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360. Travel All Over the World by Surfing!

All about Couch Surfing

외부원고 기자2015.11.24 20:47:03

By Kim, Min-ji, Dept. Forestry (junior)
Exchange student in Lleida, Spain(Fall, 2015)

         I am a common KNU student who loves to travel all over the world, so I have traveled to a lot of countries in Asia and Europe. However, I felt some limits of normal travel, just staying in hostels and going sightseeing, therefore I decided to take a unique and special trip: couch surfing. Couch surfing is staying with local people, not in hostels, but on their ‘couch’, and in their house.

 Good Memories


1. The Private Diplomat

           Bertrand, who was a host in Brussels, offered me his house for three days, so I decided to make samgyetang for him and his friends. Bertrand also cooked Belgian food: mussels with white wine. They enjoyed samgyetang, which they all finished. It was really a refreshing and totally interesting experience to me. Also, it was not difficult to introduce the Korean culture to my hosts.

2. A Celebrity Host

          ‘Wolf’(nickname), who was my host in Amsterdam, was an artist and a philosopher. His house was full of his paintings and photos. We always listened to opera while having a meal. Even though I did not know about opera, he talked about it with me. During this time, I was surprised to learn that he was a famous expert of opera! He not only contributed a column in a magazine, but also wrote books about opera singers. He was acquainted with many opera singers and had even met Cho, Sumi who is a popular opera singer in Korea.

3. Meeting the Soulmate of My Lifetime

          Sometimes, true friendship and love go beyond national boundaries. This is the story of Kamila, who was my host in Berlin. She was a student in Berlin. We were on the same wavelength from our first meeting. I usually spent time with Kamila in the night because she went to work during daytime. Somedays we spent all night talking about our future, career and love, and on other days we drank beer, moving to many bars. One time, we went to a dancing club and came home at 6:00am. To stay longer with her, I stayed two more days in Berlin.



Remember Before Using

1. Loosen Up the Travel Plan

You have to go home early and spend time with your host because the couch surfing house is a private place, and it is usually away from downtown. I once had to make a hostel reservation in Amsterdam to go sightseeing to the red-light district at night, even though I had a host in the city. If you are a traveler with a tight plan, I do not recommend couch surfing.

2. Refer to Reference and Profile

           The more positive his or her references are, the more credible the host is. If you are a female traveler, watch out for male hosts who do not have enough references. Also, you should read the profile of the host carefully, because it contains a lot of important information about the house and the host: ‘Where they live’, ‘Who they are’, and ‘Whether they are homosexual or not’.

3. Do Not ‘Control+C’(copy) and ‘Control+V’(paste)

           Hosts offer their accommodations for free, even though they do not know who you are. The reason why they are kind is because they want to make international friends and carry out cultural exchange. When you send a request to a host, you have to express your true heart to let them know how much you are interested in staying with them. One host scolded me because I sent a request message using ‘Control+C’ and ‘Control+V’


How to Use the Service

Everybody can be either a host of a couch surfer, if your age is over 18. It is easy to do this.
1) Connect with the link (https://www.couchsurfing.com/) or download the ‘couch surfing’ application in your smart phone

2) Join the website and then complete your profile.

If you want to know more details, you can contact me by KaKao Talk. (ID: miindy)
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