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Why I Host Strangers

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

I’m all for volunteering but I spent half my life doing it so I’m kind of od’d on it. Hosting through Couchsurfing and other hospitality sites is a kind of volunteering with my time and money but I get more back from it. And I don’t have to negotiate anything with anyone except my guests! 😉

Being travelers and interested in new experiences and cross cultural understanding, we are usually on the same page even as different as they are from me. In fact the more different the better. And the older ones have a perspective the young ones don’t have.

I recently hosted Annarita, 60, an Italian who has been living in France for years and who shared her perspective on the Euro situation just before the election there. And being an observer here for 10 years they are usually interested to hear about an outside view of the political situation here. The rest is up to them.

I usually share my videos of the 2006 uprising. It gives them a bit of a different perspective as they walk around the city among the locals. And of course being an expat I try to introduce them to as many locals as I can even if it’s just someone they can go clubbing with. And I get to follow half of them on FB afterward. I’m still messaging with guests I hosted years ago.



Coincidence In Bangkok!

Friday, December 25th, 2015

I love coincidences!

A couple days ago I was walking on the flyway across Ratchipidisek Rd in Bangkok when I happened to look down to the street far below. I was sure I saw one of my favorite Couchsurfers who I hosted several years ago in Oaxaca while he was bicycling from the U.S. to Venezuela…pulling his little wagon with his sax behind him. From Boston, he has been living in Hanoi where he developed a music program for country children. I have been following him on FB so I came back to my hotel and messaged him. Sure enough! I got the best hug! And company for lunch and the Star Wars movie! The best Christmas present ever!

I’m In My Glory

Monday, November 24th, 2014
This past week, Ivan, my temporary Italian roomie, who has been living in Oaxaca many years but split with his girlfriend and lost his apartment cooked Pasta Bolognaise for me, Angie and her mom. Angie is the sister of Lumina, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Who Do We Trust?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Trust is a double edged sword. It may slay us on the outside. But too much caution may slay us on the inside. Keeping our lens clear is how we know the difference between the two at any one moment. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Facebook Is Not The Problem

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
I love to follow former couchsurfers on Facebook. Paul is one of them. Everyone is complaining about the same thing and it's not Facebook. Facebook is not the problem he says. You are. Paul stayed with me a week in Oaxaca ... [Continue reading this entry]

Sex And Couchsurfing

Monday, September 1st, 2014
A recent discussion in a group on Couchsurfing went like this: A guy: What's lost in all this talk of "open intentions" is: girls do not usually get into situations saying "I'm looking to bang!" There needs to be... plausible deniability. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Adana Turkey

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Map of Mediterranean Coast After Antakya, I took the bus to Adana where I stayed with a lovely couchsurfing host, Gursel, and her daughter Nida in their beautiful high-rise flat. The evening of my arrival we sampled traditional Turkish food in ... [Continue reading this entry]


Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
After the family reunion on Koh Samui I flew back to Bangkok for 3 days while I waited for my flight out and for more last minute dental work. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Couchsurfing in Oaxaca

Thursday, July 21st, 2011
[gallery] The above photos are just a few of the 40 couchsurfers I have hosted over the last couple of years. I retired in 2002 and spent the next 5 years on the road...then chose Oaxaca as a home base. Since ... [Continue reading this entry]

Couchsurfing Zoe

Sunday, March 29th, 2009
I joined with a million members last year while I was traveling in Asia.  Couchsurfing is a world-wide social and cultural program run mostly by volunteers to foster cultural understanding...much like Hospitality Club (which I also belong to) ... [Continue reading this entry]