My First Couchsurfing Experience - Was it Worth it?

Fri, 28 June 2019


In this written piece I'm gonna talk about another app we are big fans of which has been around for almost two decades and that allows people to connect more easily. Inspite of that, not many people are introduced in what couchsurfing exactly is. Like Alpacr the backpacking app, couchsurfing is also social network for backpackers travelling around the world. What does that mean?

It means that you can travel anywhere without paying accommodation and enjoy in getting to know with the local culture even more. By picking up this option, you can broaden your horizons about other ethnicities, races, classes and culture although it can sound a bit terrifyng. Because when you travel somewhere alone, meeting with strangers and sleeping on their couches does not sound like a smart decision. But it all depends from which perspective you look from. 

If you look only from that side, you'll never try couchsurfing and you'll maybe ask yourself; all these people are trying it and it seems that it can be very exciting. Both sides should be considered in the sense that you should always be cautious and careful while choosing your host but don't let the fear stop you from trying anything. Regarding this, you should check the reviews before deciding to pick up your host just to make sure that there are people that would recommend him or her.

So how did I find this couchsurfing journey? 

The reason is very simple; As a first time solo traveler I wanted to meet other people and travel on a low budget. This two reasons were enough for me to choose someone's place to stay. 

I was travelling to Edinburgh for couple of days but as everything was last minute and I didn't contact hosts in advance. You can make 10 requests to a different hosts per a week but if you don't contact them in advance, the chances that the host will reply to you in only that short period are lower. 

That's why, you can create a trip for your upcoming travel on Couchsurfing. This is what I did and then the hosts contacted me, I didn't have to contact them. From all 7 hosts I have decided to choose the one that was living in the city center and that will provide me a private room. Of course, I've checked his reviews and if people would recommend him. After conducting a small research on that my first time couchsurfing adventure started! 

When I came there, the host was very polite but unfortunately he didn't have a lot  of time for spending with me because he was very busy with his work. Nevertheless, he gave me guidelines on which places I should visit and gave me a brief insight into Scottish culture as we had a nice conversation. He apologised because he had this unexpected tasks due to his work and he couldn't spend more time with me but I was more then grateful to stay in this lovely room for free and I appreciated the effort he made by hosting me. Regarding the circumstances, and as a solo traveller I wanted to meet other people as well. So I decided to use local adventurer, a feature on Alpacr, social network for travel which allows you to meet with other people that are more likely to hang out too. That's how I meet Iona and Harry. She was from Spain and Harry was from Chicago. They were with their friends so we all met up in one pub called The Bow bar and relaxed there. It was such an amazing opportunity to meet all these people. The day after three of us went together to do some short sightseeing before I had my  flight. 

That briefly describes my first couchsurfing experience. I'll definitely try it again, but next time with some more preparation in advance. I'll also use Alpacr as a brilliant idea for connecting people. You can also create a travel diary app there to save your memories from current or previous trips. Because no matter of our race, culture or ethnicity, we all want to be a part of travel community and learn something from each other. These kind of travel social networks are great to create a multicultural environment where we can participate and inspire others as well. So it's a pitty in this contemporary world full of possibilities not to use them. Don't let fear stop you and join us on the life changing and enriching journey. 

Follow me on the backpacking app; Alpacr.


Helena


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