Everybody’s Gone Couchsurfing!


Everybody but us.  At least, it sure felt that way.

And that had apparently left us with a large blank space on our traveling resume. We’ve read/heard several times that you aren’t a real traveler if you haven’t couchsurfed.

I can’t even say why we hadn’t done it before. We signed up on the website at the beginning of our travels in South America, but our account sat stagnant. I largely blame it on the fact that it requires actually planning where we’re going to be and when we’re going to be there, which we are not particularly good at.

So when we knew our schedule for Ireland well in advance, we had plenty of time to do our research and apply for a couchsurf. We happily spent four nights in Dublin with a lovely couple living near the popular Ranelagh district.


Now we get it.


The avoidance of cash outlay on a hostel room is of the smallest importance in the whole couchsurfing concept. It’s about meeting locals, getting to know a neighborhood outside of the main tourist areas, and engaging in absorbing and informative conversations that bridge oceans. It’s about the beauty of connecting with strangers with trust, openness and respect.

It’s also about getting spoiled with a delicious home cooked Guinness stew.

Guinness Stew

And reconnecting with purring, four legged creatures that
we miss the comfort of.

Kitty friend in Dublin while couchsurfing

We are very grateful for the new friends we’ve made and the wonderfully comfortable bed to recover from our jet lag. (Thanks C & F!)

While I am not someone who will ever tell you what you “have to do” – you really should try couchsurfing.  And this goes for all those with a spare bed or particularly comfy couch that can be surfed as well.


*Featured image by Flickr user: justmakeit


31 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Alouise
    July 11 2011

    Sounds like you had a great experience. I have yet to try couchsurfing, but it’s something I hope to do one day.

    • July 13 2011

      You have to!! (Wait, I said that I wouldn’t do that). You really should!!

  • July 12 2011

    Couch surfing is still on my to-do list! I’m glad you had a good experience… it seems like most people do!
    Emily @travelated recently posted..My Crazy Vegas Neighbors: Vol. 3

  • July 12 2011

    I lived in Ranelagh for a few months. Great area! Craig and I lived down the road at Rathmines which is also a cool area- lots of students and great pubs
    Caz Makepeace recently posted..36 Travel Blogs to Follow and The Benefits

    • July 13 2011

      Ahhh – we had dinner in Rathmines one night with our hosts. Awesome place! Lots of cool pubs.

  • July 13 2011

    We haven’t done it either… I’m not sure why- I guess I’m just a little nervous about the whole thing. Good to know you had a great experience.
    jade recently posted..7 Links of Love

    • July 13 2011

      Yeah, we were a little nervous too, and that’s probably part of why we didn’t before either. Heard some horror stories from people in South America. But, it all worked out well, and we will definitely be trying it again sometime.

  • July 13 2011

    I’ve been hearing more and more great about couch surfing lately. Although I am still weary of it. The benefits does seem to outweigh the risk. I’m hoping to warm up to it by the time I go around the world. Reassurance like this post is getting me there.
    Sherry recently posted..“Lighting the Dark Desert Sky (USA)”

    • July 13 2011

      I’d suggest just take your time perusing the couch surf’s – we were pretty picky when looking through them at Dublin, and really only contacted C&F because they just seemed really cool, were close to our age, etc. Nice to hang out with people like us, and it turned out as good as expected!

  • July 13 2011

    Glad to see you two experienced couchsurfing – I’ve had a CS account for years (username: globerover – what’s yours?)

    I’ve only couchsurfed myself once (an overnight layover in Madrid en route back to Seattle from Morocco), but have hosted lots of great travelers here in Seattle. I introduced many of them to “geocaching”, and feed them (usually their first ever) “S’Mores”. 😉

    I’ve learned tons from each of them. And yes, a freebie sleep is the least of it. The experience of hosting/being hosted by a local is… priceless.

    • July 13 2011

      We are…..wait for it…..it’s a shocker……”Hecktic Travels” on CS! S’mores…you should like the perfect host! 🙂

  • July 13 2011

    i still haven’t done it either! although, i’ve just been thinking this week i should change that, even on the home soil 🙂 great that you had such a positive experience. i’m an anthropologist for crying out loud- i’ve got to get to it! thanks for the inspiration you two 🙂
    Lorna – the roamantics recently posted..The 1 Minute Project

    • July 13 2011

      I didn’t know you are an anthropologist. Then yes, by all means, you shouldn’t be doing anything BUT couchsurfing! 🙂

  • Will
    July 13 2011

    I’ve taken advantage of couchsurfing before. Great way to meet locals, learn your area and feel more at home than you would at a hostel.

    I’m now happy to say that I can give back as I am settled in for awhile in Peru….stop in and couchsurf me!

    • July 13 2011

      Cool! Glad that you’re on the other side of the “couch” now! Will look you up in Peru! (Whenever that may be :))

  • July 16 2011

    We have also recently couchsurfed for the first time. Such an incredible concept, isn’t it? Glad you enjoyed it!
    Kaitlin Fisher recently posted..Ravello, Italy | Right Place, Right Time

  • July 23 2011

    I love couchsurfing, It is such a brilliant way to meet local people and see the place you are visiting from a local view point. It can be hard to organize if you don’t have a schedule nailed down though!


  • Theodora
    July 24 2011

    I still haven’t braved couchsurfing — how did you conquer the personal space issues?

    • July 24 2011

      We actually had our own bedroom, and in that regard, we have gotten quite used to being in the “spare room” of many of our friends and family’s homes since becoming homeless ourselves! I’m not sure if we would surf if it meant being on a couch in a shared room…

  • July 29 2011

    Great post. You hear so much about couch surfing. How was it as a couple? that would be our biggest concern.

    • July 29 2011

      It was no problem at all as we had our own room. We were choosy on who we approached as well, probably as choosy as they would be with us! It worked out great!

      • LatinAbroad
        July 29 2011

        That’s how you gotta be! Choosy. Gotta make sure you will connect with the hosts in some way. I surfed once with one of my guy friends as well and we were provided with our own room–gotta know who to ask depending on how many people are surfing

  • LatinAbroad
    July 29 2011

    As a veteran Couchsurfer myself, this entry made me smile =) it makes me so happy to read that I’m not the only one to have had great experiences with couchsurfing. It is all about the connections, seeing a place from the local’s perspectives. So long you have that mentality and not just simply one of “getting a free night” somewhere, you’re golden! =)

    Btw I also wrote about my CS experience: http://su.pr/1aJvVk

    As you can see, I’ma s ecstatic as you =D

    • July 29 2011

      Good tips to surfing – you are right on all counts! It really can be a tremendous traveling experience if you’ve got the right attitude for it! 🙂

  • July 30 2011

    Haven’t tried couchsurfing yet, but i’m tempted to.
    Micamyx|Senyorita recently posted..Cinemalaya Film Festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines

    • Pete
      July 31 2011

      I have to say that it is a great way to meet people and get a local point of view. Highly recommended!

  • August 5 2011

    We have only been able to couchsurf once so far – half because we just don’t know when we’re going to be anywhere.

    Glad to have you on the CS train – it is addicting for sure.
    Erica recently posted..Beers & Beans: Getting Out of Auto Ebook

  • November 4 2011

    As fellow travelers and CouchSurfers who also move through the world with no plans, I can say this about CS: It is ABSOLUTELY possible to surf even if you don’t know where you’re going to be or when you’re going to be there. In fact, we’ve gained some of greatest CS friends out of these last-minute scenarios. A couple of tips:

    -Last minute couch groups: These are usually a subgroup within a city group. It consists of people who are totally comfortable with last minute requests and will jump at the chance to help you out. We’ve found couches (and awesome hosts) in as little as 4 minutes this way. If a city doesn’t have a last minute group, you can post a last minute request in the city group… Just be sure to read the group rules before posting. If the group doesn’t like last minute requests posted there, they’ll specify.

    -CS Meetups: Many cities hold these on a weekly basis. First of all, it’s just a cool way to meet locals and socialize. Second, if you mention you’re in need of a couch, people will almost always step up and offer… although I certainly wouldn’t go JUST for a couch or absolutely expecting to find one, just a bonus if you do 🙂

    Wow. That was wordier than I intended, but hope it helps. Happy surfing…
    Josh recently posted..old-mans-cave-trail9

    • November 4 2011

      Thanks for the wordy response Josh!! Really, I had no idea that the sub-group existed, and will definitely look into that in the future! 🙂

  • November 8 2012

    We have couchsurfed a bunch over our 2 months of traveling already – 12 times in japan, 3 times in South Korea and 4 times in China. While the sleeping situations were not always ideal (sleeping in the same room 4 people to a room, or sleeping on bean bag chairs in a living room) the experiences have always been great. We’ve had some of our best meals with couchsurfers taking us to local food restaurants and have some seriously amazing home cooked meals prepared for us as well which is definitely well appreciated when we are backpacking. It’s been great meeting locals and getting to really know the people and the culture from a non-touristy perspective. Even as a couple we haven’t had trouble finding hosts and are just now switching to hostels to switch it up a little bit. Definitely recommend that everyone try couchsurfing! Hosting people is a lot of fun too – before we left for our trip we hosted a bunch of people in DC and always had good experiences!
    Vicky recently posted..Eight Travel Items We Can’t Do Without

  • April 5 2014

    Hi Hecks. I’m just back from Myanmar with Caroline (sister) and she mentioned you staying with her in Dublin. Of course I had to call in and see. She’s always encouraged Couchsurfing and tried to get me onto it as well but living in Asia, with cheap hotels I’ve not yet braved it myself. I’m guessing F made the stew?
    Allan Wilson recently posted..Top Koh Chang Hideaways

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