This conduct was done consciously and my safety was a perfect combination between right calculation and luck. Anyway, do you like the title? Made you curious huh? HAHA. Yes, I did that but it wasn’t something naughty or bad as you may think right now.
When I was still in my hometown, I have done a budgeting plan that could support my life for a month. I realized the most expensive cost was the accommodation: meals or places to stay. As I have told you in the previous posts that I have known Couchsurfing for quite a long time yet I never used it until recently. Anyway, did you know Couchsurfing?
Couchsurfing (CS) is a web where travelers can find hosts in certain places for certain period of time. This helps travelers to save more money instead of throwing it away to hotel or even dorms. Of course dorms or hotels offer privacy, silence, cleanliness, hospitality, and many more. But in this case, it depends on what you aim for. If you are going to stay in a certain place for several days and feel like want to save money, or if you like to interact with people, or if you are interested in knowing more everything about local, you can choose CS. On CS, you can read thru hosts’ the personal information, the property, and the references (comments or reviews from another people who have stayed there). CS can be accessed via web or phone app. It seemed to be very convenient and I crazily wanted to try that.
In fact, for me it was so hard to find hosts! I made about 4 requests to some female hosts and they didn’t give me any reply. Then I made another maneuver; requested to guys and hoped that maybe they could let me in (oh yeah this is female’s seducing power lol). I made 3 requests and NO ANSWER again! I wondered why T^T
But I completely understand la. If I were the host and someone with zero reference requested to stay, I might ignore her too. Haha. Eventually on a night prior my flight, I used another technique: scheduled the trip publicly so everyone in the destination area could see any request. Why didn’t I use that since beginning? -.- As expected, no one responded. Minutes before boarding, I used Agoda and found cheap hostel and I told myself ‘Ok la, good price, and maybe I can use CS later’.
When I have landed in Bali, I received a notification from CS. A host offered me to stay!! I was so excited that the app actually worked fine (I thought it wasn’t lol). I read thru the profile and I thought he was a good man. The references came mostly from women and seemed they stayed together with his family and I really wanted to do that too! He gave me his phone number and I called him right away.
He explained the situation that the place he offered me wasn’t the house where the family lived but a single room he rented. I thought hard at that time. I felt scared because there would be only two of us in the same room yet I was so excited to try this crazy idea, something that I haven’t done before! And I agreed to stay there after exploring Kuta and surrounding. He was the one who informed me about CS weekly meeting in Kuta and we met that night. He seemed to be a good and fun host!
After having fun for 2 days in the south, the day finally came! I met Bli Dewa (Bli is how you call older brother in Balinese) in the evening. He was as good as I expected. He even cooked me dinner. We had a very loooooong conversation. We talked about our families, dreams, jobs, things about Bali, we even talked about politics. He was very smart and open-minded. The way he told me about Balinese tradition especially caste and culture in marriage was impressive. He is self-employed and he earns money from developing and designing web. And guess what? He learned it by himself. No educational background!!
Sleeping time came and it was the most awkward moment! Good thing that Bli Dewa had king-sized bed so we didn’t have to sleep close to each other. We were sleeping in the edges and there was about 80cm space in the middle lol!
We parted in the morning because I had to continue my journey to Ubud. It was such a pleasant yet thrilling experience in my life. It was such an honor to witness and receive kindness from a complete stranger, something I want to see in my journey. As I have said in the first paragraph, luck played a big role of this experience. I was so lucky to meet Bli Dewa, he didn’t seduce me, didn’t do anything wrong to me. When we talked, he looked me in the eye, nowhere else. He flirted sometimes but he annoyingly told that it was a joke Lol. Will I do this again the future? Dunno. Perhaps I won’t do it again, because error and bad luck can happen anytime. It’s important to protect myself because I am a woman. Maybe I will try my hardest to find female hosts next time, or at least, stay with the whole family member.
However Couchsurfing is a great app to help you travel like a local. You can share knowledge and anything else. Locals are a good source to help you arrange your trip! Here are steps to use it!
In my case, I didn’t get any respond this way then this is how I did:
After you finish staying at your host’s place, make sure you write a reference honestly. This will help other people to know their possible host more accurately.
Look at my profile, all not verified! There’s no way you could get accepted, you silly girl. lol.
Actually I didn’t realize that, I thought I have made sure my profile taken care well.
See? It’s fun right?? The website and the people are (or should be) safe. So far it’s safe so you don’t have to worry much but I say this again: your safety is the top priority. Calculate well and pray for good luck. However don’t let your fear limit your adventure. Embrace the unknown. Have fun!!