The first Couchsurfing post drew a bit of reaction and calls for a follow-up so here it is. 🙂
Ok, guys, be prepared, I’m about to expose my top secret location! I’m from The Philippines – the unofficial doormat of Asia whether you’re an American traveler or a typhoon. Our guest was a twenty-something guy who was looking forward to four months in Asia in hopes of experiencing what the land and culture could offer. He’s from Southern California and he’s very interested in extreme sports and the great outdoors. Since he’s already seen a good deal of what the capital city could offer, we thought it was time to take him up North – the cooler and more mountainous part of the country . Though I couldn’t really come with them due to school, a close friend of mine who also needed to go to a major city in that area.
We were in close correspondence the entire time through our mobile phones and even if a lot about the trip was planned down pat, it was still impossible to foresee certain events.
Beware the things you take for granted.
If you’re a local of a particular city, town or country, it’s easy to dismiss little wonders that could prove to me amazing to other people. For instance, a drive around a vast field of hilly countryside could already be breath-taking for someone from a highly urbanized area. For our guest, a view of an old mining installation was enough to draw gasps. It’s not much a draw from the locals, but for this particular guy, it was enough to inspire him to just sit on a rock and absorb the scenery.
Backpacking is still about independence.
Though couchsurfing does make the whole idea of being in a strange, alien place a bit less stressful, in the end, it still shouldn’t be similar to being in a guided tour. Let your guest experience the place with you just looking on. A few tips could do him good. If he could figure things by himself, it’s more likely that he’ll take home something more tangible from the trip.