Couch Surfing

I found a new way of traveling and meeting people, it’s called Couch Surfing. This is a community where people volunteer for hosting travelers. Of course these people are also travelers, so when they travel [hopefully] they can be hosted.


I know this community from a friend of mine and I realized this community is mentioned in the Lonely Planet guidebook. But the reason to join this, in the beginning, was because I wanted to find free accommodation for my trip to Italy. [See: Surviving Italy]. At that time I wasn’t successful in finding free accommodation in Italy but I managed to meet some people from CS and I enjoyed it. They were so welcome, warm, and nice; it made my travel different. I had something more to remember; not just beautiful places to see but also experiencing the places from locals’ point of view.






Me and my CS friend in Italy.



Back in Bremen, I thought nobody would ask me for host because Bremen is not a major tourist destination. I am sure people would prefer to go to Hamburg rather than Bremen. Bremen is just a small city which can be explored in a day; for sure, nobody would spend a night in here. But I was wrong!


Apparently, Bremen is a transit city. There’s a cheap flight that based in Bremen. And since it’s cheap, don’t expect it has suitable schedules. Most of the flights are very early or very late. In addition, the waiting period for a connection flight is a little different. I have my first guest due to this strange connection. She’s a Lithuanian girl who travels from France to Lithuania. Although she got a € 2 ticket price but she has to stay in Bremen for 2 nights for the flight connection!


When this girl contacted me, I was busy in writing my thesis; so I told her that I can only provide her a place to stay but I can’t showing her around. She agreed with the condition, because apparently, nobody else gave her positive response! So that’s how I got my first guest; accidentally. But it turned out very nice. The Lithuanian girl was an interesting person to talk to which made me relaxed during my boring time in writing thesis. It was a nice experience.


And from this point, I keep getting requests from others. My second guest was a guy on a motorbike asking me in the same day when he needs the accommodation. Apart from guests that stay at my place, I also have hosted people for sight seeing around Bremen. From this, my references getting more and more, which raise my credibility. When I have to travel to Köln in a sudden, I can find a host easily. (Well maybe it’s just luck also!)


But the funny thing now, somehow I become addicted in hosting people! After 3 months in joining this community, I have hosted 4 people who stay at my place and 4 others for touring. Well maybe hosting people is a way to escape me from the boring thesis writing routines. I can have time to do something else with somebody new; this is a way of refreshing. I keep hoping somebody contacts me and requests. Even after I finish my thesis writing now, I am still craving for hosting people. And somehow, I feel sad to know that I’ll leave Germany soon which mean my chance to be a host becomes less or even extinct. This mode of travel is still unpopular in Indonesia. But of course, who knows…?!!

4 comments:

doisedois said...

hi Asti!
I'm a designer from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and your blog has been really helpful! Me and my boyfriend are moving to Bremen too on September 25th to study for our Masters degrees at HfK Bremen and we'll live in Luisental B! =)
Thank you for all the information you have made available here, if you want to keep in touch my email is luiza . prado [at] gmail . com

saptocondro said...

Asti,

Gua daftar Couch Surfing, kaga bisa, euy. Ternyata dia minta bayar credit card. Gua kaga punya kartu kredit, euy. Gua cari cara bayar Paypal kaga ketemu.

Condro

asti said...

Condro,
Bayar apaan??? Itu kan gratis. Bayar itu kalo elu mau nyumbang aja...

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