Way back in September, I wrote about couchsurfing, called Ride the Wave. At the time I didn’t know what we were in for. Truthfully, we started this with the intent of hopefully finding some free accomodation for our year long trip. Spending a year on the road is going to be costly. After hosting several sets of surfers we’ve found a better reason to be a part of the couchsurfing culture.
I know, some of you are still skeptical about introducing people into our house that we don’t even know. I agree, but you don’t have Charo screening every single person that puts in a request. We have received at least 2 dozen requests to come to stay with us, and of those only a few have passed Charo’s qualifications to be in our house. When people ask to stay, she reads their profile and searches through their references as well. So far, she’s done an amazing job and it seems everyone she’s matched up with us has enjoyed their stay with us as well.
A Few Experiences We’ve Had
A couple of weekends ago we hosted a couple from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I enjoyed meeting Tanya and Joshua from the moment they arrived. Over the next couple of days we had great conversations about Mexico, Canada, and travelling just to name a few topics.
The first full day here, they went downtown to check out some sites. Before they left, we decided to have dinner together that night. When they arrived back, Tanya and Joshua made homemade tortillas for us. They even got Mateo and Daniela involved in the process. The end result was very tasty.
Charo was working that day so I knew the bulk of the dinner was on me, so I decided to keep it simple, salad and smoked ribs. Oh, did I mention that our guests were vegetarians? Oops! I should have figured it out considering they own a vegan bakery. They were still amazingly gracious. I made up for this with another meal of pastizzi, which is a pastry dough filled with ricotta cheese.
What an experience for us all, and I haven’t mentioned the best parts! As a teacher you learn that anyone can talk about pretty much anything if they believe they are an expert at it. When we were having our talks, Charo and I were the experts on Toronto, and other parts of Ontario and Quebec, while Tanya and Joshua were the experts on Puerto Vallarta and the rest of Mexico. We exchanged valuable information for their trip and our own upcoming trip.
The coolest thing about the experience was Tanya. She was testing out her english on us. Although both were native spanish speakers, Joshua’s english was more refined. Tanya kept trying to find words, and she kept going. I’m really proud of her for not giving up as it would have been easy having both Joshua and Charo their to translate for her, or to speak spanish to. Tanya taught me to try to speak new languages on our trip, and to keep going.
You can read about their bakery at: https://facebook.com/pania.artesanal/
I’ve learned so much about our new friends. I can’t wait to one day visit them, or I hope the next time they come to Toronto, they will meet up with us again. That statement reoccurs with every couchsurfer we host.
This happened again this past weekend! We were lucky enough to host another young travelling couple. Michael and Kalisi. During the days they were here they spent travelling the city. The nights were spent talking and laughing. We learned that they travelled to many parts of the world we are going to see on our journey. They sat with us and gave us first hand accounts of what we should see, and also helped us plan part of our route, especially in New Zealand and Australia.
The kids also enjoyed their time here! Michael and Kalisi spent a lot of time talking to and entertaining them. One night they also got the kids involved in making sushi. The kids ended up serving all the adults what they’ve made. Definitely a lot of fun.
The story of how they and why to came to Canada intrigued both Charo and I. I’d love to tell you about it, but that’s not for me to do. Instead you can read, and watch about these two as he’s a vlogger.
You can see their website @ https://gobeforeyoudont.com/
You can follow them on twitter @https://twitter.com/GoBeforeYouDont
Or on instagram @https://www.instagram.com/go_before_you_dont/
To see a cool little video Michael made while staying in Toronto check this out:
So far it’s been an interesting adventure so far in our couchsurfing experience. In part 2 of this post you’ll see that hosting is not the only part of couchsurfing to look forward to.
Thanks for reading and happy adventuring!
Yup. I was one of the one saying” what???”. ” Strangers in your house??” But i had to admit it was a nice experience meeting some of them. Even a nice experience for camila. You are so lucky that charo does a great screening.
We’ve been really lucky so far to have so many nice experiences. We’re all glad Camila had a great experience as well. I hope she changed her point of view from when she arrived to after she left 🙂