Lately I have been rekindling and cultivating an enthusiasm for couchsurfing.com My experience with couchsurfing is that it is the antithesis of airbnb. I had an amazingly bad experience at my one airbnb site. Well, it wasn't that bad. It could have been much worse. I was in Costa Rica so it really was a worthwhile bad experience. The host depended on tourists for his whole income and seemed super burnt out on us. I reviewed him highly though I found him horrible because I felt sorry for him and because I had sat on a flimsy chair in my room and it had broken and I hadn't tried anything to mend the situation. So I was in the wrong. But he responded with a terrible one star review siting the chair, which really should have been sturdier! It was the only chair and I didn't feel comfortable using the main part of his house, though it was on limits, because he was irate and rude the whole time!!! (This is not you average Tico or Costa Rican native. They mostly are incredibly kind, polite, and friendly!) I feel bad that he was spread so thin and I did break the chair and not offer to repair or refund for it. And I feel sorry for that.

Anyway, go back in time even more. My first and only time I ever stayed on a formally couchsurfing hook up was entirely different. It was my first time visiting Berea College where I got my degree. I thought it would be a neat thing to stay there the first time as a couchsurfer, and noticed that Erin Finsel happened to have the SENS (sustainability) house up for possible couchsurfers. I was treated with so much love and respect on that trip, welcomed into her group of friends almost at once, and that same strand of friends ended up being my own friends in school. It was incredible.

Those are memories though. In reality I was like a deer in the headlights looking at all these new things and people with bewilderment and over-stimulation. By then I knew that is how I respond to new circumstances. But it was a challenge.

I have always thought of robins as a totem animal and on that trip, I saw a dead one in the SENS parking lot. Robin is also a middle name, one of my two names in the middle. It penetrated my heart so deeply to see the dead robin, but I was glad to be in the company of people who seemed to "get" the deep kinship with the Earth. They probably got it more than I do to be honest.

So having the comfort of a good night's sleep allowed me the ability to have a good stay in Berea, Kentucky, and that visit ultimately transformed my life because graduating college was the best thing I have done so far.

I remember eating breakfast at BCand T. My favorite biscuit with egg and cheese and sausage. I am positive it was Paul Scott who served me that biscuit. Probably one of my first other Berea friendships.

The people I find on couchsurfing are more of a niche of people that I am likely to like. They open their homes with generosity wanting nothing but comrades, even knowing chairs might break. It is the generosity in the interaction that makes me write this plug for couchsurfing. Plus I really love the niche of people it draws. If you haven't looked into it, I hope you will consider adding an account there. It can be a great way to travel or to feel the life of the big world from the safeness of your home.