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Organized couchsurfing in Winnipeg

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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.

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