By: Carlie McGuire
Leaving London is hard, which is why I still haven’t done it. When the CAPA program is over, they give you a swift kick out of your flat and you are on your own, and for me, that meant being homeless. Not wanting to spend a couple hundred dollars on a hostel over the next few nights, I decided to try couchsurfing.org. I paid 25 USD to join the network, created a profile, and started messaging people immediately. I was lucky enough to have someone respond and offer their home to me, free of charge for the next 4 days. That’s the way couch surfing works, just that cost to join, then the person hosting you is not allowed to ask you for anything. It really is the best thing ever. I’ve spent one night at my host’s flat, and it’s been great. The site connects you to people all over the world, so if you’re travelling alone for a few days and don’t want to shell out money for a hostel, give it a try. But be safe, do your due diligence. I spent a lot of time making sure the site was safe, and did a decent, and justifiable, amount of Facebook stalking of my host before I met him. Also, let as many people know that you’re doing this, tell them about the person you’re staying with, do not do this under the radar. Check in with family and friends often so they don’t worry about you! So far, I’m having a really great experience, but it is always best to proceed with caution. And even though you don’t have to, if your host is really great, offer to buy them a drink or a meal to show your appreciation.