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Old 06-12-2008, 08:20 PM   #16
snadam
yes, I am a n00b
 
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Phoenixville, PA - USA (NW of Philly)
Oddometer: 31
+1 for Couchsurfing...

I've been on there for a while, hosted a few people one of which was a kid doing his first longish motorcycle ride. I don't live in an area that is all that exciting so not too many people ask to crash here. However, when they do it's always a good time.

I've used the site to arrange places to stay and it's always been fantastic. I've surfed here and Canada met many great people and made a few real friends. One girl I met in Pittsburgh, then visited her in Ontario and soon she'll be meeting me in upstate New York. A guy I met at the same time in Pittsburgh just emailed me today ane we'll be meeting in NYC when he returns from surfing in europe.

Bottom line is that the site has something to offer if you like to travel, have an open mind, and a good heart.

Adam
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:43 AM   #17
Zombie_Stomp OP
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: SE Portland/ Carrboroland NC
Oddometer: 2,219
It's been 5 months since anyone posted or replied. I just wanted to come back and pprovide closure for this subject. I surfed 11 couches on my big trip. There were a lot of good times and 0% creepiness. I even had my 24th birthday on the road in Albuquerque.

From Mikel Weisser
Kingman, United States
Oct 15
Positive
Joel was a really sweet kid, probably one of the nicest young American men i have met through couch surfing. He was very, helpful, enthused, and really got along well with everybody. Interested in others. What a great trait to take when you travel.
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For Mikel Weisser
Kingman, United States
Sep 23
Positive
Mikel is an amazing person with some very interesting stories and very bright, funny family members. I wish I had been able to be a little more focused when I finally got a chance to hang out and talk to him, his stories, theme park, and library are really captivating. I really enjoyed my stay at his ranch. Mega fun!

From Joel Wedrick
San Luis Obispo, United States
Oct 2
Positive
Mr. Thomas (my friend the other Joel with an L) was my very first hosting experience, and a good reason that I'll continue to host CSs. Joel is considerate with others' couches, stuff, time and trust. He's as articulate & witty in person as his blog is to read (do check out his online travelogue), so beware the verbal zingers he slips in so casually. No worries if he shows up on his dualsport bike wearing cruddy riding/mechanics coveralls. Once he zips off & folds those up and pulls out his iBook, he might've just emerged from the coffee shop for all you know. Joel mentions in his profile that he does minor repairs where needed - ya know, I bet he'd do a damn good job at it.
I admire this guy's maturity as well as the diverse knowledge he already shows. And now he's out there to experience more of the big ol' world toward his own further development. Lend him a warm & comfy couch - he's worthy.
Joel word-up, yo... when ya get to Portland - grease-cutting TIDE for that riding suit :)

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For Joel Wedrick
San Luis Obispo, United States
Sep 30
Positive
Terms like "easy going" and "fun" get thrown around in thee references a lot, but in this case I mean it. Sharing a common first name and love for motorcycles, we of course hit it off talking about the bikes for a while. (read: me jabbering about all the nuances of doing an engine swap garrulously, and him actually listening!) But wait! You don't have to have a common interest with him to have a good time! How would I know this, you ask? Well, I'll let you in on it, we Joels are very adaptable to many different types of people and situations.


From Alison Cebulla
Berkeley, United States
Oct 2
Positive
Joel is a really fun guy! He is easy to talk to, has great ideas, and an amazing blue jumpsuit. Hope to meet up with him again someday!

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For Alison Cebulla
Berkeley, United States
Oct 2
Alison is truly tons of fun and told great stories when presented with the idea of making one up for someone you've never met before. Her potluck ruled and I wish I could go back to that night!


From Aaron Spencer
Jackson, United States
Sep 30
Positive
Joel is a great guy, very interesting, and he can sell you some earrings (bonus!)

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For Aaron Spencer
Jackson, United States
Sep 13
Positive
Aaron was kind enough to host me in a moments notice and we went out and had a good time as well. He and his roommates are kind folk, I'm glad they're a part of the CS community in Jackson, they came through for me in a time of need while hurricane Gustav was coming through.


From BENNYTHEICEPICK
Albuquerque, United States
Sep 23
Positive
Joel was quite the surprise. He's got a whole deck of cards up his sleeve. When he rolled in on his motorcycle, looking like an astronaut in his blue jumpsuit, with his hand-made luggage rack, I figured him for a mechanic, but I never would've suspected him for a plumber, electrician, cook, massage therapist, artist, and neon aficionado. Seriously, there's nothing this guy can't do, and based on my experience, nothing he won't do. Biking around town, shopping for vintage motorcycle gear, chatting it up with art gallery owners, being completely at home in a party full of strangers, or rocking out at a concert, this guy will adapt to any situation without batting an eye. Oh, and his review of me is waaaay too hyperbolic to be taken seriously, so I can call him a master of sarcasm as well!

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For BENNYTHEICEPICK
Albuquerque, United States
Sep 23
Positive
I happened to be traveling through Albuquerque on my 24th birthday, and Benny Thee Icepick made it the best birthday in my life, I am completely serious! He took me everywhere and his level of trust was high, leaving me keys to all kinds of stuff. I love this man to his soul and he really is generous almost to a fault. I just don't know what else to say, he really is the soul brother you just haven't met yet. Sense of humor, generosity, trust, works for causes he believes in, and sure knows how to show you a good time. I can't think of any reason you wouldn't want to meet him. BENNY RUUULES!


From Isaac Shaffer and Marguerite Hendrie
Flagstaff, United States
Sep 17
Positive
Our instinct is to say, "wow Joel's parents did an amazing job raising him!" --but that's not really fair--for despite claiming that he just turned 14, Joel is certainly his own adult person. But his positive attitude and curiosity makes him seem younger--not so jaded and cynical I guess! So, we said to him, "Joel, make yourself at home." What does he do? He splits a whole stack of wood for us! He is a problem solver and certainly doesn't need to have everything handed to him---in fact that would probably annoy him. He's got a terrific attitude, a natural curiosity, and a great sense of humor. Hopefully we'll get to see him on a new adventure someday.

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For Isaac Shaffer and Marguerite Hendrie
Flagstaff, United States
Sep 17
Positive
These two are model human beings with big, open hearts of gold. I enjoyed every second of their company, and will make every effort to see them again in any future travels. Isaac accommodated my mechanical needs more than sufficiently and I'd again like to thank him for the 6mm socket and adapter, and the mechanical curiosity and wisdom he related was priceless. Marguerite, I loved her candor (me:"did I sound bitchy?" 'yeah.' haha), wit, and humor, and wish we could have been around one another more. I'll make it a weekend next time! Or come to Portland once I'm set up! Love these guys!


From Jeremy Hollinger
Austin, United States
Sep 17
Positive
Joel is a great person, a man for machines, a machined man? A wonderful chap to have around and he'll do your dishes and smile! A+!

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For Jeremy Hollinger
Austin, United States
Sep 13
Positive
Jeremy and his roommates are some very warm, kindhearted people. The potluck had a lot of people I would also describe as such. They're pretty well established in the Couchsurfing community, so if you're looking into possibly living in Austin, they would be a good resource. Plus they have cute kittens! Oh and I had a blast cleaning up after the potluck and cooking breakfast. I feel at ease in their company.


From Jason Frey
Abilene, United States
Sep 13
Positive
He was a great suferer! He was up for anything. I had rehearsal that night...and he just went with me with no complaints. Very Friendly and open.

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For Jason Frey
Abilene, United States
Sep 13
Positive
Jason's a great host. I had a fun time checking out his play rehearsal and the enchanting 40's Auditorium and it's corridors and rooms in the dark at his school, Hardin-Simmons in Abilene. (just my cup of tea!) Place has some history. A warm, kind soul.


From Lizzie Wright
Jackson, United States
Sep 5
Positive
Joel is a very special person. He's very independent and authentic. He's easy going and fun! and up for a good time. he was a very polite guest. my first couchsurfer! he made me an excellent breakfast. and he accompanied me around jackson happily and made each event we attended more fun and interesting. he's also a talented craftsman and jeweler. it was a pleasure to meet joel.

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For Lizzie Wright
Jackson, United States
Sep 7
Positive
I regard Lizzy very highly. She is a talented Photographer, Musician, Hostess, Traveler, and Writer. She has great taste in music, art, food, tea and fashion. She has soul and character. The coolest stuff happens with her around, we actually encountered someone I knew from all the way back in NC whom she knew already! Wild! So much fun to be with, and as an already good singer, blows the speakers off of the stage in karaoke! What great times we had. Oh and the Fig preserves!!


From KITARAIN
Tuscaloosa, United States
Sep 2
Positive
You're very welcome! lol. I totally enjoyed your company. Too bad you had to go so soon, would have been fun to show you some of the cool stuff around here.
Thanks for being a wonderful guest :) good luck in your travels!

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For KITARAIN
Tuscaloosa, United States
Sep 2
Positive
Thanks for a very positive first official couch surfing experience!
-another satisfied pro-Kitarain surfer


From Anders Green
Cary, United States
Apr 29
Positive
We met at a local ADVRider.com dinner. He was the only person brave (determined? crazy?) enough to ride his motorcycle there in the snow. Snow in *North Carolina*, which we generally don't optimize our tires for. :) Friendly and easy going.

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For Anders Green
Cary, United States
Jun 9
Positive
Anders is a kind person who offered use of his metal shop to fabricate some motorcycle acessories for my upcoming trip. I was sad when our schedules didn't allow fir this to happen, but I am honored by the generosity and trust extended to me. We met at an ADV Rider dinner, and I can say with confidence that he is a trustworthy, kind individual.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:24 AM   #18
Becktastic
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Somewhere between CA and Ushuaia!
Oddometer: 1,097
Couchsurfing is awesome! I've hosted/surfed over fifty times and yeah I have a couple stories about awkward guests and such but it's also contributed to some of the best experiences of my life. :)
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:58 PM   #19
ZacDiggity
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Joined: May 2010
Location: Misawa, Japan
Oddometer: 8
Thumb +1 for CS

I've been signed up for CS since 2007 but only recently hosted my first and then immediate second guests. Both were couples (1x F+F and 1x F+M). I've had a great time with it so far and fully plan to capitalize on it during my future trips.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:40 PM   #20
Keepiru
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 64
Couchsurfing.com Members

I'm on couchsurfing, same name, and host and surf with people all the time.

Don't forget to join the Motorcycle Riders group.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:08 PM   #21
Z50R
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Boston Mass.
Oddometer: 766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z
...He's got a new plan for crossing the country. Hopping freight trains.

Jamie
I thought about going on an hobo adventure before I went to college, it was my backup plan if I dropped out. Now I have a job for the railroad and would get fired quick if they caught me on one. Maybe if I change careers in the future....
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:41 AM   #22
grashopper4040
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Joined: Jun 2010
Oddometer: 3
I recently signed up for CS. I'm planning a trip around the country in September and am hoping I'll be able to crash on a few couches! Seems like a great idea.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:57 AM   #23
Number8teen
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Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Hamm's Can Crisco, CA
Oddometer: 9,843
I did couchsurfing for a while. Had a lot of weirdo requests and tried hanging out with the local crowd a bit (ever weirder), so I kinda lost interest, along with getting a roommate who might not have appreciated such things.

I did host two guys doing a trip from Boston to somewhere out west on an R1150 and an old yamaha. Cool guys. Also hosted a guy doing a bicycle trip from San Fran to NYC. Really cool guy. Also hosted a few people who thought it was a hookup thing or expected me to spend 100% of my time giving them tours of the city.

Couchsurfing was great for finding meetups when I was in Europe, though. Great crowds over there just for finding people to spend time with.

If you're going to use couchsurfing or even the tent space thread, I recommend staying out of the hosts' hair as much as possible unless they offer otherwise.

I don't think I'll do any more couchsurfing myself, but I'd be hard pressed not to offer some floorspace to an established ADV member.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:40 PM   #24
Jamie Z
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: almost Memphis
Oddometer: 7,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Number8teen
I did couchsurfing for a while. Had a lot of weirdo requests and tried hanging out with the local crowd a bit (ever weirder), so I kinda lost interest, along with getting a roommate who might not have appreciated such things.

Also hosted a few people who thought it was a hookup thing or expected me to spend 100% of my time giving them tours of the city.
Weirdo requests?

I'm curious about your experiences. I've been hosted by four or five single women, and I've wondered if any of them have ever had problems. None of them ever mentioned that to me, even when I asked.

I did host a single woman at my place once. We got along great and stayed up late talking and sharing a couple bottles of wine. At the end of the evening I made a clumsy inebriated come-on, which she declined. She must not have been too mad at me though, since she asked if she could stay an extra day to see more of Memphis. I was pretty embarrassed that I said what I said.

I'm wondering if you just happened to pick the wrong people, or didn't properly vet the surfers. For what it's worth, the single women who hosted me, several specifically pointed out that they read through my profile first before agreeing to host me.

I know it's not perfect and most certainly not for everyone, but I've almost never heard of any unpleasant experiences from couchsurfers, and it's one of the questions I almost always ask. The only uncomfortable experience I've ever had was a couple who wanted to stay a couple days longer than their original plan and I had to politely tell them they had to leave the next day, which they did. While they were here though, they were very clean and quiet and even did my dishes for me a couple times.

For me, the biggest negative about couchsurfing is that the response rate to couch requests is really low. I'm not one to send out mass emails asking for a place to stay, but I've found I have to send five or six emails to get one response. Curiously, it seems to be women who respond. I haven't sought out staying with women, they just happen to be the ones who get back to me.

FWIW, I've also stayed with a couple men, and one couple.

Jamie
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:04 PM   #25
Number8teen
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Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Hamm's Can Crisco, CA
Oddometer: 9,843
I had people asking to stay on my couch until they found jobs, etc. I did not respond to those. Or people who couldn't say what dates for sure, but were trying to lock down a place to stay "sometime between xyz and zyx." In my opinion, you should not ask if you can stay at someone's place unless you're reasonably sure what day you will be arriving/leaving.

I didn't have a lot of trouble with those who I did end up hosting (those whose requests/profiles bugged me got a polite rejection). However, two of the guys that I hosted were hitting on me within a couple of beers. Might not have bothered the girl who stayed at your place, but I sure hope you apologized. It's explicitly stated that this is not what couchsurfing is for. I was very put off by having to awkwardly reject come-ons, and after those incidents always had one of my guy friends stay over and basically act like we were dating.

My main beef, really, was people who expected a tour guide and sat around asking "what are we gonna do?" It's like they had no plan in coming to Milwaukee and expected me to solve their boredom. I offered you a couch, not an unpaid excursion around the city. If someone's cool, I don't mind grabbing drinks or whatever but I just didn't like the cling-effect some people had. My favorites were the ones who were travling through MKE and just needed a place to crash for the night, usually a week night, and wanted someone to grab a drink and wind down with, maybe tell some stories about their travels. Quick, low commitment, enjoyable. I think expectations on that site are just all over the board. Guess I coulda put more detail in my profile about that, but by this point I don't really care to do it anymore.
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:08 PM   #26
Number8teen
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Location: Hamm's Can Crisco, CA
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Oh yeah there was one guy from chicago who took the amtrak to Kenosha and bicycled to milwaukee from there, in the winter. The next day, there was a snowstorm set for the afternoon. He didn't start thinking about leaving my damn place (even after some gentle questioning) until the snow started falling. Then he asked me to drive him to Kenosha (about an hour each way in that kind of weather, otherwise usually 30 mins) so he wouldn't have to try bicycling in the snow. That's one of the ones who hit on me.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:09 AM   #27
Jamie Z
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: almost Memphis
Oddometer: 7,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Number8teen
I had people asking to stay on my couch until they found jobs, etc. I did not respond to those. Or people who couldn't say what dates for sure, but were trying to lock down a place to stay "sometime between xyz and zyx." In my opinion, you should not ask if you can stay at someone's place unless you're reasonably sure what day you will be arriving/leaving.

I didn't have a lot of trouble with those who I did end up hosting (those whose requests/profiles bugged me got a polite rejection). However, two of the guys that I hosted were hitting on me within a couple of beers. Might not have bothered the girl who stayed at your place, but I sure hope you apologized. It's explicitly stated that this is not what couchsurfing is for. I was very put off by having to awkwardly reject come-ons, and after those incidents always had one of my guy friends stay over and basically act like we were dating.

My main beef, really, was people who expected a tour guide and sat around asking "what are we gonna do?" It's like they had no plan in coming to Milwaukee and expected me to solve their boredom. I offered you a couch, not an unpaid excursion around the city. If someone's cool, I don't mind grabbing drinks or whatever but I just didn't like the cling-effect some people had. My favorites were the ones who were travling through MKE and just needed a place to crash for the night, usually a week night, and wanted someone to grab a drink and wind down with, maybe tell some stories about their travels. Quick, low commitment, enjoyable. I think expectations on that site are just all over the board. Guess I coulda put more detail in my profile about that, but by this point I don't really care to do it anymore.
Ah, now I see where you're coming from. I never had the problem of any of my surfers hitting on me, unfortunately. I did have one guy send a couch request and his location was shown as Memphis. I asked him why, if he lived in Memphis, he needed a couch to crash on. He said he was looking for a new apartment. I tried to explain to him that that's not what couchsurfing is about.

One complaint I've had (if I have any) about couchsurfing sort of mirrors your own. I had a few people send me a couch request. I got back to them and said they could stay, and then I never heard anything back from them. A couple of them, after I emailed them afterward simply explained that they changed plans, as if that was ok to do without letting me know. On the other hand, that only happened maybe twice... and it never really left me inconvenienced, only that I was expecting someone to call or email about their arrival and they never did.

As I said, I've never been hit on, and never hit on anyone, except for the one time, and at the time our conversation and the alcohol made me think it might be welcome; even in retrospect, I'm not all that bothered by what I did. I girl from New Zealand stayed with me. She arrived in the evening and I made the extra effort to take her to a nearby (as in walking distance) bar for dinner and couple drinks. At the bar, we really got along great. We walked back to my house and she was game for a few more drinks so I popped a bottle of wine. And then another. Again, all with her approval and participation. At the time, I was living in a one-bedroom apartment, and my "couch" was an air mattress in the living room. I made this clear on my couchsurfing page. Never had a complaint. Anyway, I've rarely had such a connection to a woman as I did with her, we just had so much in common and stayed up late laughing at each other's jokes and telling stories. It was getting late, so I suggested that if she didn't want to sleep on the floor on the air mattress, she was welcome to stay in my bed. At the time, what I was trying to suggest was that I'd sleep in the living room, and she could sleep in my bed, gentleman that I am. On the other hand, I do admit I had some not-so-innocent ideas in my head and that was a good lead-in. As soon as I said what I said, I realized it probably was rather inappropriate. To her credit, she simply said she was fine sleeping on the air mattress, and that was the end of it. If I remember, I tried to apologize but she waved off my apology.

The next day she asked if she could stay an extra day so she could see the city. To me, that was a sign that I hadn't freaked her out. She wrote this on my profile a few days later. Maybe she didn't even realize I came on to her.

"Jamie is a fantastic host and guide. I stayed with him in Memphis for two nights and left with great appreciation for both Jamie and his friends. My stay in Memphis was made comfortable,entertaining, delicious and informative thanks to Jaime's efforts.
I hope to host him some day in New Zealand :)"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Number8teen
Oh yeah there was one guy from chicago who took the amtrak to Kenosha and bicycled to milwaukee from there, in the winter. The next day, there was a snowstorm set for the afternoon. He didn't start thinking about leaving my damn place (even after some gentle questioning) until the snow started falling. Then he asked me to drive him to Kenosha (about an hour each way in that kind of weather, otherwise usually 30 mins) so he wouldn't have to try bicycling in the snow. That's one of the ones who hit on me.
I only once had the problem of someone staying too long, and I've never had anyone expect me to give them a ride or show them around. On the other hand, almost every time I've surfed other couches, they've provided much more than I expected. Had several people give me brief tours of their city. Was invited to an international party once. Dinner and beer or wine are common. Maybe my favorite was a single mom in North Carolina whose young son was fascinated by my motorcycle. She asked me if it was ok for him to look at it and watch me get my gear on and ride off.

Thanks for posting. It's interesting to hear stories from a different perspective. I take that information into account when I travel and stay with hosts, especially hosts who are single women.

Jamie
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:27 AM   #28
Number8teen
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Location: Hamm's Can Crisco, CA
Oddometer: 9,843
Quote:
I never had the problem of any of my surfers hitting on me, unfortunately
I caught that.


And I see what you're saying about the NZ girl. Sounds to me like maybe she might have even had ideas herself but maybe didn't want to start a habit of screwing all the attractive amurrican guys she met.

I'm glad you've had a pretty good experience with couchsurfing. I had pretty high hopes, and maybe it's just my location or people I let stay or something, but I was bummed when only a fraction of the people I hosted were a truly positive experience. I don't necessarily mind showing people around the city (if I have the time, which some people seemed to assume I did w/out asking), but the expectation that I will right off the bat really just rubs me the wrong way.

When I was backpacking in Europe, I found that a lot of the big cities had a pretty tight knit couchsurfing crew that had monthly/weekly gatherings and events and encouraged travelers to come along. That was a lot of fun and I wish that happened more here. They started trying to do that in Milwaukee, and I particiated a few times, but one of the dudes was taking it as an opportunity to hit on all of the chicks involved which I think drove a lot of them (including myself) away. An interesting thing of note... the crowds I hung out with overseas probably had a higher average age than the crowds here. Also, the good experiences I had were with surfers in their late 20's (and the ones that were bad were typically early 20's/college student types). So maybe I'll try again in a few years.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:14 PM   #29
ElJorgio
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Gainesville, Florida, USA
Oddometer: 195
I am a verified member on CS and i am currently making the effort to build up my profile as i plan on riding my bike to far-off lands in about a year and a half.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:52 PM   #30
Jamie Z
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: almost Memphis
Oddometer: 7,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJorgio
I am a verified member on CS and i am currently making the effort to build up my profile as i plan on riding my bike to far-off lands in about a year and a half.
It's good to have a few positive references from people you've hosted. Doesn't take many. If someone clicks on your profile and sees that all three people enjoyed their stay with you, they'll really have no reason to turn down your couch request.

Jamie
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