Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CouchCrash: And we go to Minneapolis

Where does the time go?

Last month was a blur of hosting, traveling and a chaotic first week of my final college semester.  Now, I need to catch up.

After hosting Jake and Jon and learning that Jake was from Minneapolis, my roommate and I decided we had to participate in the CouchCrash.  It is essentially an event where hosts plan a weekend of get-togethers and activities, then openly invite the Couchsurfing community to join in.  It is a time for meeting new people, for locals to display pride of their city, and an excuse for travelers to take a weekend getaway.

So, we headed out on a road trip to Minnesota, but not before taking some obligatory road trip pictures with a truck stop dinosaur:

We got to town late, but - in true Couchsurfing style - our hosts graciously invited us into their home.  We awoke the next morning to the smell of coffee and eggs that came from chickens in the backyard.  Chickens that live next to the hops growing on the side of the house.  As if that wasn't awesome enough, Alesa also invited us along to the yoga class she taught and took us out to for a vegan lunch at a place that resembled a tree house or fort more than a restaurant.  Best. Hosts. Ever.

We then met up with Jake, our surfer from the week before, and about 15 other Couchsurfers at an Irish Festival.  Now, I always have a great time dancing to Irish music, but the fact that I was sitting in a strange city, after an even more strange awesome day, with people from around the nation that I had just met, made it better.

The next day, we picnicked at the bottom of some waterfalls, napped in the sun and took a nature run down to the Mississippi River.  It beautiful and peaceful, and that's just what I needed.  You can't leave an experience like this in a bad mood:

Some of my friends hear my stories about traveling (or just my general life for that matter) or read my blog, and think I'm crazy.  That the idea of having a stranger sleeping on your couch almost every weekend and knowing that you never have to get a hotel room when you travel is bizarre.  Or that simply getting lost and exploring on your own is dangerous.  

But I think it's crazy that these things don't happen more.  When's the last time you actually knew where your food came from? When's the last time you took a walk in a secluded forest and just listened to nature?  Even harder, when's the last time you had to rely on the generosity of strangers for a roof over your head and some food?
I think it's experiences like these that add some much-needed perspective to our lives.  I had a great, relaxing, joyful weekend.  And I had none of the things that I seem to think I need on a daily basis - like my bed, Mac, car, heels or excessive amounts of makeup.  Now that's a nice getaway.

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