Reasons to go Couchsurfing this Summer

In travel by Michael Michelini8 Comments

I’m all about the new movement in life, flexible workspace, couchsurfing, community, social media, minimalist. I don’t think I am crazy, I just think I am maybe a more early adopter. I have stated I’m fully embracing couchsurfing And What is it to OWN an office? To own full time workers in a full time office? Or hotel renting in a new city you have never been before? Its a process, a transition moving into minimalism, LIFE IS ABOUT LIVING, not about owning things! When we die, we can’t take these possessions with us.

Recently got an email about a new article written about why you should couchsurf this summer, thought it was good enough to share here today:

We would love to share with you an article that we just posted on our own blog! (10 Reasons to Consider Couchsurfing this Summer) is linked below and could be a fun way to share this announcement with your readers.

(http://www.bestcollegesonline.net/blog/2011/10-reasons-to-consider-couchsurfing-this-summer/)

It has been a sincere pleasure to read your great content.

Can’t really tell if this is some “SEO spam email” but heck, it gives me a good topic to blog about.

Even my good friends think couchsurfing is crazy and maybe a bit dangerous. But I get to know people so much more when couchsurfing! Think about it, the most bonding time to get to know people is in the evening, to learn the culture, how they live, their habits, etc. I have learned so much more about different cultures and life perspectives couch surfing.

So for those of you wondering………Its not just a way for cheap travel!, but instead really getting into a culture. Especially when traveling internationally. I have learned so much about Chinese and Philippines lifestyle by living in their home. By living like a local. I know its crazy, but I prefer it over a hotel! I get a connection with the family, the neighbors. See life truly from their angle. Whereas if I were staying in a hotel, Sure I would tour the city with them, visit company offices, have dinner. But for the most part, dinner is over, depending on the people you’re with you’ll go to a bar, or a cafe, etc. Chit chat….but then you separate at night, you stay in your nice hotel, they drive/taxi back to their home.

I think at that critical moment, a lot of experience and culture and connection is LOST.

I know, hosting a couchsurfer is much more difficult than hosting a friend visiting and staying at a hotel. As a host, sure we want some time off talking to people, explaining things, making sure they are comfortable, etc. Its also maybe a bit invading, the couchsurfer is inside your home, using your bathroom things, going in your fridge, etc etc.

Maybe Americans feel more strange than say Europeans. I really think it comes down to culture. Americans are brought up to OWN things take possession, ownership – THIS IS MINE. Where I feel European or most other cultures learn to share and experience other things and people.

Yes, this sounds kind of “hippy” lifestyle, and it is. But again, its also environmental and GREEN. Share instead of your have own things and place to stay, i have my own things and place to stay. Because that means the world has to manufacture and create MORE STUFF (as George Carlin says so well) We have to learn to consume less.

Again, I know its hard for people to change their mindset and lifestyle. But couchsurfing, minimalism, traveling, social and community is a great way to learn culture, be environmentally responsible, and focusing on life instead of numbers in your bank account.

  • Piotr

    Do you think couch-surfing is like Bed and Breakfast – it sounds like its all about that local connection – meeting local people. Or is it literally the couch and not like an in law apartment to sleep in – but dinner and breakfast with the host :). let me know if its similar or how you think its different

  • you can signup for couchsurfing.org and see, it verifies who you are by address, and people can vouch for you with recommendations, just like ebay feedback. the idwa is you can view a profile and see if this person is legitamite or not before meeting in person.

    even facebook profiles now are used like feedback about the person…

    there are also other websites like airbnb.com that are nicer places, but for a fee. still private households though.

    its really popular in europe…..i guess the people there are more culture and open minded…like the who european backpacking experiences

    but i think many hosts (people who let couchsurfers stay at their house/couch) like to meet new people, meet adventurous travelers…hear stories, and share / build community.

    there are also meetups too, not just couchsurfers sleeping over. its meant for open minded people

    Piotr i think u would like it!

    also im big into the coworking (open community office), no fixed office, freelancer, online workforce platform too

    these are all ways to utilize openness and community in todays online and advanced world.

  • I’ve basically been throwing all of my stuff out for 10 years. At first, it was due to the pain that possessions cause when you are literally moving them every year. I can imagine that, if this was a problem when I was car-less in north jersey, it’s probably worse traipsing about southeast asia.

    Part of this is a move towards minimalism-in-weight-only; ie, I’ve digitized a lot of what I would have been collecting 10 years ago; movies were a big part of my life then, and music still is a big part of my life; i’ve trashed all of my dvds and cds in favor of digital content, and although I still have a modest bookshelf full of books, I could stand to trash them all and not feel too bad about it.

    However, I feel like at the center of the culture you experience while couch surfing lie possessions; culture isn’t all about human interaction, but about the shared private experiences of individuals within that culture. Shared experience and ritual is extremely interesting, but it’s also kind of shallow philosophically.

    I am not really ashamed to say that my modest cache of mid-90s video games or somewhat rare (even in japan) super famicom carts in some ways define a period of my life I’m not really willing to part with, just like my bookshelf goes some ways to explaining who I am as a person with respect to my ethical and moral outlook or political stance, or my music collection is in some way a representation of my limited participation in the NYC music culture. To have none of these would not change who I am, but honestly without the evidence of my past I might very well forget it 🙂

    Obviously, for an on-the-move jet-set life style like yours, having stuff is a drag, and meeting tons of new people (I am one of those people!) all over the place can be extremely enriching. But I also feel that by moving around and “living” you might also be missing a depth aspect to your personal relationships that more settled people enjoy, most succinctly expressed in your functional view of sentimentality.

  • JIM

    what a topic .makes you think
    lot of response from this idea
    i see people who pass
    their tools that they have collected in life time
    just cast away , not having any value io
    one left behind

  • seems the commentd here are longer then the blog post, awesome people like it!

    yea, i think visiting the reitrement community has also opened my mind….seeing the library at the center, all the books and movies left behind…..its easy to BUY things, its the lazy thing to do, but what to do when we move, or when die……..

  • Piotr

    hey interesting concept jason. i wasnt sure where you were going with this at first but you make an interesting point.

  • you make me think of my favorite thing in kindergarden when i was a kid, “show and tell”, so i see your point about keeping some posessions to show couchsurfers as they passby, and possessions also define culture and personality,

    like everything, its all about moderation….but for me, stories and referring to this blog many a times counts as my personality and contribution

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