For those of you who haven’t heard, CouchSurfing.org is a website/movement (that’s right, I called it a movement) where you can find people who will let you stay in their home for free.
Yup, true story.
In reality, it’s a little more complicated than that. Think Facebook meets Hostelworld. But CouchSurfing is not just about finding a “free” place to stay. Instead, CouchSurfing offers an incredibly valuable experience that all world travelers long for: the chance to get to know a local.
My host Diana was absolutely amazing. She met me at the Montevideo bus station, thus avoiding one of the biggest downers of arriving a new city, the ol’ where-the-hell-am-I while I juggle my priceless travel documents. Off to a good start, Diana then led me around Montevideo’s amazing waterfront, armed with a health portion of yerba mate.
In the evening I tagged along for a birthday party where I sampled my first homemade chorizo. The chef eagerly shared photos of the source i.e. the cow’s severed head as well as the chorizo making process. He was understandably proud and I was understandably impressed.
Next, it was time to listen to some really good guitar players, which if you don’t know, is one of my favorite things to do in the world. Music is a collective creative effort but as usual, I failed to impress anyone with my singing abilities. (Why do we cut music programs in public schools? WHY?!)
Sunday it was off to Diana’s hometown of Colonia for more meat eating, beach walking and touring the city in moto before watching the sunset over a South American reggae competition.
This was way more than I had planned for my entire vacation and I was pleased to start my vacation off right thanks to the my great CouchSurfing host.
Oh it’s a wonderful life.