Monday, May 02, 2011


Over the past few years, I've consistently harped on about how awesome Couchsurfing is. Lately, my interest has been waning, seriously waning.

It lead me to post this in the forum:

The past year-or-so, I've been observing couchsurfing from a bit of a distance. Work over the past two years has posted me in 'unique' locations and I haven't really hosted much.

I digress; I have been a member of Couchsurfing since 2004, before the great crash of 2006 (i was actually traveling at the time of the crash and it inconvenienced me greatly) and have witnessed a transformation of the whole culture of couchsurfing.

In the beginning it was small, still run by two enthusiastic and brilliant people. There was a real buzz to the community. Everybody was willing to help everybody and people really took the time and went out of their way. It was just about the traveling.

The past few years has seen it become something much more than that.

It's not just a portal for travelers to connect and locals to help them.
It has somehow morphed into a gumtree/facebook/dating site like service, but I guess that comes with the increasingly swelling numbers and, unfortunate, bad press.

People are now seeing it as a means-to-an-end for their own personal gains and agendas.

Call me nostalgic, but there was something romantic and pure about the old couchsurfing. The couchsurfing where every would-be-guest would thoroughly read your profile before writing, where a desperate last-minute message would be responded to honestly and quickly, not ignored.
It seems to me, that the truly great people of couchsurfing are disappearing, or maybe rather being engulfed by the influx of people with a different purpose.
It could also be a generational thing. I'm not sure.

Either way, my feelings are pretty clear. Felt the need to put it out there as i fade from the couchsurfing existence.

It was well-received by the older, more 'traditional' couchsurfers, however some of the new, younger surfers, who appear to be only using the site for free accommodation in order to party more, brushed it off with a blase attitude that I used to be quite known for.

Is this me getting old?


catdoggg said...

You're getting OLD!

I'm still surfing and meeting great people... but I am choosing to stay with older people. Since I'm practically elderly myself and not available for anthing other than a drink I haven't experienced the shift you wrote about.

Hey, I need you to email me your current address please.

Jo said...

Yes, that's you getting old.
Which is awesome, because I don't want to be the only one.