22.3.10

Experience The World From Your Couch


Dr. J and I wanted to try something new- well not 'new' exactly, I mean we’ve been doing it for years but I guess ‘with new people’.
So I did some internet research and found out that like many big cities in the world, our city had a large network of people just like us!
We did not tell our family we were doing it. They actually found out about a month into it because as mature (ha, ha) adults we figured there was no need to lie to our parents. My mother all but cried. My mother-in-law said her signature ‘oh well you guys’.
We have been doing it for almost two years now and it’s pretty addictive.
CouchSurfing International, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission statement is:
“to internationally network people and places, create educational exchanges, raise collective consciousness, spread tolerance, and facilitate cultural understanding."
This is done by hosting people in your home, from around the world.
Members fill out a profile and then you either send a request, or receive a request, to Couchsurf. Each profile has a rating system where the host and surfer summarize their experience. The more positive feedback you get the higher you are on the Couchsurfing pyramid and you can attain the level of being ‘vouched’ for. There are also three levels of verification the highest of which requires an address verification and optional donation.
We have hosted great people from Spain, France, Italy, Dubai, Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic and California. We have surfed in Europe and North America.  We have surfed with the monkeys.
This is a worldwide organization. I am sure you will find active members in your city and in the cities you want to visit. I love contributing to the global community. I love the music M burned for us. I loved the dishes C made for us. I love the dishes E taught us to make. I loved practicing Polish with R, and French with M, M and A. I love the book K suggested. I loved talking about art with E. I love seeing how other people live. I love that my monkeys think it is normal to have visitors whose first language is not English. I love meeting our ‘friends we have not met’.
It is pretty easy to spot an incompatible guest request. Profile requirements make it easy to make informed decisions and find compatible matches.
If you have questions regarding Couchsurfing or about our experiences, I would be happy talk more about it. Or check out the FAQ section at: http://www.couchsurfing.org/

I will only have one monkey this summer and I am planning on doing some road trips and surfing with like minded people. Don’t tell my mother.

18 comments:

erica@ moth design+luxe life said...

Great post! xo

Adele said...

How interesting! So you actually stay with the host while they're there, unlike other home swaps? I imagine that makes traveling a much richer experience.

Lady Ren said...

Erica- thank you
Adele- Yes and funny you should mention the way I stumbled upon this organization was through researching Home Swaps-

Hope Chella said...

These pictures make me smile :) Great blog! xx
http://hopechella.blogspot.com/

Mała Mi said...

Świetna sprawa :) Ale to chyba bardzo droga zabawa, prawda?

A Twoja mama nie czyta Twojego bloga? :P

/

It's great idea :) but i think, this is very expensive?

Your mother didn't read Your blog? :)

Lady Ren said...

Hope Chella- Thank you and thanks for visiting- Your blog is great!
MalaMi- It is FREE. You can make a donation, which we did- It makes your 'level' of verification higher because you have an address confirmation. But certainly many people do it for free.
mama czyta mojego bloga, to jest jak mówię jej o swoich planach lato- Nie muszę słuchać, dlaczego to jest zły pomysł!

dotblogg said...

Lady Ren nie wiedziałam,że mówisz po polsku:)

Lady Ren I didn't know you can speak Polish:)

sherri said...

very cool! off to check out the site now.

Anonymous said...

Chciałbym coś się napić. Chciałbym coś do picia. Proszę ode mnie odejść.

Your Mother said...

Hummmph!

Lady Ren said...

dotblog-I thought I wrote in Polish on your blog the first time? Yes I speak Polish it is one of the four languages I am fluent in.
Sherri- What did you think?
Anonymous- I will translate:
I would like a drink
I would like a drink
Please go away
My Mother- You should come CS with us!

dotblogg said...

wow I'm impressed! that's great:)maybe we'll meet some day in here :)I remember you wrote something in Polish but I thought you just translated it in google;] usually foreigners don't speak this difficult language but..my mistake:) I should be more open-minded:)
uściski!
Just

Trevor said...

i love this! i am going to check it out! thanks for posting!

Lady Ren said...

Just- Not difficult if you speak it from when you are born!
Trevor- it's fantastic we love it.

dotblogg said...

aa :) to wyjaśnia wszystko:) pozdrowienia;)

sherri said...

yes, I had commented before on this post but thanks for sending me the link again, what a really cool idea and way to connect with people all over the world. love it. have a great weekend, ren!

Tori Caylin said...

Thanks for the info. on couch surfing, I have heard of it but haven't really considered doing it in Europe.. I will definitely look into it further.

"I love that my monkeys think it is normal to have visitors whose first language is not English" -- I LOVE this statement. I hope my future kids will have an appreciation and understanding for culture like this.

Freedom Three said...

lol, i thought the same thing. my mom will kill me! but i guess it can't be worse than backpacking alone in denali. she said she was so worried, having nightmares, panic attacks, etc. while i was there.

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