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Tag Archive for 'hitchhiking'

The Couchsurfing culture of party-hosting

With CS getting more mainstream day by day, the culture of hosting might also be changing. Christopher Culver raises this interesting issue on the hitchhiking forum on Couchsurfing. “Does anyone else get the impression that the CS hosting community is becoming less friendly to hitchhikers? I was shocked when two of the hosts I stayed with this summer expressed their disappoval of hitchhiking, considering it ‘freeloading’.”

Chris also puts forward the question: “what experiences have you had as the Couchsurfing hosting community is shifting from a bunch of freespirited wanderers to everyday people with strict schedules and expectations?” And subsequently he concludes: “It feels like we are being forced out of our own community.”

This might be a very valid point. Couchsurfing, Bewelcome or Hospitality Club for that matter, are these still the networks of travelers supporting fellow-travelers? There are still lots of great hosts and travelers around, but somehow – due to the popularity of the network – it is also becoming more and more a network of people that are just looking for entertainment, other people to ‘party’ and get drunk with. Further to that, it does not necessarily has to be a coincidence either that the news-wire of CS has been full with party-events in the past couple of months.

But then again – on the others hand – CS still provides you a pool of lots of different people, which means you just have to be selective in picking the right host. Or like Sanne says in the same forum, “I guess my conclusion is: it’s not bad that ‘normal’ people are hosting, it’s just different. I think it’s a good thing that couchsurfing is turning into a thing for everyone. And yes, that means that you do have to put some more effort in selecting the right host for you.”