For those who don’t know or haven’t used the site previously, Couchsurfing is a website set up for travellers and home owners to contact each other so that the traveller has somewhere to stay when in town.
There is inevitably a higher amount of travellers than willing people to offer their home rent free, however so far my experiences have gone considerably well.
We stayed with people in America who we had only met on the day, and while we didn’t find them on Couchsurfing, they were signed up to it, yet they simply didn’t go on the site very often.
Polaris and Rusty are two of the greatest people I have ever met, I will always have a home for them here in England if they ever decide to visit.
The people I did meet through Couchsurfing while in America weren’t as great unfortunately, however this would not put me off for the future.
The first person was a girl in Houston who offered us a place to stay for 2 nights. We were not overly keen on going to Houston, however once we received the offer, we felt it was only right to check out the area and see what we thought.
Unfortunately, the place before was Fort Worth, where we had been staying with Rusty, therefore I was leaving my fondest memories of America behind.
Leading up to arrival, we were not getting any response on the website or by phone from the girl, and we eventually realised we had landed in a random part of the world without somewhere to stay and no knowledge of where a hostel was (this was before we all had maps on our phones).
By this point we had given up on motels, as hostels had become the highlight of our holidays, as it forces you into making friends with dozens of new people every day, many of which I still keep in contact with now.
Luckily we found somewhere to dump our bags and we left the next day, to head towards the legendary Austin.
Since returning to England I have hosted 3 sets of people, all randomly from Germany. Every single group were amazing, while I trusted them completely in the house while I went off to work.
Soon as I would return, we would normally head out and I would show them all I could of Brighton. I may have bitten off more than I could chew as I did arrange for the three groups all to stay within a two week period, meaning for a while I lacked sleep, however I only have fond memories (even if they are drunkenly blurry). I will certainly be heading out to Germany to visit them all soon!
Another way you can get involved on Couchsurfing is by going along to your local meet up. In Brighton they happen once a week on a Wednesday.
I have sadly only been once, and that time I had a few too many to drink, however it seemed like a great laugh and there must have been a good 25 people there. If there isn’t one set up in your local area, create one and make it in a pub offering great drink deals!