Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Couch Surfing vs. Hostels

While traveling, I've met several people who have been either couch surfing or attempting to couch surf. While I am a registered member, I didn't really consider couch surfing as I traveled for several reasons. 1. My Spanish sucks, which would equal awkward encounters if my potential host didn't speak English.(remember my host in San Sebastian) And 2. While I've never heard anything negative happening, I am still hesitant to stay in a strangers home in a foreign country. I've seen enough horror movies/ episodes of locked up abroad to know better. The idea of couch surfing is still awesome; free place to stay & meet local people. I was fortunate enough to semi couch surf while in Valencia. When I was in Madrid, Oscar was on the bottom bunk in the hostel. He is from Valencia and gave me his info incase I made my way to his town. When I figured out my plan, I emailed him suggesting we meet up for dinner or drinks and he responded with a kind offer to stay in his flat. I spent my first 2 nights in the hostel meeting people, participating in walking tours, and going out and then switched to Oscars place which is supper close to La Ciudad de Ciencas, which I hadn't yet explored. It's nice being in a flat and almost a sense of normalcy, but it lacks the same social atmosphere as a hostel (obviously). With only one set of keys, once I left the house I had to commit to being out until Oscar made it home. Which made for a lot of walking these past few days. While staying here allowed for me to do paid touristy things like the oceanigrafic since I'm not paying for housing, I don't think I've missed out on anything by sticking to hostels for the majority of my trip. Maybe others have had different experiences with couch surfing, but I found that it left a lot to be desired.  Give me a room with 20 other people any day, than to sit around and watch Spanish tv alone.

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1 comment:

  1. I would love to go to that place and stay at the nicest accommodation in town.

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