Couch surfing has its own site. It is an idea that appeared on my horizons a couple of months ago when I heard a woman talking on a radio programme about her experiences of couch surfing in unusual locations, those close to war zones and other less travelled places.

To couch surf, you have to have a means of internet communication, so, even though the interviewee had walked some paths ‘less well trod’, to paraphrase a well known poet, (R Frost) there had been the technology to make the main connections for her journey. In essence, you connect up with someone who is willing to offer you a bed or couch (or even a floor) for a night or two, wherever you travel. Reciprocation is not a pre-requisite.

Two weeks ago, hubby called me just in time for elevenses. “Can you drop whatever you are doing and meet me ‘here’ . … There’s two young men I’d like you to meet.” ……… “Is it wise?” I joked. “More urgently this time “Can you come and meet us I’ll buy you a cup of coffee.” ……Not an offer I could refuse.

I arrived and hubby greeted me; “I think they are looking for a bed for the night”…..”who are?” I had a momentary panic, not sure why. A thoughtful-looking backpacker was seated at a table and I was pointed to the back of his companion, leaning over a laptop computer at the other side of the room. To cut a long story short, hubby had seen these two trailing down the road he was driving in, stopped and offered them a ride if they were going to the harbour, which they were. As it transpired, the two boys were seeking a bed for the night, but not with us. These two, from the Middle East, were couch- surfing their way around Western Europe, their next stop being an island to which they were taking a ferry.

This is where the system hiccupped. Their couch-surf space was not available till the following night. Ever intrepid, they had camping gear, their only problem being they had no fuel for their camping cookers, and didn’t have any because they did not know what to ask for. Their other lucky star was shining, as hubby owns all the gear, and just the day before I had bought 5 litres of camp stove kerosene. They got 1 litre to go on their travels with.

We have since had regular updates from these two travellers, who say they are still smiling at the great experience they had meeting us and without the introduction of couch-surfing.



  1. This point was raised in the interview. While the lady acknowledged she thought of this underlying difficulty, she never encountered it. Her main reservation was reciprocating similar hospitality in a London environment, she did not feel she could be that open and welcoming.

  2. One could see this as a modern innovation of ‘hitch-hiking’ on ‘speck’ as in the past…much safer then…this ‘new way’ seems much better…:)

  3. I think we have to wait and see; there has been one nasty incident reported, I believe in London. I don’t know the details.

    It is an interesting concept, a variation on hostel searching, also less money draining. You are going blind into a household, whereas with hitch-hiking, you can see the driver. Even that though, is no guarantee of anything, either for the hitch-hiker or the driver. The same interactive considerations apply in couch surfing as well. If you don’t like what you see, you reject I suppose.

  4. It’s certainly an economic way to launch yourself around the world, making friends along the way, or on the other side of the coin, meeting different and interesting people.

    It is necessary, I think to go into couch surfing with eyes wide open and with care.

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