Have you ever heard of Couchsurfing? It’s a website that connects travelers with a host who is willing to put them up on their couch, floor, or in a spare bedroom, simply out of generosity. My first host in Seattle frequently hosts people through the site. She explained that when you don’t have the chance to travel yourself, it’s a great way to get to know people from other places and still have cultural exchange within the comfort of your own home. You don’t even have to host to meet people through Couchsurfing. Many people meet through the website just to show off their city to travelers, or form groups with people in the community who also Host or Surf.
I’ve tried Couchsurfing twice before in Japan. Both experiences were really positive. When you’re traveling, it’s a high experience to meet and connect with locals of the area. You need to be cautious, of course, but detailed profiles and reviews can give a good sense of someone’s credibility.
All the Surfers she had hosted made my host a professional. She moved up to Seattle from Atlanta, so I got to learn more about the culture and comparisons between both cities. And who couldn’t love Charlie, the sweet little cat that kept my feet warm at night?