I posted my trip to Egypt in the public trips in Couchsurfing about a month before going because… it’s me, I still need to learn how to let go of my control freak self. People usually give themselves a week or two to find a host, and I indeed learned that this timeframe is more than enough. But since this was my first experience with Couchsurfing I think I have an excuse. So I posted my trip at around 1am and when I woke up 9 hours later I had 20 messages! I couldn’t believe how hospitable and welcoming people in Egypt were. Weeks went by and I was hardly keeping up with the messages because there were too many amazing people wanting to either host me or show me around. I received a total of 120 messages that ranged from advice on how to get from Hurghada to Cairo or Alexandria, to how to take care of diarrhea (was that too much info? yeah? ok). Something that really moved me was how important it was to be Colombian. Moral: it’s not you traveling, it’s you flag. It’s really amazing how many people wanted to help me and meet me just because they had met another Colombian and they loved our culture. So, kudos to people from Tolima, Bogota, Cartagena and Medellin, which were some of the cities people mentioned, who made a great impression and left the door opened for others. Getting emotional right here. Anyways, our plans changed quite a bit because of some safety concerns and we decided to spend most of our time in Hurghada, 9 days in total.
Our host, Adel, got in contact with us a few days before the trip and was super open to answer all of my questions. After our long journey in Istanbul we arrived to Hurghada at 4am and decided to go to a hotel since it was too late and we didn’t want to bother Adel. We meet him the day after and he invited us to dinner to a friend’s restaurant (which he happened to have designed). After that day we found the absolute meaning of hospitality. He gave up his bed so we could be more confortable, he cook a delicious dinner for another Couchsurfer and us (recipe coming soon), he hooked us up with a great tourism agency and helped us get local’s prices, he taught us how to negotiate with taxis/cabs, but most importantly, he taught us about his culture and showed us a way to see Hurghada that we would have not seen had we not stayed with him.
This was an amazing way to be introduced to the CS community and have the opportunity to live the city the way locals do. This inspired my family and I to become hosts in Colombia and give something back.
Have you tried Couchsurfing? Let me know what was your best/worst/funniest experience! If you have any questions shoot me an email or leave them in the comments below 🙂
Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I wish I knew…
- You don’t have to post your trip that early. Reasons:
- People are more hospitable than you think and you will find yourself overwhelmed with a large amount of messages and won’t be able to meet all the amazing people you been speaking with.
- It’s hard to keep track of people you’ve spoke with and you might accidentally oversee a message from someone who really wanted to know more about your culture.