Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/9/2013 (981 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Have you ever heard of organized couchsurfing?
No, it’s not a sport. It is a website whereby people offer strangers a free place to stay. As a member, you are entitled to ask strangers to take you in and give you a bed or a couch to sleep on for a night or two.
Anybody that is interested can join at www.couchsurfing.org
The main page of the website states: "Travel the world: Find local hosts to stay with in over 100,000 cities. Rediscover your city: Meet visiting travellers and locals at events in your area. Become a host: Give back by opening your home to travellers."
I joined Couchsurfing in the spring of 2012 and had a few people stay with me during the summer.
My first guest was a lady in her 60s from Australia who was travelling through the U.S.A. and Canada for six months on a budget. I really enjoyed having her stay with me.
Most people will offer to host for a couple of nights, sometimes more if they get along well. Some will even invite people to stay for dinner.
This summer, I took advantage of being a member while travelling the east coast of Canada.
My first experience as a guest in Halifax, N.S. was with a French couple. I had planned to arrive in Halifax around 4 p.m. on a Saturday. Despite my careful planning, I didn’t arrive until after midnight due to Air Canada flight delays.
I had called my host a couple of times during the day to explain the delays of the flights and then I called just after I landed around midnight.
My host was still gracious enough to receive me after 1 a.m. To say the least, I was grateful, as I probably wouldn’t have been able to find a hotel room that late.
I was fortunate enough to crash for free in all the places I visited on the east coast. The only place I had trouble finding a place was in Cape Breton.
However, providence was on my side when I was in Bridgewater, N.S. I met the father of the lady I was staying with, he lives in Sydney and offered me a place to stay, which I accepted.
All the people I stayed with were very friendly and hospitable and just about everyone invited me to stay for dinner at least once. It is a great way to travel.