I have just returned home, to the place where I grew up.
I have spent the past 20 plus years, neither wanting to come back, nor ever feeling homesick over it. I had raced away as fast as I could after high school to a distant university, 250 miles far better than none. Even the reality of whether I would return to finish my senior year of university was at question; so powerful was the draw of the American West to my budding traveler’s psyche at the time, life’s experiences trumped structured learning in every regard within my perspective.
I was not a writer back then, nor did I love writing as much as I do today. To the contrary, I
If you are unfamiliar with Couchsurfing, or CS for short, it is an on-line community for “travelers” whom find more enjoyment in meeting people and exchanging their culture with each other as they travel or while they are at home. There are two main aspects of CS; 1) a Surfer, and 2) a Host.
A Surfer, like me right now, is a person or several people traveling with each other, who in exchange for a safe place to sleep free of charge, offer their perspectives on their native culture; their experiences in traveling; the activities they enjoy, such as cooking or playing a musical instrument; funny stories of their lives; their knowledge of a different language, etcetera; or any combination of the above. In other words, a Surfer offers of themselves something that cannot be measured in terms of money or a hard value, in exchange for a place to sleep, a bed, a floor, a safe and secure sleeping location, or as the name implies a couch.
The other side of the CS Community equation is a Host. The Host or Hosts are people, often travelers themselves, who when they are at home, desire to offer an extra bedroom, a safe living/sleeping arrangement, or a couch, to a Surfer, in exchange for the opportunity to learn of another place, another person, one of a million different cultures that exist on the planet we share. A couch, like a Surfer’s experience, knowledge, language or cultural understanding is offered free of charge.
Hey all, just a “little” update for those wanting to know about my three months of travel around Europe.
I just spent the better part of 6 days in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and now the past five days in Sophia at a family’s home… Mostly just enjoying conversation with interesting people I met at the The Crib Hostel or with the friends and family of a woman I met at the famous “beach beer garden” discovered in Bonn, Germany. I have increasingly shied away from meeting ‘travelers on missions to check off another city or country’, as the stories are mostly the same, just with different twists and turns along the way. Stories I have fortunately lived in abundance over all the years of being addicted to travel.
There’s no doubt I’ve been fortunate to travel more than most people my age; it’s been in my blood since I was little, filling my summers with camping around the Northeast US and winters racing sled dogs throughout New York, New England, the northern Midwest and Canada as well.