After a few years of avoiding it--because the thought of meeting strangers through the internet still creeps me out a bit--I finally joined Couchsurfing. I've had several friends tell me about their great experiences through it, so I've considered it from time to time. Most recently my cousin told me that, through Couchsurfing, she ended up staying with some guy who happened to be in the Italian Airforce or something like that, and on her last day asked if she wanted to go up in a plane--of course she did! Who wouldn't? I want to go up in a plane! It reminds me of that scene in "Pearl Harbor" when Josh Hartnett takes Kate Beckinsale up in the plane.
So anyways, I recently created an account and have since been getting a number of requests. Unfortunately, at the moment, I'm unable to host; however, as I've told most, I'm always happy to meet new people and show people around the City of Angels.
Last week I met up with someone who reached out to me, and it was my first experience through couchsurfing--though it involved no couches…or surfing for that matter. He was visiting from France, so I thought why not? I always love meeting people from different places…especially when they come from one of my favorite cities/countries in the world.
It was funny though, as I left work and was on my way to meet him Tuesday evening, I started to freak out a little. What was I thinking meeting a stranger from the internet without bringing a friend along??? Yes, we were meeting in a public place, and it wasn't like I was meeting him for a date--but he was a stranger from the internet! I don't know…like I said, the concept still creeps me out a bit. I called a couple friends and one of them couldn't make it, but she said she'd text me to check on me in an hour. God bless her. My other friend said he'd come down and meet, but he was somewhere with bad reception so our communication back and forth was slow. As I waited for Frenchie to show up I called another friend who lives a couple hours away just to relieve my nerves a bit. I mean, I had no clue about anything regarding him, other than where he's from, and a couple pictures to give me an idea of what he looks like. I hung up with her to call him just to make sure he wasn't lost. As I was writing his number on my arm, so that I could dial it into Skype, he turned up. He was cute! At that moment my friend who was going to come down to meet me texted and asked if he had showed up yet. I said, "Yes, and he's cute!" To which he replied, that he was not going to come down if I was digging it. I just laughed…perhaps I overreacted a bit when I started freaking out. And of course, true to her word and like a good sister, my other friend texted me an hour later to check on me. I suppose in these situations it's just all about being cautious and smart.
With all that said, it was really fun. We planned to meet up the next evening, and I told him I'd take him to our best ice cream spot--Handel's. This time I invited a couple friends, not out of caution, but just because I didn't want this guy to get bored with just me, and I thought it would be fun for him to meet more people. The next night was his last night, so I wanted to do something fun with him. Thankfully it was Thursday, and there's the Santa Monica Pier has the Twilight Series, which is free concerts on the beach Thursday evenings. So, we met there, rode the ferris wheel, watched the concert, had a late supper, and ran into one of my friends. It was just very sweet--the whole three evenings were just very sweet.
So, there's my first Couchsurfing experience for you…and now I have a new friend in France! When not abused, Couchsurfing is such a wonderful social tool. It just continues to amaze me the global world we live in, that we can travel and experience the world in such a way. What a fun way to make new friends around the world. My travels certainly got a whole lot more fun!
BIG LOVE & HUGS