Going into Couchsurfing Karma Debt
Throughout the past five years, I have stayed with Couchsurfers a lot, over 30 times. People have treated me so kindly by welcoming me into their homes, giving me a safe (and often luxurious) place to stay, and oftentimes feeding me and playing the part of a tour guide. It has been fantastic. Regrettably, I have not had the chance to host many people. The reasons range anywhere from living in a place where Couchsurfers rarely visit to the situation of living with others who are not okay with the Couchsurfing concept. Because of that, I’ve only hosted about 8 times. 30 to 8 is not a good ratio.
With good luck, Granada happens to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nicaragua. The majority of all tourists who come to Nicaragua will pass through Granada at some point. To add to that, there are not that many Couchsurfers hosting in Granada. Put these two things together along with my long list of Couchsurfing references, and I am receiving 5 requests per week from travelers. It’s time to repay my Couchsurfing karma debt.
The Couchsurfing Karma Debt Snowball
In just over 3 weeks living here in Granada, I have hosted 5 different times. An American, a Canadian, some Germans, and a Dutch. Living in a comfortable house here, I am very happy to have the chance to host travelers and give them a nice place to stay. I love to cook for them, make them fresh fruit smoothies, and help make them feel at home. I know what it’s like to backpack long-term, and I know how refreshing it can be to get away from the packed hostels and to have a relaxing place to stay.
I love exchanging stories, talking about different cultures, learning how to cook new foods, and just generally learning from them. When talking about the concept of Couchsurfing, it always seems like host gives so much and the surfer just takes. I don’t feel that way at all. I’ve gained just as much (if not more) than the surfers have. Sure, I allow them to stay at my place for free. But the moments that we share, the friendships that are created, the cultural exchanges, that’s what it’s all about. When I look back over the past three weeks, letting travelers stay at my house for free is such a small, minuscule part of it. It’s really so much more than that, and that’s why I am still Couchsurfing after five years.