Scars heal, glory fades. And all we’re left with are the memories made! Pain hurts, but only for a minute. Your life is short so go on and live it… because the chicks dig it!
Over the last year or two I’ve got right into country music – mainly because of a friend who forced me into it. But that’s beside the point, I chose the lyrics above because I think they apply to a lot of things in my life personally (minus the end haha); and also this post. So hopefully you guys will learn a little bit about me here too.
p.s the first person to comment the singers name of the lyrics above will get 5 free SEO related tips on how to improve their website ;)
So What’s All This CouchSurfing?
The website says… “A volunteer-based worldwide network connecting travelers with members of local communities, who offer free accommodation and/or advice.”
I think that’s a HUGE understatement.
CouchSurfing.org is the social network of, and not subject to, travelers. People who want to explore, people who want to find themselves, who want to go on adventures, who want to hear cool stories from across the world, who want to do good by helping someone out, who want to meet new people and not just get in their pants – let’s be honest most social sites are based around sex if we look deeper…
I signed up originally during my six week road trip through America. David and I were half dead, bodies were tired, livers failing and had been driving a long time. This particular night we found a motel6 and put up for the night. I suggested we sign up to CouchSurfing to see if we could hook up a place to stay for free in the next city. Though, new to it and feeling rather lazy we didn’t really put any effort in and it was forgotten about.
4 months later I am no longer with my girlfriend, whom I was with for the best part of 4 years. Unable to put my mind to work or use my spare time to be productive and feeling rather low in a flat which was now relatively empty – I decided it would be a great idea to host some couch surfers. This way I would be able to meet like-minded people, hear some great stories, do some good by helping them out for free, and build up a solid profile for when the time comes that I need a couch to rest my head.
What An Experience So Far!
So, feeling rather skeptical about who would be staying – and living in a relatively small flat, I decided I wouldn’t be accepting couples as this would be a little cramped, unless of course it was for just the one night. Anyway once sharing that my place was available I received about 5-10 messages – it was awesome!
Experience Number One
One girl in particular seemed to need the space more than anyone else. A young German lady who simply had to have somewhere to stay for a couple of days before she caught a flight back home. She was waiting to be paid by work so she could book her flight – I figured this would be a great start; seems harmless, clearly needs help and had a couple of nice references.
She came over, it was great. We had a couple of drinks and had a chat, she met my friends and generally tried her best to absorb the situation and that’s it. She told me a few cool stories, it was awesome to simply hear what she was up to and why she was here in London.
How many times can you go up to a girl (or guy even?) in a bar and simply get into such an excellent conversation – it’s not always easy to prove to someone your just genuinely interested in what they have to say; which is sad. It’s another sad truth about what technology has done to socialising – but we’ll save that for another day!
Experience Nummer Zwei?
Well, I was looking through the ‘surfers looking for a couch’ section of the site to see if anyone needed somewhere in and around London. Naturally there were tonnes but one person in particular stood out; she had such a big smile and her photos showed she’d been to so many cool places. Lastly, we had a common ground – I’d randomly stopped off in her hometown during my travels beforehand (which isn’t common, it’s a tiny little town).
Long story short, she accepted the offer and was happy to come visit – obviously excited that somebody actually knew about her town haha.
Upon arrival I had no idea what I was in for. I figured it would be a case of meeting another cool person; we’d trade stories about travel, she’d be happy she has a place, then she’d have some fun in London looking about and simply come back to use my place to sleep as that’s essentially what it’s for. Instead we had an AWESOME first night simply talking and knocking back a few beers. Turned out we had a thousand and one things in common from music, to travel stories, to simply being open minded about life and the way to live it.
Here’s something that came of her stay with me…
Now this tattoo was something I’d wanted to get for a long time anyway, I’d just never bothered to get it done. However, my couch surfer told me she wanted a tattoo which to me was perfect because now I have a reason to go and get mine – plus how awesome is that to experience with someone? Whether I like it or not, I will now never forget this person. Every time I look at my wrist, I see my brother, and I see that crazy girl I had a great time with.
Traveller? Not a Traveller?
It simply doesn’t matter. You can host, or travel and stay with others. Either way the concept is awesome and you’re sure to meet some amazing people in your life.
If you want to open your mind, open your door and invite people in. I’m so excited to see who comes through mine next…