Security in the Internet

I recently created a couchsurfing account.  The concept of having a network of strangers to share housing is quite foreign to American culture (this land is my land!).  I think it’s a great use of the internet, leveraging its strength in networking.

Probably the first thought of using is for having a place to stay when you travel.  I’ve now done this once.  However, I really enjoy hosting people in my apartment.  Hosting is a sort of way of traveling vicariously for me.

Hosting strangers also transitions my normal (boring) week night into a more interesting social scene.  I can’t say I’ve learned anything profound through couchsurfing, but it seems to bring about adventurous, down to earth people.

Here are two pictures from my couchsurfing stay in Palm Springs.  The room we stayed in is a casita: literally meaning a little house in Spanish.  Without a question, I would rather couchsurf at this location than stay in an isolated hotel room.

In our host's backyard, overlooking the San Jacinto Peak during a fall sunset.

Our bed for the night in the casita.


In addition to the location, we had great conversations with our hosts.  One was yoga instructor really into the law of attraction and positive thinking.  The other is an economist for a Spanish speaking television station in Palm Springs, where he puts “everything in terms of how many tacos one can buy.”

I concede that up until now I have presented a convincing story advocating couchsurfing.  What lacks is the backstory that my contact is a Palm Spring’s all male, clothing optional, yoga instructor.  Sometimes you need to take a risk though.

I think it’s a low risk to take because of the accountability on the site.  You can rate your past experiences . . . one bad rating and I don’t know how much longer you would be able to use the medium.

For anyone looking to surf, it’s generally expected that you bring something in exchange for the place to stay.  I cooked dinner for our hosts in Palm Springs.  People will often bring a bottle of wine, beer, or something as a token of exchange.


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