How would you feel if I, a complete stranger asked to sleep on your couch for a day or two?
Well apparently 7 million people feel it would be just fine and dandy. (Another number on the site suggests 9 million)
I have to admit there is a part of me that loves this idea. I don't suggest it simply because this world is filled with people who could take advantage of you in this situation, or could be taken advantage of...
However the romantic in me, and the explorer love this idea.
I give them credit for seeing the world in a better light than I. Or perhaps, in a less sarcastic one.
Couchsurfing.org has a safety team available in case there is an issue, and also some safety tips here: https://www.couchsurfing.org/n/safety
I don't want to impress my feelings on you though, so make up your own mind on the subject.
Here is some more interesting information from couchsurfing.org:
Travel the World
With Couchsurfing, you can stay with locals in every country on earth. Travel like a local, stay in someone’s home and experience the world in a way money can’t buy.
Rediscover Your City
There’s a community of Couchsurfers near you. Many cities have weekly language exchanges, dance classes, hikes and dinners. Make new friends.
Become a Host
Give back and open your home to travelers. Learn about a new culture first-hand or practice a language. Make the world a little smaller; a little friendlier.
Read About Our Values
Couchsurfing is a global community of 9 million people in more than 120,000 cities who share their life, their world, their journey. Couchsurfing connects travelers with a global network of people willing to share in profound and meaningful ways, making travel a truly social experience.
Couchsurfing began in 2004 as a small passion project by founders Casey Fenton, Daniel Hoffer, Sebastian Le Tuan and Leonardo Bassani da Silveira. An email to a group of students in Iceland gave birth to the idea that people anywhere would want to share their homes with strangers (or, as we like to call them, friends you haven’t met yet ).
You have friends all over the world, you just haven’t met them yet.
Couchsurfing is a service that connects members to a global community of travelers. Use Couchsurfing to find a place to stay or share your home and hometown with travelers.
Couchsurfers organize regular events in 120,000 cities around the world. There’s always something to do and new friends to meet.
Read about how it works or watch an introductory video series.
Create a profile
First step? Completely fill out your Couchsurfing profile! This will be your home base and is a reflection of you: your lifestyle, your mission and what’s important to you. Having a complete profile is the best way to connect with people – whether it’s going to your city’s weekly event or hosting a guest. Here you can tell people if you’re traveling or would like to host. Be sure to include photos.
Don’t have a profile yet? Sign Up Now
Explore your city
Next up, explore your city! Getting in touch with experienced Couchsurfers in your area is the best way to get a feel for how Couchsurfing works. Most cities have a weekly event that is usually held at a bar or coffee shop. Just head to your city’s Place Page and look at the Events happening near you. Click “Join,” show up and you’re on your way!
Surf the world
If you’re ready to embark on an adventure, search for the city (or cities!) you plan to visit and browse locals with couches available. Look through profiles and references to find people you might want to stay with. When you find a few interesting potential hosts, carefully review their profile and send a Couchrequest for the dates you’ll be there. We usually recommend sending about five Couchrequests. Make sure to personalize your messages and tell your host why you want to meet!
List your couch
Once you’ve explored the site and have been to an event or two, consider making your couch, spare room or air mattress available to travelers. Set your couch status under Couch Information. You can set it to “Not Right Now (but I can hang out)” if you want to be available as a city resource for travelers but are unable to host. You can set it to “No” if you’re not available or don’t have any extra space, or “Maybe/Yes” to show up in search results for travelers who are planning a trip to your area.
*Note: Yes I usually like to write about Linux and open source... just consider this open source couching. :)