Couchsurfing, the New American Dream

July 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm (Freedom, Letting go, Life skills or hacks, Relationships, Travel) (, , , )

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When I was in the planning stages of my trip east to check on the vacant (not) lot I was faced with many decisions. Do I fly and rent a car? Do I get an extended stay hotel? Do I get in my neighbor’s hot tub time machine and never bid on the property. Scratch the flying…about the hot tub? No no that’s ridiculous no one uses a hot tub in summer!

I run the numbers and decide that I would rather drive and enjoy all the hours with myself on the open highways and byways of America aka ‘Murika. Land of my people. Now hotels and motels are pricey and we’ve all had the Facebook friend post Oprah’s warnings on bed bugs and worse at even the finest establishment. This leaves one obvious option…couchsurfing.

I have been a member since 2008 and only started hosting mid 2013 and I loved the interesting people it brought right into our sitting room. I have never actually couchsurfed up to this time.

I start planning my trip and itinerary based on miles per day. I want to get across within a week but not become big rig wrangler. Capiche? So I decide 5 to 6 hours a day of driving is the range I’m looking at and choose cities I want to visit.

First stop out of California. Phoenix. I glom onto my thoughtful, fun, generous, and did I mention fun cousin Doug. Hey Doug I’m coming your way for the first night! He quickly reminds me the epic saga of Trail of Two Brothers is about to commence in Cleveland so I have only a very small window of days. Okay okay I can do this I tell myself. This is the same self who told me to buy the vacant lot.

On the Couchsurfing.org website I begin to plot out my trip by searching for hosts with an available couch, have high response rates, positive ratings and sound like my definition of cool people I’d want to hang with before retiring after my long day. I’m also hoping they have hot water for showers! Great profiles and interesting people on here I think as I scroll through the myriad choices in big cities,  and much smaller group of hosts to choose from in places like Albuquerque and Lexington. I begin by writing why I will be in that town and then another essay on why I want to stay with a particular host. I send off several for each town with a flexible date range. and wait for the responses to come in…

Next up… (cue music here) Heading out on the open road.

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1 Comment

  1. Julie Hardardt said,

    Can’t wait to read more about your journey!

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