My first Couchsurfing experience hosting a Spanish underwater photographer living in the Gili Islands

What if I told you that there was a website where you could invite strangers to stay at your house and take them around town at your own cost?

Good luck trying to explain that one!

If you really think about it, such hospitality is not an alien concept to Asians. I grew up reading stories of kind folks offering their roof and food to weary travelers. In return they get tears of gratitude, repayment in kind years later or robbed. What? To be fair it could go either way.

The point is, it is in our blood to be warm, giving and compassionate. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Couchsurfing is a community website where you could meet people from around the world. If you travel to their areas, you could ask them (nicely) to host you; then you could stay with them for as long as they would put up with you. If they had time, they might take you around town too!

I find this exchange of trust and generosity amazing, especially in this day and age where we lock ourselves up in fear of anyone who do not look nor behave like us. So I joined as a member, read good and bad stories about couchsurfing, told myself to take the first step and be proactive, didn’t do what I told myself to do…

… until this guy wrote to me!

Couchsurfing buddy - Daniel 01

Yeap, that was a cute Spanish dude cracking eggs in my kitchen. His choice of t-shirt was purely coincidental.

Daniel is a 30 year old underwater photographer and scuba diver from Valencia, currently based in Gili Trawangan. He was holidaying in Thailand then had to be in Kuala Lumpur for work. So Daniel surfed a few Couchsurfing profiles, saw mine, clicked on the link to my blog then wrote me a nice e-mail asking if I’d like to host him. I was available during the dates, he was the first person to ask me to host and his background check was clean. So I said yes!

Turns out Daniel was an active couchsurfing host before moving to Lombok. Back home in Spain, he’d have the most interesting people stay over and listen to their crazy traveling stories. If he was busy with work, his guests could take his bicycle out to town by themselves. That’s some high level of trust there!

Now he lives in Gili Trawangan where he takes underwater photography, teaches scuba diving and work on a dive centre’s website and social media. What a different life from mine!

Couchsurfing buddy - Daniel 02

As I was preparing for a home party, Daniel helped with shopping and what-not. He also made a delicious Spanish omelette for the party, which went down very well with my guests!

It was lovely meeting you, Daniel. You were pleasant, amiable and respectful, and made my first Couchsurfing hosting experience such a positive one. Cheers to that!

tl;dr – I invited a stranger to stay at my house and he didn’t kill me in my sleep.

comments

Comments

  1. Suanie is more and more like a brand every day!

  2. Mellissa says:

    Quite hot also ah :X

  3. wokay, love the Spanish omelette.
    oh herro Dan! It’s nice meeting you…
    J recently posted..大眾燒肉 (Japanese BBQ)My Profile

  4. The Spanish omelette was awesome! WHEE!
    eyeris recently posted..Kilkenny Ale Appreciation Night! YEAY!My Profile

  5. U in couchsurfing too??
    I get invitation all the times but never had the courage nor time to accept. Maybe it is time…

  6. He’s quite yummy. How did you resist? :P

  7. but OF COURSE you said yes… u checked out the photo, i mean profile first, didn’t you. makes perfect sense… hahhaha :P pffft. So boring your story.. he ciao di ar? where’s the goss… ? :P:P
    ciki recently posted..Moon Kee Fish Head Noodles @ Section 19, PJMy Profile

  8. the elder sis says:

    and i didnt know about this because?????

  9. single woman hosting single man? In my experience I have been better off travelling with friends or hosting when living with someone else! Otherwise your host might get the wrong impression!

    • Well I *am* living with someone else =D But you’re right, got to be careful, not just on Couchsurfing but anywhere else, online and off.

  10. wow…very daring. If I tell Den I wanna host a total stranger…I think he will FLIP
    missyblurkit recently posted..Kluang Railway StationMy Profile

  11. I too am a couchsurfer and have been for a few years. Before I hit to the road and started travelling full time I was a frequent host in the UK and non-couchsurfers used to always say “but how do you know they won’t kill you?” Such questions make me laugh but really it’s very sad that so many of us have such little trust anymore. The 24hr news has brain washed us into thinking that anyone you don’t know is not like you, not normal, and probably wants to kill you.

    I’m glad your first experience was a rewarding one and I hope (and feel confident) that you’ll have loads more great experiences.

    • Thanks for your comment! I’ve actually came across your blog before, referenced on another site. Surreal that you should comment on mine :)

  12. hot guy, and great cook, can’t complain, hehe

  13. I love couchsurfing….the people you meet are always interesting and always have a story worth listening to. Thanks for sharing your experience and I am really happy that your first was a blast! He looks like a fun one to have share your house for a while

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