I first joined Couchsurfing in October 2016 and it has changed the way I travel since then. I joined the online community in preparation of a trip I was taking through North America, as I wanted to meet real locals that the hostel environment just cant deliver on. There are plenty of other reasons why you should consider joining it too. Here is a list of 5 reasons why;
Broaden Your Mind
Staying with people from from different backgrounds forces you to accustom yourself to their lifestyles. It makes you question your own choices and leads to an overall greater understanding of others. It’s all about perspective. I came from a small rural town in Ireland, and I couchsurfed in Mexico with a gay couple (guys). I was incredibly nervous at first but they were so welcoming and I had such a good time. This is just one example of how it gets you out of your comfort zone and challenges your individual horizons.
Chances are you will see more of the area then any backpacker could dream that stayed in a hostel. You learn all the hidden gems in the area. Couchsurfing makes you more social and flexible in your travels too, opening up experiences to you that other tourists have not got the opportunity to. If some members cannot host you, offer to meet up with them anyway.
Make New Friends
living with people creates unforgettable experiences. You would be lucky to meet people like this in your hostel, but more often than not they want their own space. The hosts invite you into their home without even knowing you, and the proximity of sharing space will only make a bond between you. You obviously will not like every host, but you will most certainly make a lot of new friendships
Before I got into travelling in a serious way, I was a boring meat, potatoes and gravy kind of guy. Travelling introduces you to many new things and food is a fan favourite with most people. I have tried cows intestine, guinea pig and a host of weird dishes since, and if you are Couchsurfing you will discover great new recipes. Or why not cook for them!
While this is a valid point I do not want to mention it too much. Couchsurfing is about creating a community to share cultures and experiences, not put a free roof over your head. There is nothing worse than a couchsurfer who abuses the system and the host for financial gain.