Posts tagged with stories:
Anna and Bogdan are married couple from Ukraine and have been traveling Asia for more than a year. They hitchhiked from their home country through Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia! Here’s their story…
From the beginning of our trip we had money only for visas. Our purpose was not to save, but to be closer to ordinary people, nature, culture and local traditions. When you have no money, people try to help. You become a guest and are like friends or relatives! Every day of the trip is an adventure. We like to visit the sights, but our first aim is to understand lifestyle, traditions and cultures of the people who live there.
We’re now in Brunei where we’re staying with our friend Sofiah, who we met via Couchsurfing.
Very often people ask us if we are afraid to travel so far without money. But we believe that all the world is kind. Do the best and the world will help you.
For more than a year, many people from different countries helped us see the world. They gave us a ride when we were hitchhiking, they treated us to traditional food, they invited us to their houses, they told us about their life and culture. We are so thankful for their kindness and hospitality/
That is why now we plan to come back home and do the same for others. We want to host, to treat, to show around and to help many travelers! We feel that we should do this to back in to the world all positive energy that other people gave us in this long trip!
I started working at 16 in Mumbai, India. I was a journalist, web developer, then a marketer. I eventually wound up doing international marketing for Bollywood. However, there was something missing. I felt as though the things I had constantly been acquiring were slowly gaining more importance. I found happiness fleeting, so tried to bolster my senses with things: a car, fancy stereo, big TV… I fell into a vicious cycle of want, purchase and then boredom.
I stayed like this for a long time - until I started hosting people on Couchsurfing. Seeing these happy strangers and soon-to-be friends move through my house made me realize I had been stagnating. My path was leading me away from home and into new homes. Away from my boring job and mortgage and into my new life as a long-term traveler.
In December 2012 I quit my job, sold my apartment and started to travel. At first I went to north India, and now I am in the United States, backpacking across the country, eventually taking me down to South America. I had to give up many things to be able to do this. But the friends, experiences and memories I am collecting makes it all worthwhile.
Couchsurfing is, quite literally, one of the best things to happen to me. It’s because of Couchsurfing that I found other people like me - people who are not satisfied with the daily grind - people who want to go out and explore the world, see what’s hiding underneath each rock and discover whatt village lies behind the next curve of the road.
While I’d always experienced a sense of malaise and malingering, Couchsurfing pointed the way to what might be wrong and how I might fix it.
This summer, I packed my bags and moved from Lexington, Virginia to Cologne, Germany for an internship. It was only a short stay in Cologne (two months) but I was incredibly nervous about making friends. After my second week in the city, I came across couchsurfing meetups on the website and they singlehandedly made my average stay into a fantastic one. I met so many people-students, travellers, other interns, etc. who I made dozens of memories with-from exploring flea markets to salsa dancing, cooking indonesian food to hiking along the rhine, scoping out falafal stalls to attending local concerts. It’s been a busy-and unforgettable- two months (I head back to the states on Saturday). Thanks for creating a community for those of us who need one.
Thank you for the banner, t-shirt, stickers and wristbands. Here are some pictures from our last event, Potluck Iftar with CS Easterners.
To make the event more meaningful, we had presenters share their travel stories:
1. Fery spoke about his trip with his pregnant wife to Hongkong, Macau, Shenzhen and Beijing.
2. Jay told us about his trip to Aceh, the most western part of Indonesia.
3. Jae talked about his trip to Norway.
4. Diah on hitchhiking.
5. Thomas spoke about his homeland, Holland, and his city, Rotterdam.
CS Easterners consists of CSers who live and or doing activities in East Jakarta and nearby suburbs. There are many Couchsurfers here but not many events and those are mostly held downtown.
The event was successful with lots of food brought from group members. Stories were told and laugh shared. We even had our youngest member in attendance, Selena the daughter of Fery! Selena is two months old and seemed excited to be there.
I hope Couchsurfing can continue supporting local activities around the world.
I didn’t leave the United Kingdom with the intention of changing my life. I didn’t dream of VW Campervans or vintage-effect photos on Instagram. I don’t even really like the term ‘traveler’.
I am, first and foremost, a scout.
I am one of over 30 million members in 161 countries who are focused on helping turn young peopleinto the most awesome adults they can be.
So I talked to local scout groups about connecting with foreign groups by swapping neckerchiefs.By meeting Scout groups in Mexico, the USA and Canada, we could swap neckerchiefs, contact details and ideas in the hope that one day those young people might find themselves in a foreign country, staying with a friend from thousands of miles away.
On the way, I hoped to stay with local scout groups. I used Couchsurfing to find hosts and Scouting contacts to find the rest. The people I met changed the trip immeasurably.
These incredible people had jobs doing ordinary things; raising families or studying for degrees. They were willing to say hello and take me into their homes.
Whether Couchsurfers or Scouts, they shared the innate curiosity and generosity you need to host a stranger in your home.
Victor in Playa del Carmen worked in the cable industry and wanted to know what people from the UK were like.
Mariana and Carina in Mexico City were students at university, but they were also Rover scouts who took me to see their Scout Cabaña.
Karin Oxtoby (happens to have the same surname as me) works and hosted me in Dallas. Her sister, Julie, is now extending me the same courtesy in Calgary, Canada.
My host Julie in Calgary, during our day of helping people to clear out their basements after the floods.
With Couchsurfing, I have been able to find the joy in the ordinary, the special in the normal.
I helped a rover scout raise money to build toilets and helped sort recycling at local schools. I fired rockets with cub scouts in Los Angeles and celebrated my birthday with Mexican folk dancers in Chiapas.
Carina, Palmis and Mariana, my guides and hosts round Mexico City!
I’ve lost a water fight with an entire Little League Baseball team, and met the Chief of all Scouting in Mexico. I drove the Pacific Coast Highway listening to country music and the streets of Cancun with S Club 7 on the radio.
And not one sepia photograph. Instagram knows nothing of my travels.