My First Experience As A Couch Surfer

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My First Experience As A Couch Surfer

I’ve been around the world quite a bit, but there is one memory that stands out in my mind whenever I think back to my `traveling days’. To make things more affordable while traveling, I joined a website called Couch Surfing. This was like a small community of `couch hosts’ that would allow me to crash on their couch whenever I was in their city. I was absolutely amazed that there were hosts all over the world willing to host me in practically any city that I could imagine. The theory behind the whole thing was just great because I realized that my living expenses were going to shrink dramatically and when I returned to the United States, I’d be able to pass on some goodwill to my fellow couchsurfers as well.

A bit anxious, I arrived at my first couch host, Paolo. I really wasn’t expecting much but a small couch to sleep on. Once I entered his apartment I got the feeling that everything almost seemed too nice. Boy was I surprised to find that this guy lived on the fourth floor of a beautiful building overlooking the sea. Even better yet, he lived alone in a 3 bedroom apartment, so I was able to have my own room and not have to sleep on the couch. Paolo was such a friendly guy that he basically opened his house up to me and told me to act freely. We chatted for a bit on his beautiful balcony, enjoying a nice cold beer. However, it was obvious that he was quite the perfectionist. Everything seemed to be in its perfect order and in its correct place. I made a mental note of this and made sure to be extra clean in his house.

Shortly after chatting with Paolo, another couch surfer arrived. This was an Australian that looked as though he had been traveling for quite some time. Well, if I wasn’t trying to be polite, I’d say that this guy reeked of body odor and looked as though he hadn’t washed his long hair in quite some time. He was the typical traveling hippy, very friendly but not someone that you would want in your bed.

After getting to know each other a bit more, Paolo took us to a popular drinking spot. The night was full of laughing and partying. All the while, the Australian guy continued drinking heavily. He was actually getting to the point where he was ordering himself a pitcher and drinking directly from it. Regardless of his heavy drinking, he appeared fine and was able to walk home with us, talking relatively normal.

We all said our goodnights and went to our beds. Shortly after is when the chaos ensued. I woke up to a tremendous sound of glass crashing. Of course, I ran into the living room to see what was happening. Much to my amazement, I had come to find the Australian guy completely naked, urinating over the balcony. Paolo was right behind me with a look of complete confusion. Apparently, the Australian had rammed completely through the sliding glass door that led to the balcony and had no idea that he had done this. I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. There was glass and blood everywhere. Fortunately, none of his wounds were serious but they certainly looked painful.

Needless to say, the Australian guy left the next morning, very early. I stayed an extra night and helped Paolo to clean the destruction that remained in his living room. I guess that’s part of the couchsurfing experience. You can get both the good and the bad. While most people are great guests, you never really know who you’re inviting into your home. While this situation put a bad taste in my mouth, I still continued to couch surf and even host several great people. I’ve never in my life come across a guest like this again.


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Rich Urban

by Rich Urban

Rich Urban is a prolific product creator and internet marketer. He specializes in the creation of software that solves a need online. He uses a professional website builder to present his projects online. It is important to note that he does not have any background in programming and outsources almost all of his tasks to professionals. This helps him to be more efficient and complete projects that he would otherwise not be able to take on.

21 Responses to “My First Experience As A Couch Surfer”

Wes Snow


a big WOW to that story. I just had my second CouchSurfing experience over the Fall and both were pleasant experiences. I certainly screen who I stay with and those I allow to stay very, very closely before agreeing to “risk” my property and my life to them for a night. Great website…but it certainly has some potential risks as you great story suggests.

Sherry Ott


Wow – I hope that you and Paolo gave him terrible reviews on CS website so other don’t end up with him!
I CS’d for the first time this summer and had great experiences!



I really hope that was posted on his profile as CS really depends on it. I’ve couchsurfed three times and it’s been such an amazing experience.

Emily @Travelated


Wow! I hope that Australian never couch surfed again… though I doubt he remembered what happened!



I’ve a couchsurfer for more than 4 years, and my overall experience is extremely positive.
Yes, you have the chance to have a bad experience, but if you take a look at CS statistics, you’ll find out that negative experiences represent less than the 5% of all the experiences had.
If you take a good look at the profile of the person you’re about to surf with/host by and you’re respectful of cultural differences, the possibilities of being let down decrease … a lot!
If you have a bad experience, you should always give it another try… CS is full of wonderful people, and most likely you’ll have always an awesome time !

Btw: Surfing you save money, yes (although sometimes you end up spending a lot of money in other way, like inviting your host for a nice dinner), but you should focus also in the fact that provides a whole different way of experience a place!



WOW! It’s nice to know there are couch hosts worldwide who are willing to risk their lives and property to travelers who share the same passion.



I would love to hear more couch surfing experiences. I am sure someone has a story as wonderful as this one was weird.

Rich Urban


Sherry Ott – He explained what happened on CS account. The odd thing is that he has plenty of positives..:)

Chris2x – I have several positive stories…it’s just those aren’t as funny to post..:) I absolutely suggest couchsurfing and have met many great people this way.

April Thompson


OMG! I’m glad no one was seriously hurt. This is exactly why it took me SOOOOO long to actually host my first guest. You never know what you are going to get. But all in all CS is a great site and I’ve met some amazing people.



That’s one for the books. Ive never ce across a traveller like that, although I’ve met my fair share of smelly backpackers (even been to that point a few times myself, which I only knew bc a close friend was kind enough to point out.

I’m glad you like surfing, and hope you continue it.

Happy travels.


Michael Hodson


Wow. Simply, wow. Feel sorry for Paolo, but that story is amazing.



Amazing that he wasn’t seriously hurt! The poor host. I wonder if he is turned off couchsurfing now. I don’t think I would be opening my doors again anytime soon after that. But then again at least you were there to remind him that most people are good. That is definitely one for the books.



Hi Rich,
I hope you left bad reviews for this visitor. This for some reason reminds me of European colonialists. 😀 So far I have had an excellent experience through CS but there is always a faint chance of incidents like this. Thanks for the post!

Romita Dey


I just had a TERRIBLE experience with a couch surfer who hosted me and my friend in New Delhi for 5 days. Now, from day one I felt that something was wrong and I advanced my date of departure by 24 hours just because the moment i went inside the house, I knew something was going to happen. Ok so everything was fine for 2-3 days, on the 4th day the host and my friend were drinking and I joined them for some talks….(I did not drink), …it was nothing offensive….but that was the first time I really talked to the host….I was always aloof and formal…I did not feel like even smiling at him although he gave us a separate room and everything…

So now the real story starts…..I left that place on 6th Aug and my friend came to the station to see me off….the host had left in the morning and I did not see him on that day…..I sent him an sms thanking him for everything…

After 3-4 hours I got an sms from the guy stating that I had STOLEN some jewelry from his house and that he had proof !!!!!! I was SO SHOCKED that I actually thought he was JOKING!! I sms-ed him back saying I didnt steal anything and that he should stop accusing me. He replied back saying I was playing games with him!!! He also said he has had such experiences before?? What does that mean??? Couchsurfers have stolen stuff from his house before?? If yes then WHY did he host us???

The real SHOCKER was the next call I got from my friend ! SHE was supporting him ! I asked her whaT PROOF they had and she said nothing….she just told me to return the jewelry. I sent an sms asking the guy to send police to my house if he wants because I have nothing to hide. I M NOT A THIEF !!

As soon as I reached home I saw that there was a missed call from my friend ! I called her back and this time she accused me of stealing her money!! I reminded her that she had stayed with me for like 3 days and she had lost NOTHING ! She told me “I cant hear you” and hung up….I sent her a detailed message saying that she stayed at my house so freaking peacefully and suddenly I turned into a thief as soon as I went to Delhi???

I am goin to file an FIR with the police

I have reported the host to the CS system as well though I dont know whether they will take any action….



WoW..what a story, but I don’t really surprise of this kind of story, i had experienced worse than this before…



a good share, i host some people in home, now i also stay in my last surfer tht i host before. actually, i stay only for couple of days,bt in end,now i’m stayin with her and her sister. i jut like have new family. when she came to my house, just like two stranger and now we are really good friends and sisters



Haha. Typical Aussie.

Cheeky Jaunt – Couchsurfing: Good Times and Bad Times


[…] witnessing a fellow surfer, who also happened to be naked, inebriated and Australian, unknowingly walk though a sliding glass door onto his host’s balcony and proceed to piss off it. Then there’s this business of sexsurfing, a topic extensively covered by Agness of eTramping, […]

Airina Desuyo


What an experience!!! I’m lucky that I didn’t end up in a situation like that. My first couchsurfing experience is very pleasant 🙂 You can read it here:



This just comes to show you that you take your chances with strangers. Couch surfing is a great idea no doubt, but you have to watch out for the traveling nuisance that comes every now and then.

Brian marchese


Couch surfing is not as much dangerous as it is that you might not like your host and then you have to stay in a hotel or meet a new surfer. I was supposed to stay at this guys house SF Bonvivant named Lee because I didn’t agree with his politics he threw me out. He was spouting it off the minute I got there. Then when I gave him a bad review he retaliated. So just beware of who you try to stay with.

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