Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Game Changer: Part 1

What is Couchsurfing?

I honestly have no idea how I first stumbled upon the Couchsurfing website, but I've never had anything else change my life so profoundly.  After reading their values and the vision that they have for the world, travel and "friends you haven't met yet (Couchsurfers)," I knew: I found my people.

What a beautiful idea it is to share your "life, experiences,  journey, home, extra almonds or a majestic sunset. To believe that the spirit of generosity, when applied liberally, has the power to profoundly change the world."

And that's how it works: travelers, hosts or just curious bystanders (as I once was) create a profile with basic information, about themselves, their outlook on life, experience with CS and even information about their couch.  You are then a member a 7 million person community full of other seekers in the world. 

Travelers can search for a place to stay based on location, dates, and host information (age, roommates, number of spaces available, etc.).  They then send a couch request to a specific host, or make an open post that they are looking for a place. 

Hosts can also reach out to travelers in a last-minute host group or by responding to an open request.

A request can be anything from a meet-up for coffee and good conversation to recommendations for local must-sees, or a stay of several days where you open up your home to a traveler.

Then there are meet-ups and events.  Events held in over 100,000 cities around the world of couchsurfers who just want to get together with their family of travelers.

That's where I started to test the waters.  Any time I traveled to a place, I looked for local events.  One day, my friend and I decided to amp up our St. Patrick's Day experience.....

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