It is Sunday now, the clock moves slowly forward. The wsahingmachine is humming and I am satisfied and happy with life. It has been a superb weekend.
There is a website online that a brilliant someone has come up with, where people worldwide can exchange contacts to find somewhere to live when they’re traveling. This page is called Couchsurfing.com and the idea is simple. You contact someone in the city or area where you intend to go and hopefully get a chance to sleep a few nights on the couch in their home, so that you do not have to spend lots of money on accommodation.
You also get the chance to bypass hotels and the typical tourist traps and get to know the real city and some peoples everyday life.
I have heard of the idea before, but it was only just now, preparing for my trip that I thought it could be interesting to try it out. So therefore I signed up, without really knowing that I would soon get lots of requests by people who wanted to stay on my couch.
For some reason it never struck me that there would be lots of people on their way to Stockholm, who needed a place to stay and who also would contact me who hardly have any references from previous users.
I was wrong.
The whole idea of saying yes made me nervous. I’ve always been a bit nervous in similar situations, and to host someone in my own home?
The first requests I declined more as an reflex. Then came Joana Mendes. A request that fit perfectly into a weekend when I actually had time. And she didn’t look too dangerous either.
Last Thursday we met in Sundbyberg, for a guided tour to my apartment. And over the weekend, we drank wine, ate food, had long conversations and also a rather quiet party together with Johan and Maria.
Joana is from Porto in Portugal and is studying Graphic Design. At the moment, she is studying a semester in Rotterdam in Holland and on her autumn holiday, she took the opportunity to travel to Stockholm to see “Venice” of the North. She took the opportunity to see some art exhibitions in the city, an area of interest I can’t say I know much about although we did share an interest in photography and vegetarian food.
It’s very brave to go alone to a completely different country to sleep on the couch of some unknown person, but I’m glad she dared, for it has been a very pleasant meeting with a friendly and genuinely interesting person.
Although it is impossible to know who you might meet in these situations, it has certainly aroused my interest in CouchSurfing and my upcoming trip.
Now I sit here after a lovely weekend which was filled with the best I know. Wine and conversation. What more would you ask for in life?