So couch surfing… For those that don’t know – you better get to know! As I once said in my youth. It’s the future (I know it’s been around for ages – check this out link), but I never really understood or appreciated its benefits. It’s the ability to go away and have a ready made friend/acquaintance structure in place. Set up to help travellers not feel so lonely and provide a comfortable couch with ready made local guides – couch surfing should only be celebrated. Politicians and governments take note! Your people enjoy the company of other cultures and want to know more about the places in the world- quit being so short-sighted and couch surf!
So couch surfing. Before I left I signed up to the website and sent a few requests out – not asking for a couch, but more to meet local people and others that had trodden the path I was about to… Searching on the website I was immediately presented with numerous options about where to go… Where to meet etc.. I decided on a couch surfing meeting that was scheduled for the day I arrived… No need to waste time!
So after lunch, a nap, a shower and one last look at my huge bed (see pic) I ventured from the perceived safety of my hotel (don’t worry I do embrace the travelling way later on) to a bar I’d never heard of, in a city I’d never been to, to meet people that didn’t know me from Adam!
After the obligatory getting lost phase of my journey I arrived at the plush Milion bar ( check it out). I was greeted by some stares, some smiles, and then a voice that welcomed me into the fold! At least seventy CS members had turned up, either alone, or with friends they’d made on the way. I talked and talked, exchanged stories, laughed, gasped, and in the end decided that I’d had one of the best 4/5 hour experiences in my life… Profound but true!
I met travellers, architects, language students (loads of these), graphic designers, you name it they were there. All gathered with no animosity, no chips on shoulders, just people coming together to share cultures and experiences! I absolutely loved it!
Unfortunately home beckoned after it reached 3am, but not to fear I’d organised a tour of Buenos Aires with a fellow surfer… Can’t wait!