I’ve been an active member of Couchsurfing since 2012 and so far I am beyond grateful to encounter and interact with many wonderful people along the way. This week we hosted two German travelers, Johannes and Astrid, through Couchsurfing platform (yess.. we’re now hosting again after more than a year off). They have been traveling by bike for fourteen months now, started from Armenia through Iran, some ex Soviet countries, Mongolia, China, India and Southeast Asian countries.
Yes, my trip to Prague, Czech, last November would not be the same without Veronika. I knew her through Couchsurfing, a platform for travelers to do hospitality exchange. It is always nice to have such experience, meet and or stay with a stranger and share a lot of stories and experiences. It was my second time staying at a Couchsurfer’s house. Previously I did it in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and the host – a couple with two kids – will always be a family for me.
That morning I stood up in front of one of many flats in Prague. I was not alone. I traveled to Prague from Budapest with my friend Kiki, who at that time was doing staff exchange at Corvinus University, Budapest. Based on the address given by Veronika, I was sure that it was where she lives. She actually kindly offered to pick us up at the bus terminal although our bus arrived at 6.45 in the morning. You know, it was autumn already and the sun had not risen yet. Plus, it was Saturday! Most of people would prefer to stay sleeping instead. So, I must say it was very kind of her. Unfortunately we were waiting at different places so after a few minutes there without seeing us, she left the bus terminal.
Kemarin malam saya mampir di blog (tumblr) Couchsurfing dan sampailah saya pada tautan ke akun youtube-nya.
Saya menangis menonton video ini: ‘Couchsurfing through a Silent World: Meeting the International Deaf Community’.
Jenny memenangkan kompetisi video yang diselenggarakan Couchsurfing. Setelah menonton videonya, saya tidak heran akan keputusan dewan juri. Kisah perjalanan Jenny ini dapat lebih membuka mata kita tentang arti sebuah perjalanan. Bukan hanya soal tempat yang dituju, namun sebagai sebuah proses belajar dan terus menumbuhkan rasa peduli akan sesama. Ia juga membuktikan bahwa keterbatasan tidak menjadi penghalang untuk terus mengeksplorasi tempat baru, hal-hal baru, dan tentunya menambah teman dari seluruh penjuru dunia.
Saat traveling, ada banyak opsi tempat menginap. Akan tetapi, hanya dua yang akan saya bahas disini, yaitu hostel dan couchsurfing. Yuk kita bahas satu per satu!