Field of Science

Doing something different for Christmas - Couchsurfing!

Vasya and I are both into traveling... well actually, that's not true. We hate the process of traveling- there's so much waiting and sitting around involved with public transport. But we do love getting to destinations, exploring new places and meeting interesting people. So we're spending Christmas in Italy this year, traveling a bit, meeting up and staying with some people we've never met before. Don't get me wrong, we love going home too and seeing friends and family, but we've been to the UK twice this year already, and Christmas is celebrated in January in Russia, rather than December when we're off work. We'll try to get over to Moscow to see Vasya's parents in 2011 though.

We're both Couchsurfers, which means we host travelers on our couch for free, and surf on other people's couches. It's a fantastic way to meet new, interesting people who are also rather adventurous, like us. Here's my couch surfing profile. A lot of non-couchsufers are freaked out to say the least about staying with and hosting strangers, but as long as you're careful to couch request / host people with lots of recommendations and full profiles, there's really nothing to worry about. It's been nothing but fantastic for us. We've hosted people from all over the world, who have all been super people with wonderful stories. So far we've only surfed once. We stayed with a couple of really great guys in Brooklyn, who we went out to dinner with, gave us advice about what to see and do in NY and who it was just really fun to hang out and chat with.

We will couch surf for the second time next week in Bologna, and we're really looking forward to meeting our host, Inti. He is one amazing adventurer, doing such crazy things as crossing the width of Russia without speaking a word of Russian!

When in Italy, we're also spending some time in Venice and Verona, but staying in hostels there. The festive season isn't the easiest time to find hosts. But that doesn't stop couchsurfers from getting together and having fun. On Christmas Eve in Venice, we're meeting up with lots of other folks from around the world, and going out for pizza!

Well, I guess we should get packing as we leave in the morning! Woohoo!


  1. What fun! Thank you for telling us more. It sounds like a good way to get to know both a country but people too from other parts of the world!!


  2. Yeah, it's been hugely positive. I totally recommend it! Even if you're not surfing or hosting, you can still get involved. Each town usually has its own couch surfing group, and often groups have regular meetings in the pub, or dinner exchanges, or organise outdoor adventures.

    For me as an expat abroad, it's been a great way to meet other foreigners, quite often grad students and post-docs.


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