CouchSurfing is a hobby that is rarely mentioned yet is one of the most interesting and bizarre ventures.
CouchSurfing means staying at a host “couch” at your local destination – gaining real life and real world experiences, plus saving the money that would normally be spent on more formal accommodations.
Networks and communities of like-minded travelers connect on websites and social media to make arrangements for everything from one night to an entire holiday stay.
CouchSurfers move around the world and share their experiences and cultures of different people. They often times have the same hosts in the places they travel to.
When a family hosts them, they always thank them through acts of kindness such as cooking meals, among others.
One of the puzzling questions about CouchSurfing is the safety of the Couch Surfer and the people or person doing the hosting.
One Rwandan host known as Ivan, a resident of Kacyiru who has hosted four CouchSurfers so far, says he has had a great experience with them.
“Early this year, I hosted CouchSurfers from Germany and Spain. They told me their hobby is to travel and explore the world. Two of them stayed for four days and the other two stayed for a week. They were very nice people and even used to help with house chores,” he said.
He added that CouchSurfers usually get connections of who to host them through fellow couch surfers or friends that live in the countries they intend to explore.
“These CouchSurfers, who are now my friends, visited Nyungwe and different memorial sites, took pictures and got information about Rwanda’s culture and their experience while here,” he added.
In some cases, CouchSurfers are hosted by people they have never met before. When some people hear about couch surfing, they marvel about whether it’s okay to invite someone they have never met into their home.
CouchSurfers always share information about the places they have visited or intend to visit. This way, there is some guarantee of safety. However, it is the hosts who are always skeptical about hosting people they do not know.
CouchSurfers come from no particular location—they are scattered all over the world. However, they are most popular in Europe and United States but with members in over 240 countries.
The vision of CouchSurfers is to bring the spirit of exploration and connection to the world. Members share inspiring experiences with each other and they also share experiences with recognized institutions.
Through this partnership, couch surfers improve their services for the CouchSurfing community.