Every time I used BeWelcome I've met an amazing person

post for 02 Jan 2011 by Ben

Music for today: Archive - Fool

Crosspost from my story for BeWelcome

Since the BeWelcome / Open CouchSurfing workshop during Project 888 in Paris 2008, I haven't couchsurfed on any of my subsequent travels. And every time I looked for a place to crash on BeWelcome, I have met an amazing person.

I mostly travel by hitchhiking and for the magic of the things that happen when you let go. So just two hours before hitching out from Amsterdam to Istanbul, I got a text message from a Berlin friend offering a free train ticket for Vienna-Budapest. And she even was in Amsterdam, just 10 minutes by bike away! Eventually, after a night spent well at a playground in Vienna, I approached an Internet café, intending to write a few messages to Budapest people, asking them to text me their address in case of a positive reply since I wouldn't be able to check on the Internet. But just as I was about to write the third message, I saw Dalma's reply in my Inbox, even offering to pick me up at the station! We went to a bar with a local CS meeting going on where she left for the bathroom, saying "make yourself some new friends" - and just seconds later I bump into my friend Jeppe! (who as I just realised while writing I first met on BW too!)

Arriving in Istanbul after many adventures, I checked into a hostel and - after recovering from non-stop hitchhiking - went online looking for a new home. I found Isa, whose health problems had stalled cleaning his house - but still he invited me over to his place in the Kurdish Ikitelli neighbourhood. He and the folks from the local mosque made my stay an incredible experience.

Almost one year later, on a short stop in Frankfurt Sanne offered a home to recover from my terrible cold and two interesting nights out. She even mailed some things back to my place when I ran out of time before my flight to Toronto...

... where, after a night of stealth camping, I sent out some messages with my Internet tablet. Pien wasn't able to host me - but she treaded me to an amazing Vietnamese dinner. Not only that, after I returned to Toronto at the end of my trip she invited me to a Vegetarian restaurant. Such a good feeling to return to a place and have someone to meet and tell stories.

Such as the story of Gabrielle and her flatshare, who replied in like twenty minutes: "Hello hello! Well, my friend, your bed will be warm for you when you come."...

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