Why I (finally) deleted my Couchsurfing account
So long…farewell….auf wiedersehen…adieu…
Yes, i finally deleted my account.
I joined the site a few years ago, looking for some like-minded travelers. Sharing local experiences, tips and references. I don’t use it much though. When i traveled solo, i mostly use a hostel, not couch surfing with locals. Why?
In my early career day, when i finally be able to earned my own money, traveling was such an impossible thing for me. I can’t even afford my daily expenses. Sometimes still ask for small money from my parent to pay transport from home to work. Yes…i don’t earned much. Then along the way, my career gets better. I earned more and stabile. In a way, i’m able to save some for some traveling goals. That is the reason why i usually planned my travels way ahead. Six months or even a year ahead. Cause each month passed by to the date of travel, i get to save money for each needs. And yes, when i finally do travel, i’d like to have it more convenient. Not luxury, but convenient. Instead of sharing in a dorm room, if i can afford, i would take a small bedroom in a hostel with sharing bathroom. Anyway, you get the point!!
So, when i first joined this site, i use it merely for reference and tips of destination. Where to go? What to see? What to do? And how to blend with locals. Not to find free couch.
I met a few interesting people along the way though. Met some in my hometown, Jakarta. They were visiting the Big Durian for the first time. I get to show them around a bit and take them to ride the public transportation to get the feeling of a big developing capital city. I met few as well during my life in Bali. I didn’t host them though, only managed to meet them for a meal or something. And each one are interesting individuals. Some i met was staying with another host, some stayed in a hostel or hotel. But overall, i know they have money more than i do when i travel. Since they flew miles away….2000 – 3000 miles away to get this beautiful island. Which i’m sure is only a small fraction i spent to go to Siem Reap two years ago 😀
Recently i tried to host. And i got disappointed, to be honest. I believe in some way, i hosted the wrong person. The kind of person who only looking to save a lot of money instead of paying a hostel or guest house in Bali which could cost only about IDR150 to IDR300K per night. To be honest, these people doesn’t even contribute. I don’t mean they need to pay my electricity when they charge their phone or pay the water when they are showering, but a little common courtesy. They didn’t even offer to do anything. Simple stuff like…”hey, can i help you take the trash out?” or “i can wash the dishes for you”. Something like that. Isn’t that part of living with a local? Making their place your home? And trying to lend a hand when possible?
Some just treated the host couch like a hotel room. Go out in the morning, back in the evening after a long day outside sightseeing and directly to shower and to sleep. What the?!!
I just think it is not worth it really. Having to host people, share your space with them while they don’t have a common courtesy at all.
I couchsurfed on my Hongkong trip. I had a great time. Hostels or guest house in Hong Kong is very expensive, but it is not my reason to try couch surfing. I looked for tips at first and a local replied that better i stayed at their place for safety reason. And i was happy with my decision since i got to see the famous hostels building in Hong Kong and it’s looking so dodgy.
My host able to take me around Hong Kong. And i took us to Macau as well for a day trip. Though we share most of the sightseeing expenses, i tried to pay more for my share. Just as a courtesy. I mean, i did bring enough money for my travels. I budgeted everything before i left with some additional miscellaneous. It was my birthday and the host bought me a cake to celebrate, which i find to be the sweetest thing someone has ever done to me. So i took them to a nice afternoon tea in a fancy Macau hotel the next day, as a token of my appreciation, of course. Quid pro quod, kind of thing. It was a great couchsurfing experience.
Other times, i get to arrange a join travel with a couchsurfer. We went to Lembongan Island, just 20 minutes fast boat ride from Bali, and stayed for 2 nights. Yes, we shared everything, with budget style. It was fun as well. Each one contributed the same.
That is why i don’t think hosting is such a great idea. Especially cause i host in Bali, which every single person outside Bali always wants to visit, and making me get a lot of request to host every other day. Such a bull crap!! They need you to host, so they can save money. And i bet they don’t even contribute to the local economy. Cause this one i hosted, she refilled her bottle water from my place and take them for the day. Rrrrrr…..pfffftt 😦
Cause traveling should means sharing as well. Sharing economy, contributing to the growth of local economy in the grand scale. Not only to go from your house to someplace you never been and see stuffs and do things. Ow well…..
And what makes it worst….nowadays many people from the first world country come to the third world country to “travel”, yet ended up begging money of the street…saying they need money to get home. WTF?? We can’t even visit your country and you’re asking us to pay you to go home? You gotta be kidding me!!