Couchsurfing

I am so stoked to write this blog. If you have spent more then a couple of hours talking to me, you’ll have heard me talk about Couchsurfing. Let me explain it to you… it sounds creepy but it really isn’t at all. Basically people all over the world open up their homes to you while you travel. The point is to hear someone else’s story, go where the locals go, and not have to go back to a hotel room but go to a home. I have been a part of Couch Surfing for 4 years now and I still can’t get enough of it. I love how someone from the other side of the world can be sleeping on my couch but know me. I don’t know how to explain it so you aren’t scared by it except show you the people I have met…

This is David. He is the first person I met. I met him in Chicago and he met us at The Bean. He took my friend and I around and gave us a little art tour of the city. I forget what he goes to school for but I remember he went to DePaul and he’s into politics.. and theater? I remember we sat in a bookstore and I bought him carrot cake. We had a long discussion about theology and life. He was a great tour guide.

Tom is the second person I met. After I found out I was going to move to Florida and was going to come in contact with more surfers I wanted to meet more people. Tom lived in the same town I lived in so we met up for coffee 3 years ago and he shared his story of how he biked from Florida to California. I was amazed by him and we ended up hanging out more before I had to leave. The first picture is us the day we met in a Chinese Restaurant in West Lafayette, Indiana. The bottom picture is from 2011 in Tampa, Florida. We’ve been pen pals all through Indiana, Florida, California, South Korea, and now Uganda. He writes the best snail mail. If you want to read his bike story you can at..

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1&page_id=68782&v=Pa

This is Tausha! She was my very first host. She was the best first experience. This is in Nashville. I’ve actually stayed in contact with her and I’ve stayed with her more then just my first time. She made me feel better about life and amazed me by how much Couchsurfing experience she had. I actually stayed at her house while she was hosting two other guys. One from New Zealand and one from Australia. She took me to a concert and took me out to eat, she slept on the floor just so I could sleep in her bed. When I stayed with her the second time, I took one of my friends. So she was Alison’s first hosting experience too. Tausha has an awesome story she just posted about becoming debt free. Just from our little tiny connections with each other I know she is a world changer. Read her story about becoming debt free here..

http://taushaann.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/my-journey-to-financial-freedom

This is Thomas. He is from Paris. He is the first person I hosted! Hopefully I did a good job. When I hosted him I was actually living in an on site apartment at a pet resort (long story.) Thomas is a photographer and I forget why he was in America but he was traveling and taking pictures of everyone he came into contact with. He said he going to post the pictures in an exhibit. So I like to say my picture was in an art exhibit in Paris.. no big deal. He was nice and he gave me a picture of some of his work. I still have it in my bedroom.

This is Hannah she’s from California but she was going to school in Iowa to be a nurse. I am pretty sure she has graduated now. Her and her mom were doing a road trip and I hosted both of them. It was super fun not too often do you host a 50 year old mom 🙂 Hannah and I are very similar we sat at my kitchen table and exchanged music. They bought me tea and my lunch when we walked to Native Sun. Hannah and I follow each other on Pinterest and we often repin each other. Ha! We still every once and awhile comment about how our taste is so similar. I’d love to go see her and her beautiful mom again.

Annie is from Germany. Her real name is Antje but no one knew how to say it so she called herself Annie. She didn’t actually stay with me but I hung out with her for the day. We met her at Cool Moose with another surfer. We went to the movies and I remember she was telling me how in Germany movie theater tickets are different prices based on where you were sitting in the theater. She thought it was so strange how we just paid and picked where we sat. I forget what movie we watched but I know she loves Panera bread bowls. She likes food, she always posts pictures of food she’s made and she always likes the pictures I post of food. Ha. Nikki from Atlanta. I stayed with her and her room mates and fell in love with all of them and their home. Nikki is so stinkin’ cute and so stinkin’ sweet. I actually went home wanting to be the three of them combined. Every once in awhile I will comment on her wall to remind her how sweet she was to me. They live the life I envision of living. I am working hard to be like them, I am doing a pretty good job. I have found people that like communal living just as much as I do. Nikki moved to Nashville so if I stop there I will be torn to ask her or Tausha to host me because they are both so wonderful.Bethany was Nikki’s room mate. When I went home wanting to look like her. She has these beautiful dreads! I just wanted to be her, in a non creepy way of course. I actually stayed with Bethany again and she put two dreads in my hair. I kept them for a long time but I finally had to get rid of them, they started to engulf the rest of my head. Bethany is a teacher and wears cute clothes all the time. If I were to stay in Atlanta again I would not even want to look for a host because I’d love to keep in contact with them.

Andy was also Nikki’s room mate but I also stayed with her twice. She still lived with Bethany. Andy makes me feel better about how I leave my clothes every where 😉 She is an EMT? hopefully I am right, if I am not she is something similar to that. When I met them they gave me a piece of SCOBY to start my own kombucha. I still have it and love it. I loved when it became a fad and I could be like, I grow my own. I loved talking to Andy, it was so easy and to talk to her. What was the funniest thing is I was talking about how I went backpacking for a week in North Carolina and I was telling her who my guide was. His name was Dave Sperry and he was an awesome guy and a professor at Montreat college. I told her all of this and she said Dave Sperry is the reason I went to  Montreat. ISN’T THAT CRAZY! Her and Bethany both went to Montreat College in North Carolina. Really felt like a small world.

Eny is from Brazil but was going to school in Savannah. Eny and I took a mile run at 3 in the morning. After we were finished running we stretched and she told me to lay on my stomach with my arms outstretched. I asked her what stretch we were doing and she just said, “Isn’t it nice to just hug the Earth?” I don’t know why I remember that or why I thought it was so profound but I remembered it. Alison, who is on the left was my roommate at one point. I got her really into CS it and we’ve hosted and traveled to be surfers a lot together. Eny actually had contacted Alison but we hosted her together. She recently got married and her wedding pictures were so wonderful. We have stayed in contact with Eny and ended up seeing her a few times after this picture. Savannah is only two hours away from Jacksonville, why not go and stay there?

Liz was one Eny’s roommate all through going to school at SCAD. Liz is so silly and possibly one of my favorite people. She draws quite amazingly. We were sitting on the couch really late at night, it was probably in the morning and we were laughing so hard because of the time. We got to meet a lot of their friends and laugh even more. We made home made sushi and I found out my love for Pear Cider. (Which I thought was beer until I read the back ha)Felix is from Germany and he is so crazy. He stayed with us for a few days and his first Thanksgiving was with us. His first Black Friday event was also with us. He never slept! He taught us German techno songs. He told me if I were to ever go over to Germany to tell them I was in to Atzen parties. Apparently atzen means something along the lines of a homie? I don’t think I’d bust out over there screaming it, just in case what I was saying was awful. The funniest story I have from Felix is a month after he left. We lived in a 3 bedroom 2 bath condo. I shared my room with another girl and our bathroom had a large counter with two sinks. For a month I’d push a pile of clothes to her side and she’d push it back to mine. We never said anything because we were on different work schedules. Finally one day, while we were both cleaning the house I asked her if they were hers. She told me no and thought they were mine. I came to the conclusion they must have been Alison’s because she may have come to our bathroom to take a shower. I put them on her bed and when she came home the mystery pile of clothes remained the same. We finally figured out they were Felix’s when he took a shower in our bathroom. Not only were they clothes they were his dirty underwear. WE LAUGHED SO HARD! Casey and I had been touching them for a month pushing them back and forth on our counter. How hilarious is that?

I am missing pictures of two girls I hosted from Germany, a girl Alison and I stayed with in Grand Rapids, Michigan and an awesome girl in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I love Couch Surfing so much and I hope to continue doing it until I am covered in wrinkles. I love that I can so easily step into someone’s life and be a part of their day to day routine. I am all about local so I know if I stay with a local, they’ll take me some where local. Most of everyone I have met from Couchsurfing has a love for Jesus, and if they didn’t they were interested in what I was doing. It’s a great way to share my story as well as listen to theirs. I highly encourage everyone to do this when traveling. There should be no need for a hotel when you can stay somewhere for free and meet some amazing creations.

If you want to know more about how to get involved you can ask me or set yourself up here…

https://www.couchsurfing.org/

If you already are on Couchsurfing, tell me! What have been your best experiences? Where have you traveled with it?

#amandatodd

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