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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Why A.S Likes Couchsurfing (CS)

  1. Save travelling costs
Before AkiraSabine(A.S) knew about CS, she stayed in dorm rooms of backpackers hostels. She shared a bunk bed with another traveller and the same room with many other guys and girls. CS opens up opportunities to either sleep on a host’s guestroom or couch in the living room. She’s not required to pay. All she needs to do is, send a personal request, make arrangements and be a respectful guest.

  1. Make local friends
To A.S, it’s bbbooorrring arriving at a place, stay in hotels, sightsee with your tour group and joining other tourists at tourist spots. Getting to know someone where she visits is so much more meaningful. Immediately, it makes her feel like she belongs there as she gets first hand account of any topics she wishes to know.

  1. Visit places unknown to travel guides
A.S was shown places unknown to the mass in her surfing experiences. This meant she could try authentic local delicacies. Instead of being surrounded by tourists, she was surrounded by locals and she felt stardom. These are food served by the locals for the locals’ taste bud. How more authentic can it be? Among other activities are hiking places where the locals work out, secluded beach/ hot pools, lake swims and bike rides.

  1. Practise new languages
Often times, she takes the opportunity to practise more German and Japanese with her hosts. They may not necessarily be native speakers but often times, she’s the worse speaker. When she was in Spain, she picked up some essential Spanish words from her hosts.  

  1. Learn new skills
A.S may be selective when she selected her host. She finds something that the host and her both have in common. This helps to bring conversations alive and plan more activity times together. Yes, it’s true, both of us may be strangers to each other and that we both like traveling and that’s why we’re in this community. However, if there’re more we could relate to, that would be perfect. Say...you like tennis. Yay, you click with A.S! You would like your guest to spend some time playing with you when he/she surfs your place. There are many talented CSers out there. A.S is always keen to learn from expert tennis players, swimmers, dancers, bakers, guitar players, language experts, online marketers and public speakers.

  1. Opportunity to cook for new friends
This is something she enjoys doing as a surfer. She has to admit that she seldom cook for herself as her diet is pretty simple but cooking is a way to show appreciation to her hosts. She may say she’s polished her skills in terms of cooking stir fried noodle to introduce her hosts to typical Malaysian flavour.

  1. Join group activities
Through CS, one do not just host or surf. They can also participate in local events. Often times, there are events like hiking trips, road trips, parties, celebrations, picnics or checking out some festivals together. For locals, it’s a good opportunity to mingle and make new friends outside your social circle. For surfers, it’s a good time to meet other travellers you may eventually travel together with.

  1. Travelling without leaving home
As a host, CSing is a good opportunity to travel without leaving home. A.S gets to enjoy an international environment, practise a foreign language and enjoys a foreign flavour when she hosts someone. She may also choose to meet them up for coffee and show them around the city too.

  1. Learn about her home country
Being a host prompts her to discover her home country or hometown, to be specific. ‘I don’t know’ is an honest answer when she doesn’t have an answer but too much of it sounds quite pathetic. Thus, A.S has learnt to discover her own country like  a traveller would, so as she can be of good help whenever needs arise. She is currently looking up for interesting places her future guests can visit, flavours they should not miss, costless activities, transportations to get around, festivals and things authentically Malaysian which she has not seen in her travels in USA, EU, NZ and the few Asian countries she’s visited.

"Any points you would like to add, fellow CSers out there?
You guys are most welcomed to share your points as comments!
Many thanks in advance."


                         Couchsurfing moments  in NZ.

*A.S's current location*
Day/ Date: Sat/Oct 6th, 2012

-A.S has been back in KL, Malaysia since Aug 16th, 2012 from a total of 3 months in Spain and then, Austria. Burdened with lots of thoughts, plans and to-dos, she'll still try her very best to keep this blog alive. Thank you so much for keeping up with her delays.

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