personally am not much of a host or surfer, but rather more of a “social CouchSurfer.” I attend and organize local events here in Berlin! A few memorable events I’ve attended were things such as watching the world cup in the park with 50 people, swimming in a lake after midnight, a pub-crawl to small local bars in dodgy part of Berlin with 100 people, a few fondue dinners, and many more! Also if I am traveling somewhere alone and don’t know anyone, I write a few people messages and ask if they would like to meet up for a drink and show me around the city. A city is much more enjoyable with a local point of view instead of the typical tourist route. Everyone I have met from CouchSurfing has been very open minded and interested in traveling like me, so we have a lot in common. I consider many of these people close friends now, and if it weren’t for CouchSurfing I would have never met them. Many people think that it is crazy or risky, but on peoples profile pages there are references from other people writing about their personal experience with this person. There is also something called “vouching” which helps determine if the person is trustworthy. If you “vouch” for someone it means you confirm they are a real person and you trust them. The more vouches, the better. Now that I have made friends from all over the world, I would gladly offer them my couch if they pass through Berlin, and I believe they would do the same for me, which in the end is also another form of networking. I am proud to say that CouchSurfing was founded in San Francisco, California close to where I am from. Hopefully I have put some ideas into your head and inspired a few of you to register!! Help someone out, and benefit at the same time by getting to know an amazing interesting new person, who afterwards, would most likely offer you a place to stay in whatever interesting corner of the world they come from!
A Few memorable pictures with CouchSurfers