My First Time Couchsurfing

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If traveling throuhout Latin America wasn’t enough to scare some loved ones, the thought of me staying with strangers pushed them over the edge.

While Couchsurfing is a practiced phenomenon amongst backpackers, it appears a bit dodgy to the rest of the world.

I attempted to Couchsurf in Central America but plans often fell through at the last minute and I put Couchsurfing on the back burner.

But after meeting many of the Couchsurfing group in Cali and having such a wonderful time with locals I decided to try it again – this time in Medellin.

As soon as I saw Jesus (aka Chucho) and Ana’s profile I knew they would be perfect. They had glowing references from many people and some first time Couchsurfers.

The first night Chucho took me out on a walking tour of the city including a cable car ride through to the top of the city for a great sunset.

Instead of going for traditional Colombian food, we went for dinner at an amazing pizza place, run by Italians, and I knew we’d be friends when he asked if I minded prosciutto on the pizza.

We talked about Medellin, traveling and our lives over this porky deliciousness that I had been deprived of for the last six months.

salmon with bechamel sauce

With my own room and a key to the apartment I was free to come and go but I often stayed close as they welcomed me in their home and kept feeding me.

After cooking a traditional breakfast, Chucho made a feast for lunch of parmesan salad cups and salmon with bacon flavoured bechamel sauce.

There is no doubt that we were best friends in another life.

Our last night we tried to take a photo but for some reason I can only get my camera to time 2 seconds instead of 10.

But their kind spirit shined in the hilarity of trying to take this photo.

couch with pillows

Join the Conversation

  1. Adventurous Kate says:

    Bacon…Couchsurfing…so many things I love in this post!

    Glad you had fun. Have yet to take the plunge and stay overnight with someone, but I love the CS project for meeting up with people!

  2. Stealing what Kate says, ditto with the not having tried it yet. Ditto with the loving the idea to bits. (May see if I can do it in Vancouver when I’m there for TBEX).

    I like the sly bacon reference there. Keeping your blog message on track. Fine work.

    Also – you look like you’re having fun. 🙂 Nothing like truly connecting with folk on the road to make the road feel friendlier.

  3. Congrats on joining the world of Couch Surfing! It’s great isn’t it? And yum! You certainly found some great hosts for your first experience!

  4. Do families couch surf? How to do couchsurfing with two young kids (3 & 5 years)?

    it looks like a fun way to travel, but I feel our burden would be much more for the couch-provider than the surfer.

    Still – great post!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      @Jeff

      Families do couchsurf as do groups of people. It all depends on the host, some will take bigger groups if they have space and others can only offer a couch. There are so many community forums on Couchsurfing.org I’m sure they must have one about families. You should definitely check it out.

  5. Ayngelina 2 June 2010 “I still haven’t couchsurfed! Okay I’m putting it in writing, within one month of today I’ll break the seal and couchsurf somewhere.”

    A bit late but you did it! Well done! Besides I’m one to talk I’ve hosted but not surfed!

  6. @Poi

    I swear I really did try to Couchsurf earlier but it never worked out. I was starting to think I had a terrible profile!

  7. Love CouchSurfing! So glad you had a great experience. I love it when hosts cook! ;o)

  8. @Ayngelina – thanks, I will check out the site now. I’m sure you’re right, there must be willing hosts out there with a big enough couch. 🙂

    -jeff

  9. They sound like amazing hosts and I am so glad you had a great first time. It can be a little scary the first time! Your joint love for pork is a riot – one of those things I doubt you find in a profile but hit off so well once you meet 🙂

  10. Dave and Deb says:

    Looks like you had a blast! You may have inspired us to try couchsurfing one day. It really sounded perfect.

  11. No Vacation Required says:

    The four photos are great. Had your 10-second timer worked, you would never have such interesting and adorable photos.

  12. So awesome to hear that you had a great experience!!

  13. thanks for the first hand account. I may need a little more convincing, but it’s great to hear you had such a fun and memorable experience.

  14. Laurel @Expat in Germany says:

    I’ve never heard of couch surfing before, very interesting. Glad that you had such a great experience!

  15. Jools Stone says:

    I’m doing couchsurfing for the first time next weekend, ironically in my home city of London! I think that doing it where you are is prob a smart idea since the locals can give you extra guidance and keep you safe, but guess telling that to family back home is another matter! Glad it worked out for you though!

  16. DTravelsRound says:

    That sounds like such an incredible experience — the complete opposite of my first (and only) time couchsurfing. Having amazing hosts, like the ones you had, really makes couchsurfing such a valuable part of traveling and learning about a location.

  17. Glad your first time turned out well! We have yet to try it ourselves!

  18. Sounds like you had heaps of fun. I’ve never tried it, a bit apprehensve actually. But I bet it’s one of those things one really gets to like once that first hurdle is over.

  19. Camels & Chocolate says:

    I think one of the best things about CouchSurfing is the amazing, tasty, native cuisine you get to sample. I’ve yet to stay with another Surfer who has not kept me well fed (and dare I say, fat)!

  20. Cornelius Aesop says:

    Sounds like you had a great time. I never used couch surfing to stay with anyone but while living in Brazil my roommate made a connection with a local who became our friend for the 4 months we lived there taking us to things that most outsiders would have no clue about.

  21. Peter West Carey says:

    Welcome to the club! Couchsurfing can be a lot of fun as you found out.

  22. So great you tried couchsurfing again. It is a great experience and one that certainly pushes our loved ones over the edge (I can still remember my mom’s first impression when I couchsurfed for the first time… !!!!!!!! )

    I love the spontaneity of those 2 second pictures… they have more life and character that what the regular picture could have. 🙂

  23. Awww awesome! I always love hearing about peoples amazing couchsurfing experiences – to encourage me to grow some balls and do it myself!

  24. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    I love hearing stories like this! I haven’t had good luck the times I’ve tried to find a host on couchsurfing, so maybe my profile really does suck! Those pictures are hilarious. 🙂

  25. Michael Hodson says:

    I love Kate — Bacon. Couchsurfing. She summed up better than I ever could.

  26. I’m still yet to get a CS experience uner my belt. The food alone would make me think we were soulmates of sorts… seeing as I haven’t eaten yet today, it made me grumble.

  27. It’s great you had such a positive experience your first time couchsurfing. I haven’t tried surfing couches yet, but it sounds like if you find the right fit, it can completely change your experience.

  28. Your Message Whnat a great experience. I am thinking of couch surfing this winter in Singapore. I hosted a traveler from Germany a couple of months ago. That went well.

  29. Caz Makepeace says:

    You’ve inspired me to want to couchsurf. Sounds like fun

  30. Awww I LOVED that you had a positive 1st experience. It’s such an incredible community. Can’t wait to hear about your next experience. Fun pics!

  31. This sounds like pretty much the perfect couch sitting experiene to me. And those photos are great!

  32. Glad to see you trying (and loving) couchsurfing. It’s literally changed my life.

  33. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while and I think it’s really awesome they you had such a great experience. I like the photos too!

  34. Isn’t couchsurfing a blast? I tried it for the first time during my trip last year and it was an awesome experience, and I now have new friends for life. Funny how I recently wrote a post on couchsurfing recently…

  35. I picture you “hanging ten” on some stranger’s coach…love your effort to get in the picture…so you!

  36. Carlo Alcos says:

    I keep trying to spread the good word and convince people this is a great way to travel and immerse yourself into the local scene.

    Happy couchsurfing!

  37. Lisa | LLWorldTour says:

    Yay Couchsurfing!
    I started using it in 2007 and it completely changed my RTW trip! So great to be with locals–who then become friends!

    And I am planning a trip to Colombia…so now i may just have to send a couch request to Chucho y Ana! Perfecto!
    Safe Travels…
    Lisa

  38. LOVE Couchsurfing! (My latest blog entry is about surfers, in fact!) So glad you’re giving it another try. Even if you don’t surf or host, great community and lovely opportunity for connections. Thanks for the sharing! 😀

  39. Mark Lawrence says:

    Couchsurfing is absolutely the greatest thing on the planet! It’s stories like these that just cement this in my mind. You will remember this forever. Welcome to the Couchsurfing community! The stories, connections, fun, and awesome times are just beginning. It will blow your mind!

  40. VagabondDave says:

    I cannot wait to couchsurf someday! Your experience seemed great! Also, that food looks amazing..

  41. Andrew Murray says:

    I’ve always been a little hesitant to try this out for the first time. Reading your post has instilled me with a bit more confidence. We maay have to try out a few couches on our upcoming trip so thanks for the great heads up 🙂

  42. Glad your first surfing experience was so great! :D. CS is the best :).

  43. That sounds like fun. We had registered on CS when we took off last year. But we have yet to try it out. Reasons are the same as most folks 🙂 Hope to try it out sometime !

  44. Will need to try this whenever I hit South America. Glad you had a good experience.

  45. I absolutely love CS! I’ve had a lot of great experiences through this organization. It really changes the way you see things.

  46. Curious Nomad says:

    CS is a great way to meet locals in the countries you visit to get off the beaten path and make friends all over the world.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It’s the best way to learn about a country.

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