When I started looking at my budget for my full-time travel I knew I would have to be frugal and come up with alternative ways of accommodation and transportation to save on my expenses.
One well-known resource in the backpacking community to save money while traveling is Couchsurfing.
Couchsurfing connects a community of travelers with hosts around the world that agree to offer accommodation for free. Now you might ask why somebody would do that?
The answer is because they like meeting new people from around the world. The love for travel and culture is what connects both and therefore builds a common ground.
Even though I’ve been a member of the Couchsurfing community for several years now, I personally had never stayed with someone before. So, I asked everybody I knew for feedback and advice before daring to apply for accommodation. Most experiences were positive and the girls suggested I stay with a woman to start off.
After a lot of thought, I inserted my dates into the system and started looking for hosts. I sent my request to a handful of women, and one young woman replied within a day.
She was very open and friendly and had experience hosting. I had a good feeling, and we agreed on me staying with her. We chatted a little more and a couple of days before my arrival, I messaged her all the details of my trip.
I arrived at the destination after an 18-hour journey and was relieved to have my accommodation sorted. The apartment was about 15 minutes from the airport, and my host was already expecting me.
When I first entered the apartment, I realized that my host had an interest in skulls and dark paintings, which at first seemed innocent. However, once I sat down in the living room, I realized that there was more to it than just a bad taste.
The whole room had satanic related items, such as horns, hexagrams and satanic goats hanging and laying around. You could even find an altar with the words ‘Protect Me Satan.’.
No need to say that I got extremely nervous, not just because her ideological beliefs freaked me out, but also because I now remembered that I was in a stranger’s home. And we all know the movies about satanic cults, where somebody ends up on a cemetery. It was midnight, and I was trapped in a Lucifer museum.It was midnight, and I was trapped in a Lucifer museumClick To Tweet
As a Christian, I knew exactly what to do. Pray! So I did. I asked God to deliver her from evil (in the truest sense of the word lol) and to keep me safe. Then I anointed my room with baby oil (I’m telling you that always comes in handy) and locked every door and window!
The next morning I told my host, that my plans had changed and I would not be staying another night. She was really bummed about my quick departure because she had hoped to spend some time with me.
Even though I felt bad for lying, I knew I had made the right decision. Especially when she told me about the snake she had in her bedroom (creeeeepy).
Now you might wonder if that experience was enough to put me off Couchsurfing forever.
In all honesty, no! I still believe that the travel community is a welcoming and friendly group of people that likes to connect and make the world a little smaller.The travel community is a welcoming and friendly group of people that likes to connect and make the world a little smaller.Click To Tweet
Therefore, I will most definitely continue to use Couchsurfing. However, in the future, I will incorporate more steps to make sure that I’m staying with the right hosts for me.
Have you used Couchsurfing before?
What was your experience like?
Would you recommend it to other women/travelers?