‘’Hey mate, let’s go on a surf trip!’’ - your best friend tells you during a night filled with booze.
The idea sounds amazing and your level of drunkenness isn’t high enough, so you tell yourself it would be fun and that the simple words ‘’surf trip’’ means three things: perfect waves, athletic surfers or babes for the guys and a house that feels like in the jungle, but that is technically in front of the ocean.
Well, except if you are sponsored or have a lot of money, which we definitely don’t here, or if you can control the weather to score perfect waves, life isn’t that easy while travelling.
Your friend cancelled. You don’t have a place to stay. You go to the country where there are no waves during the summer. And the worst thing is, you are broke. You still want to go because Jack Daniels convinced you to, but still, you are so broke. Mom can’t help you anymore with that. Or you decided to be independent.
This is when you should subscribe to the website Couchsurfing and write a profile that doesn’t say how much obsessed about surfing you are. This is free and this is honestly awesome. I am not paid to tell you this and convinced you, even though I wished, but this is not a brainwash. Couchsurfing is a website for travellers where you can connect with people around the world to eventually meet them and sleep on their couch, comfy or not. It’s quite easy. You write them a request for a specific date, present yourself in a brief way, but of course, funny and charming way, then you wait until you have an answer.
For those that thinks it can be kind of sketchy and scary, especially for girls travelling alone, stop your doubts. I would say you need to be careful, but this is an advice for the whole thing of ‘’travelling’’, not just sleeping in a stranger’s house. First, when you meet the person, if they are weird, like really weird kind of creepy, just leave. You rather be awake the whole night in a 24 hour Starbucks and takes a nap on the beach in the morning just to stay alive. Usually, they are not weird though, because they are travellers like you and me. Or they are weird, but friendly. They wake up in the morning dreaming of Mentawai and they talk about their future trips all the time. They are probably hosting you right now because they are planning a trip somewhere and want to have good references to be hosted by others. At the end, they just want to see the world for cheap with the help of locals, which is like me. And you.
After the introduction part, hang with them. They don’t want to be a place only to sleep, even though it can be that. They will have an excitement to show you around and help you understand all the local stuff, and if it’s for surfing, it’s one of the best things. You could be surprised how many people hosted me simply because I liked too surf. They show you spots, let you borrow boards, make you eat Mexican food after a good surf sesh, they drive thinking about the waves that they almost forget the road itself. This is pure bliss. You will be surprised how better surfing is when you have a friend out in the water and a local showing you the best surf spots.
Then, you sleep there for one night or two, sometimes it may end up longer if they really like you. Surprisingly, I almost always stayed two weeks somewhere because we had too much fun! Don’t plan your trip too much in advance, live in the present. Follow the waves that are life as cheesy it probably sounds to you. Follow the weather to help you decide where you are going to sleep tonight.
Afterwards, if you have a good or bad experience – bad experiences can happen when someone is kind of creepy but nice. Or really creepy, but I wouldn’t wish you that. You go on the website, write them a reference that can be bad or good and they can’t even erase it, so everyone would be able to read it and pick them depending on that. You may never see them again or maybe you found a friend. That’s the whole experience, and I would probably not do that forever as you are supposed to grow up one day and be in expensive hotels or in a house with your family, but I will do that for a while. That’s the whole part of travelling and it’s free, so you can stay longer and tell your friend once you come back that you may not want to go with him to the next surf trip he tells you between two glasses of beers at the end of the night.
You are good by yourself. You are having the time of your life.