The Absolute Best of What CouchSurfing is and Can Be
Valparaíso (or “Valpo,” as the locals call it), is a crazy place. Chaotic, bohemian, grungy. And our CS stay here is like a microcosm of the city itself, with 3 hosts/inhabitants and SEVEN surfers–a german couple, an Italian, a Brasilian, a French girl, and then me and Brett.
When we first got here, I was feeling quite overwhelmed, unsure of what we should do (turns out: relax) or where we would sleep (turns out: the couch). People who’d been surfing for a while were making dinner, and seemed so at home. I wasn’t sure which would be more rude–assuming that we could eat some of their meal, or going out to eat, even though they were cooking.
Giuseppe’s dad (in Santiago) said that the world is supposed to end May 20th. Even though I don’t believe that, I had a low moment, thinking that I could be potentially spending my last few days on earth traveling somewhat aimlessly, spending money on trifles like food and buses, surrounded by strangers.
Then I remembered that, if I can’t be content and peaceful in the here and now, then life has no meaning for me. So I immersed myself in the present, opened up my heart to our hosts and fellow couch surfers, and had an amazing time. With fajitas.
This is what we call communal living, and it is equal parts chaos and beauty.