We are constantly being lied to. It applies to many wide-spread beliefs, which the majority consider to be true but, in fact, they are very doubtful.
Today I would like to share my personal experience in what happens to be one popular prejudice that travelling is expensive. There is no doubt you have heard it a thousand times. So have I. A year ago, I would not challenge this statement but, after some time, I am sure that travelling can be cheap if you want it to be. Here, I would like to share a tip for reducing travel expenses, but it’s a most efficient way, I believe.
This is all about Couchsurfing. If you surf the Internet, you will find the following definition of this service: “Couchsurfing International Inc. is a hospitality exchange and social networking website. The website provides a platform for members to «surf» on couches by staying as a guest at a host’s home, host travelers, or join an event”.
So, as you probably know, it is quite an easy service. You go online, create an account, write about yourself and that is it. If you want to explore the world, you look for a host in the city you are eager to visit. If you want to meet foreigners in your home city, you can choose this option, and if you are willing to be a host for someone, you have the option, too. What can be easier? Couchsurfing is a true treasure for someone taking pleasure in travelling and meeting new people. The only drawback is that you can actually never be sure about your safety. So, be extra careful when choosing a host, read the profile attentively and look for some references as well.
How did I come by this opportunity? Once, having spent 13 British pounds for the cheapest hostel in London, it occurred to me that it wouldn’t do. Wasting so much money and sleeping with 15 other people in a stuffy room was not the best experience that is why I started talking to people, searching for a solution. And Couchsurfing became this “hand-holding”, so to say.
When I stayed with a Couchsurfing family, I discovered other benefits of the service. Living with locals, you get to know the culture from the inside, try national food, spend time the way the local people do, discover things and meet people you would have never met if staying in a hotel. For instance, I became friends with the world bridge champion who was my host, I met an incredible couple from LA who had been travelling around Europe for half a year, I chilled out with a professional marathon runner and with usual airplane stewards, with foreign English teachers, waiters, businessmen, ordinary students, immigrants and kitchen staff, top-managers and their friends…
Over the period of two months, while staying with my foreign hosts I experienced more than after a year spent in Ukraine. I met hundreds of people and stayed at dozens of places. No doubt, Couchsurfing is not for everybody. But if you are willing to risk it, if you are adventurous enough, you will love it for sure. Just give it a try!