International Travel: Have you a Couch to Surf? by

Journal Notes

Ever wished that you could get that real culturally authentic experience on your next overseas journey? Do you have dreams of a modest, local, French family hosting you in their country chalet? Well, have you ever heard of couch surfing? If not, you should google it….now!

Couch surfing is far from what the name suggests - you won’t often be trying to physically surf a couch. It is a community of people that want to share experiences and hospitality in their home country. Most often, it is an mutual exchange of culture that is difficult to find anywhere other than in this way, especially for the average traveller with few worldwide connections! Sharing food, laughter, travel advice, stories of the road, company, companionship or maybe a love of fine wine (especially if you were to couch surf in Bordeaux!), there are many reasons that couch surfing could be sought by both the host and the traveller.

I was fortunate enough to couch surf my way across northern France, and also in Austria. It was the highlight of my journey. There are things that I just wouldn’t have discovered unless I had my local ‘tour guide’ to show me the in’s and out’s of my destination. Although there is rarely a charge to you, I like to be sure that there has been an exchange of ‘value’ that is mutual. This could be a small gift, a travel token, or a postcard on return home. I managed to finish with some great memories and some new pen pals which I plan to visit again in future.

I would recommend to any international traveller planning their next trip. It really is the only way to travel!

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