How to use Couchsurfing

I like to think I’m an adventurous traveler, and I mean that in various senses of the word. I love to get dirty in a new place, climbing mountains, jumping off mountains, and everything in between. But I also like to be a bit adventurous in my accommodations, and veer off the hostel/hotel path once in a while to try to meet people and get a better sense of where I am. One of my go-to’s for this is Couchsurfing.com, but the site can offer up a lot more than most people initially think (and from what I initially thought too), so I wanted to give some ins and outs I learned along the way.

Couchsurfing main page

Doesn’t this make you want to jump on and meet people?

Hidden benefits

  • Meeting other couchsurfers: A couple times while Couchsurfing, it turned out others were also staying with my host, which made for a fun night and an even bigger network of friends. When I first landed in Stockholm for a 6-week stint in Europe, I used Couchsurfing to stay with a host, and ended up meeting a great group of people (including another Canadian girl who was also staying with my host) to kick things off with. We ended up all staying out til 3am, huddled under a tarp in the rain, and who knows, you may even meet people to go visit on your next trip. I now know exactly where I’ll want to be staying on my next trip to Montreal. 

Continue reading

Advertisements

Warsaw: a special gem in Poland

Warsaw: the city that would bring me back to Poland in a heartbeat.

So I can’t say I got to spend too much time in Warsaw, or really have a recommended itinerary after my whirlwind time there (including a missed flight and a night that lasted until 7am -those are whole other stories). But it was just enough to make me want to come back again and again, and discover even more of Poland. Note: I was there in October 2015, just as it started to get colder and the air a bit crisper.

First off: Poland is cheap. Like, really cheap – despite being the 2nd biggest economy in Central Europe and 6th biggest in the EU. It also has amazing food and really friendly people. And, compared to Krakow, Warsaw is like its hipper, younger cousin. A lot of people say you prefer one or the other: like a San Francisco/Los Angeles or Berlin/Munich rivalry, and in this case, Warsaw reminds me of Berlin. Continue reading

Thoughts on traveling so far

Note: This post was almost entirely written about 2 weeks into my 6 week backpacking trip from Germany all the way down into Montenegro and back up again through Poland. Some extra thoughts on how these feelings changed by the end of the trip, and a post-trip catch-up will definitely be coming.

Traveling alone

I’ve had a lot of rambling thoughts about traveling so far- about the way I’ve done it, the people I’ve met, and how I may have done it differently. Overall, when my mom asked me last night if I’d rather have done it with someone, I can hands down say ‘no’ without pause.

Three reasons stick out: Continue reading