How to explore a foreign country for 3 days?But what if you just settle in one apartment, with its indigenous people?It is very simple, thanks to newfangled phenomenon called "CouchSurfing".
Couchsurfing (from the English «couch» -. Cot, bed and «surfing» - gliding over the waves, browsing the Internet) - a social network for those who like to travel, which brings together more than 6 million people from 246 countries!The main purpose and the idea of CouchSurfing - cultural exchange, the ability to explore the world and find new friends worldwide.In addition, this network users can easily come to stay with their foreign friends unset.
How it all began
couple of years ago the idea of CouchSurfing is rapidly began to gain momentum in the West - advanced travelers tired of the standard tourist routes, they wanted something new.And who knows best hometown?Certainly its inhabitants!Only with their help you can really feel the atmosphere, to visit the most non-touristic places to find a great restaura
psychologically difficult for many to put into the house to a stranger, who even to the same and speaks a different language.However, we have much to learn from foreign advanced, for example, abroad even retirees gladly hosted guests to diversify their calm life, so to speak, to travel without leaving home.
very idea of cultural exchange mutually sounds really very tempting when people first learn about CouchSurfing, almost all can not wait to try it.You have wanted to play as a guest or the host?RB.Travel will tell you where to start!
How to become part of the community
First you need to create your profile on the couchsurfing resource.org.Site is mostly in English, it is carried out and the main correspondence.Treat the preparation and filling of the profile seriously: your profile - it's your face, what you are interested in potential guests or hosts.You will be asked to describe themselves, give details of your interests.A separate graph is reserved for favorite books, movies and music.There are interesting points, such as "People I admire", "One amazing thing I've seen or done", and a few questions about your experience as a traveler and the relationship to the project.You can upload your photos, specify where were and what countries want to see in the future.If you want to make foreign visitors came to you, tell us about your preferences and describe the apartments, which are planning to receive tourists.
real beauty and, at the same time, the biggest challenge CouchSurfing is to find people that will fit you and that will fit you.A simple example: you love cats and willing to talk about them for hours, and your guest does not tolerate animal;you go to another country and there are going pretty merry, and as host found an elderly couple who do not accept alcohol and noisy parties.Perhaps these examples of rude, but believe me, is your CouchSurfing you get only when you find the person with whom you really are linked by common interests.Here, the smallest details are important: how do you like to spend their leisure time, what books to read, some views on life practice, what music to listen to, etc.And perhaps by the end of the trip you will gain a friend for life.
If you decide to try ...
Let's say you have decided to try.But the question is: a guest or host?What role to try on first?Most usually begins with the role of the hosts - in its territory people feel more confident, can dictate their own rules, and then count on a return visit.
Note: In our country, CouchSurfing is gaining momentum, and many kauchhosty (from English «host» - the owner.) Recognized that take surfers to practice a foreign language.This is an excellent solution for those who are just starting to learn the language and wants to overcome the language barrier, and for those who do not want to lose their skills.You can approve the incoming request to the hosting, or you can do to invite the traveler (due to the fact that foreign tourists in Russia is slightly smaller than the locals who want to accept them, sometimes you have to take the initiative itself).
So coveted traveler is found, you have agreed on the dates and about planned joint leisure.We strongly advise you to discuss all your concerns in correspondence or just specify them on the personal page.If you need to absent himself, no one forces you to leave the stranger the keys to the apartment, showing a high degree of confidence.It is enough to give the guests to understand, first, how much they will need to wake up in the morning, and during, as you usually get home.After all, people come to see the town, rather than sitting in your home.
All the same applies to the situation where you decide to go to another country and plan deserved to be a guest.The first thing you should do - is to assess the degree of congestion of the tourist selected locations.Because it affects the chance to not only find interesting kauchhosta, but at least get away from someone answer!In heavily loaded tourist cities, such as London, Amsterdam or Barcelona, the owners receive dozens of requests per day.Well, then do not be choosy!Some did not respond to requests boring, while others schedule of arrivals, departures painted for several months in advance.So if you chose item stay a big city with a rich history and a budget, feeding on tourism, ready to spend a few days learning profiles and sending requests.And do not even try to send all the same: those who receive dozens or even hundreds of requests per day, a real nose for copy-paste.
Some kauchhostov a very high rating and a huge choice of wanting to socialize, so they are hosting a very unique personalities.For example, if you like clubbing, you'll want to chat with kauchhostom of Amsterdam, which is part-famous Dutch DJ, The request for hosting sincerely write why he should take it for you, as well as what and why this person is interested in you.Again, depending on the popularity of the city and during the high season, it is necessary in advance to begin to engage in the search for interesting characters, you can devote the time."Note: among kauchserferov there is also an unwritten rule - you go to visit, bring what some national gifts Our compatriots are usually driven by" edible "we launched, from which delighted all foreigners: vodka, caviar, salted fish is very popular custom..cook for the host anything from traditional dishes. "
After the visit (optimal duration of 3-5 days) you can appreciate the experience, to describe emotions and fill in an anonymous questionnaire about the degree of confidence.This is very important as other people's reviews to remove from your page is impossible: choosing your future guest or host, be sure to check these characteristics - so you can create a more complete picture of the man with whom want to deal with.In general, engaging in community kauchserf remember that only you are responsible for yourself, so always follow the principle of "trust, but verify."And do not forget to assess the balance of risks.If you are a lone fragile blonde, do not count on a cultural exchange with the company of hot Mexican student.
If you would like to visit around the world or to receive guests at home, but still can not definitively decide on such an adventure, go to a meeting kauchserferov.This can be done in native city, and abroad - that's you and a great way to meet new people, to learn more about the community's idea, listen to stories experienced, and just have a great time.Information on the meetings can be found on the site, specifying the location where you are.Also, there are different groups of users: you can place requests for hosting related topics.There are special groups and for those who find themselves in a strange city, and seeks advice of locals.
CouchSurfing allows you to try new Varant communicate with the world, to get close to a different culture.Needless to say, it is also a great way to add a touch of adventure travel.Many travelers say that the CouchSurfing helped them to become more open to new experiences and knowledge, and most importantly look at the country through the eyes of its citizens, and not through the eyes of a tourist.