As I reached the last week or so of my trip to Ecuador in 2007 I heard about Couchsurfing and instantly found myself a couch in my destination. I didn´t have the chance to do that again during that journey, and returned to England. I then updated my profile to make it a little more friendly for anyone visiting Britain´s shores. It was a while before anyone came. Nottingham isn´t really a tourist hotspot! After that, I had 2 people come and stay and it was around that time that I discovered Couchsurfing´s groups. I had not used them and never even thought of them, but once I managed to stumble my way in there one day and invite myself to a few parties, I realised how useful they could be. Since, I have returned to South America, where Couchsurfing is just about the best friend you can have. This is a little bit about my experiences:
Roy, Cuenca, Ecuador
My first Couchsurfing experience. It couldn´t have been better. I met Roy in the morning and left my bags at his house so I could go trekking all day. When I got back a young girl answered the door, about 15-16, she said that Roy wasn´t in and that she had to go to work, and left me there. This initial experience of being left in a stranger´s home is always the best example of the amount of trust that Couchsurfing genders. Roy arrived soon after, and happily showed me the bright lights of Cuenca and some regional cuisine. A great start!
Sarah, Germany & Stephanie, Germany
It took a while before anyone decided to give me a Couchsurfing request. I had to dance my profile up a little bit first. As someone who had never pretended to be a tourist in Nottingham, this was great experience of finding all the little places in Nottingham that may be of interest to someone who will only be there for a couple of days. And I got to see the Robin Hood statue, which I never do!
Glenda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Glenda is a shining example of a CSer. Too busy to do too much in the week, but gives you the keys, the advice and generally makes sure you´re having a pretty damn good time. An absolute pleasure!
Ney, Saõ Paulo
Geziel, Florianopolis, Brazil
Nacho, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ivan, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fernando, Treinta y Tres, Uruguay
Santiago, Treinta y Tres, Uruguay
Marcio, Belo Horizonte, Brazil