Having talked to the students from the Balkans I realized they are afraid to try Couchsurfing.
Briefly, Couchsurfin is a hospitality service and social networking website that helps you get in contact with people who look for and provide accommodation to those tho need it, so both sides use it.
If you are interested go to this link- Couchsurfing
This website caught mu attention the first time I decided to go on the Work & Travel program. I was reading daily posts on the Work and Travel Experience website and Couchsurfing was mentioned in one of the posts that advise students how to save some money while travelling in the USA.
I read everything and I decided to sign up in 2015 and I was searching about AirBnb that I used.
However, in 2016 I decided to try something new.
All in all, anyone who decides to travel after the program, has enough money to afford a hotel with an amazing view on the ocean, with several pools and similar things. It is true that I had the same opportunity, but due to my adventurous spirit, I did not find that very interesting, especially if I only needed a room in hotel to sleep over. I travelled with my friend and I suggested we try Couchsurfing, she had no idea what I was talking about, but she liked the idea.
How it all started? As I was working a lot during the program, and I did not have a lot of time to search online and look for accommodation, I made a Public post on Couchsurfing, where I in one paragraph explained how me and my friend will be visiitng Puerto Rico (with the specific date) and how the two of us would like to see and visit as many places as we can, and that we would love to try local food and drinks.
I could not believe how many people started responding and offering not only accommodation but suggesting things we must see and do while we are there.
So the offers started rolling in, and I did not say no to anyone, I responded to all of them, but because of the poor organization (I was on the East coast and she was on the West coast) I did not officially accept a single offer.
The first night we spent in a hostel and I responded to everyone who had previously written to us. One person said that we can stay at their place the next day and he gave us his address and told us to call him when we were in front the building he lived in (people often put pictures of the accommodation on the website just so that people know where they are going).
Our host, Antwan, lived in the city centre of the new part of San Juan. He was a soldier in the USA, and the apartment was paid for by the military, and he was staying there with a friend.
I would be lying if I said that we were not afraid at all, even she started being paranoid about them selling our organs, etc. I was more concerned about them being too hospitable, because I wanted us to have time for ourselves, since we are in Puerto Rico, there is a beach that we can spend all of our days at.
However, we were welcomed in the best way possible, we had a room tom ourselves, while they slept on the couch. They would leave at 5 a.m, so we felt as if we were in a hotel. We wanted them to show us the nightlife, but they knew exactly where the best places to go out are. If it hadn’t been for them we wouldn’t have gotten to know the country in that way.
We made them pancakes and they made us some of their authentic cuisine. We were able to leave and come back whenever we wanter because we had been given the apartment key.
One day he wanted to show us a local beach. I would say that it was a wild beach, but one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen in my entire life.
I am pretty sure none of the apps would rate this beach with five stars.
We walked and explored everything the ocean brought.
My friend wanted us to drink cocktails from a coconut and out host showed us the best place to do it.
So, it was an amazing experience, we saved money on accommodation and saw things we wouldn’t have been able to see if we were on our own.
We were richer for one more experience and we enjoyed in Puerto Rico’s magic in an interesting way.
P.S. I can already picture a male audience commenting how it was easy for us since we are girls- I have to say that that is not true and that both sexes are active on this website, if you are open-minded, this is a great opportunity to combine beautiful and practical.
There is always a “what if…”, but, in my opinion, no place on Earth is safe enough, and no one can guarantee that you will have a pleasant experience if you drive in a taxi or an Uber.
Relax and enjoy life!
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!
Feel the adrenaline rush and feel alive!
This post is also available in: RS