Jenny, Our First Couchsurfing Guest

Jenny, Our First Couchsurfing Guest

Couchsufing. What it means, how it works, why the first guest is so special – listen to our podcast and find out.

Voiced by Vivica Williams

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I'm part of a worldwide community of people looking for unusual travel experiences. This community is called Couchsurfing. Maybe you have money for hotels, but you want to meet local people. On the website, you can find places to stay while you are traveling. Or maybe you have a free room or even just a couch in your living room. You could be a Couchsurfing host. Hosts let people who are traveling stay in their homes. The main idea is that you want to meet new people and learn about different cultures. Guests don't pay money. Instead, both the hosts and the guests share their time.
We had a free couch in our apartment. Jenny was our first guest. Most guests tell their hosts when they will arrive. Jenny could only tell us that she would arrive in one or two days. She was hitchhiking from a summer camp in Southern Ukraine to our city, Kyiv. We lived 600 kilometers away.
When Jenny finally arrived, she told us her strange hitchhiking story. She waited a long time, but no cars stopped. After an hour, a police car stopped. The police officer and Jenny did not speak the same language. But he finally understood what she needed. He stopped a truck going to Kyiv and asked the driver to take Jenny to the city. The driver agreed. He dropped her off at the train station. From there, Jenny took a taxi to our apartment.
She was funny and told us lots of stories. We asked her what she was doing in Ukraine. She said she volunteered at an orphanage. She cooked for the workers. They were building a new home for the orphans. Jenny didn't speak Ukrainian. The workers didn't speak English. Jenny cooked and made dishes she hoped the workers liked. The workers ate everything and never complained. Another time, she volunteered at a camel riding school in Austria. That story made us laugh.
Jenny was our first guest, and she was very special.