OP here - I've used it for the first time last month actually, when I went on a week trip to Georgia (the country). I've had a GREAT experience with it.
I've had three types of interactions, listed by the amount of contact I've had with users:
1) Messaging people just for advice. If you ask nicely you can message a member and ask them for information about where they live ie. is it worth seeing this time of year, where is there to see, where are cheap hostels. I've had lots of people message me recommendations on what to do on my trip and stuff.
2) Messaging people to meet-up. Some people cannot host, but are still willing to meet up. I've met with three people from CS on my trip, I've had them show me around the city, tell me some of its history, take me to quirky little cafes, etc. One time somebody didn't show me anything, but I had a great time regardless because we just shot the shit and talked about traveling.
3) Being hosted. I've had a couple of people (for some reason mainly girls) willing to host me. Some people changed their minds closer to the date of my arrival (though I think they were legit reasons for the most part), but I've had one successful host who was a volunteer from Lithuania that hosted me for 5 nights. I'm sure you would have more luck in a country where Couchsurfing is more popular because the amount of hosts in Georgia was limited.
Pic related, me and one of girls that met up with me and showed me the city
>>1068189 She's cute, did you bang her? Also that bridge kind of sucks and looks like a sanitary pad. Thought Tbilisi in general had a weird vibe. Trying very hard to create all these "European" looking buildings (There's one that's basically a chinese knockoff of the German Parliament). Loved Dry Bridge Market tho
>>1068196 Many Georgians I talked to referred to the Russian invasion some years back as an horrible experience. It really seems to have shapen the national conciousness, even the young people were talking about it, talking about how they had to stay at home, etc. etc. since the Russians got as far as Mtskheta. Did you manage to go to northern Georgia? I loved taking a marshrutka along the Military Highway. Beautiful. (My grand-granddad fought in Georgia in WW2, so I tracing my family's footsteps a little)
Yeah I took the marshutka up to Kazbegi where you have the church on top. Very beautiful indeed. I don't think that's too relevant though, the Russians are in South Ossetia. I wasn't too interested about the whole thing to be honest so I didn't ask much and don't know much other than hearing from some Georgians that the Georgian president (forgot his name) caused the war. I was more interested in the lifestyle of Georgians and current events though there's a cool documentary on the war made by VICE on youtube somewhere.
I backpacked through Europe in 2011 and surfed a few couches throughout. Stayed at this gay couples place for a night, it was alright, had a weird conversation about drugs with one of them, he told me about 'poppers' and how you take them when you're having sex and just about to cum, I mentioned them in some kind of conversation to this grill I was talking to later and she was like "Yeah, gay people take them to stretch their assholes when they're cumming" Wut. They left me a reference but I have a bad habit of dropping off the face of the earth with people, they removed it when I didn't reply to it after a few weeks.
This is me and a random qt I met at Mcdonalds, not through CS
Met up with a girl in Japan through couchsurfing. We spent a decent evening but I had kind of a hard time making conversation. Her replies were all very short-winded, and she barely inquired about anything. To this day I'm not quite sure what the problem was.
>>1068189 I think the case with Georgia is that AirBnB hasn't reach it yet. People in western cities however are likely to ask for money if they have an extra space as rent costs or mortgages have increased so much and find that the little extra they make through AirBnB is a much better proposition for them. In the end they are just as likely to meet people but also pocket some change.
For me AirBnB is a horrible concept because I travel alone and every time I looked up cities I'm visiting to see what the cost is the hostel options were always cheaper. There seem to be some people on /trv/ who always oppose this view, don't know if they use the website to make money or what but I don't see where they're getting these awesome deals on this website. All western cities I've looked at had rooms for $50+ unless you want to go to the asshole parts of the cities and spending more money and time on transport than it's worth. Maybe it's worth it if you travel with someone and share costs but the same applies to hotels/hostels/motels. And if I wanted to interact with locals I would have preferred to do it through couchsurfing instead.
I think CS is going to die soon. Maybe it will still be usable in some parts of the world but people no longer want to give away anything for free any more. The only way it will work if it's a good looking girl asking for guy hosts but they might have some ulterior motives...
I used it recently on a trip to Denmark. Got kicked out after 1 night because the girl hosting me didn't find me attractive. I was just being nice because we were staying at her family's place. Luckily I was hosted by a random couple for the other 3 days I stayed in Denmark.
Fuck Couchsurfing, move to BeWelcome or Trustroots
I used it a lot in the states a few years ago, and for the last year I've been using it abroad. It's always worked well for me. I've had some great experiences with it. Hell, I was straight up homeless for two months and used CS to stay comfortable until the paychecks started coming back (summer job, pay withheld for first month).
Some anons are saying it's dying out, I think a lot of people signed up a few years ago when it was hot, and never signed on again, but the community of people who use it regularly are still there. I only search for people who are active in the past six months, and among those people, it is still a vibrant community. There will always be broke ass travelers, I see no reason for the website to be dying out.
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