The Six Monthers explain the art of “couchsurfing”

 
You know our friends, The Six Monthers? Florence and Mike Lince, baby boomers who move to a new country, sometimes a new continent, every six months? Well, now they’re in Spain, and before they give us a peek at this Spanish adventure, they’re first giving us a peek at an aspect of their lives wherever they are. It’s called couchsurfing!

Rarely have we been able to find a one-bedroom apartment. What this means is that we usually have anextra bed for guests. Since most of the people in our own families won’t be coming to visit, we have the unique opportunity to offer our extra bed to couchsurfing guests.

After all, what it is exactly that makes a house a home? The people in it, of course! And we love having a house where the whole world literally comes to visit.

Just perfect for couch surfing.

Just perfect for couchsurfing.

Having couchsurfers does a couple of things for us. One, it breaks up the monotony of it just being the two of us and second, it gives someone who needs somewhere to stay a comfortable place to crash for a night or two.

Never done the couchsurfing thing? Here’s the outline.

  • You have an extra spot for someone to crash.
  • You expect no payment and do not charge a penny.
  • You sign up on the www.couchsurfing.org site and fill out a complete bio.
  • You hang your ‘available to host’ sign on the website and wait for people to send you an inquiry.
  • You review their own couch surfing site; read all the reviews people have written about them; send emails back and forth on a secure service and then decide if you want to host or not.
  • If the answer is yes, then send them the info on where you are or at least where to meet to check them out one last time before you let them come to your home.

We have now hosted couchsurfers in a couple of different countries. We have received more inquiries than we could accommodate but we don’t host more than one person at a time. We move around so much that many times we just are not at home when someone needs a place to crash.

Mike and Florence Lince in Europe.

Mike and Florence Lince in Europe.

We’ve had people from the U.S., Canada, Spain, and Austria stay with us in various countries. We have stayed in touch with some of the guests and been featured on each others’ blogs. One couchsurfer has now joined us in two different countries and is looking forward to meeting with us in a third.

Worried about language barriers? Most people who register to couchsurf speak a plethora of languages and English is just one of them. This is a great way to give younger folks a taste of a different culture without doing a full semester hosting obligation. Most couchsurfers stay one or two nights. Some will ask to crash longer but you can keep the obligation to however many days you wish. Veteran couchsurfers have learned to be flexible.

Doing the couchsurfing thing was just something that happened. So far, mostly because we are so careful with weeding out the good from the bad couchsurfers, we’ve had a good time with the folks who have stayed with us.

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