>The whole point of traveling is to see the world, learn about new cultures, cities and countries and meet new people. How can this goal be achieved when you don’t know anyone in your destination and you rely solely on a guide book?
Granted a guide book can give you insights into the history of a place and certain aspects about traditions and customs, but it doesn’t beat a tour given by a local. Locals are able to show you places that guide books don’t feature; those places that are still untouched by the commercialism of tourism. It is in discovering or being shown “secret” locations that you can truly experience the country for what it is while gaining an insider’s perspective.
Travel today is relatively easy and affordable which means creating a unique experience can be that much harder to do. It seems, however, that there are people in the world who dedicate themselves to making travel a unique experience for everyone. A new way of travel in the form of couch surfing, gives people the opportunity to form a connection to their places of destination by letting members stay on each other’s couches. It is indeed an indication of how interconnected the world really is and how important it is to take part in that connection.
I must admit that I am intrigued by the idea of traveling with free lodging while meeting people from all walks of life and plan on trying it out for myself soon.