While traveling I was re-introduced to Couchsurfing, a website and mobile app that matches hosts and travelers/surfers to exchange culture and conversation as the surfer stays overnight with the host. I was fortunate to have many great experiences (and a few that weren’t), so I decided I would give back to the couchsurfing community when I got home…whenever that would be.
My first couchsurfing event
In December 2019 I returned with my second broken shoulder, ending my Asia trip. Returning to living with my conservative parents, I knew they wouldn’t be comfortable with strangers coming to stay with us. It was around Christmas time when I got back, which got me thinking about how special this time is for me to be with family, focusing on giving, and sharing good times with good people. Lightbulb moment! I came up with the idea to host a holiday gathering for travelers and hosts alike to share the spirit of Christmas (we’re secular about it).
The TL;DR of it: 2 days after Christmas I had a potluck gathering which turned out rather successful with 7 total attendees despite the inconvenient weekday time and suburb location. There was lots of conversation, food, and promises of keeping in touch between those of us living in the area.
What You Can Do
There are many ways to give back to the Couchsurfing community to keep it a great place. Here are a few ideas I came up with! (Obvious ones listed first):
- Host a traveler overnight
- Go to couchsurfing events
- Create a couchsurfing event (great if you can’t host, like me!)
- Meet up with travelers
- Meet up with fellow hosts
- Message travelers who posted their public trip to your city to see if they need help and/or send them tips
- Write reviews for people you’ve met, even if it’s been a little while
It’s not so hard to continue being part of the community after traveling, especially while you’re still in the spirit of travel. If you have any other ideas, please let me know by email!