i know i've expressed before how INCREDIBLE i think the couchsurfing community is. it saved me in paris, created friends in barcelona, brought on a date and a diagnosis in amsterdam, and showed us a good time in berlin.
these communities of like-minded life lovers are large and exuberant in big european cities. and they're full of cultured fellow-travelers. ever-curious explorers. open-minded optimists. they stick together, meeting every week. and together, their wild energy grows and expands.
my biggest concern about coming back to the states was that i would miss that---the fuel from that community... that i wouldn't be able to find it in smalltown, USA. or even big city, USA, for that matter.
but when i returned to middle-of-nowhere, Ohio, i looked up the local couchsurfing community. there hadn't been activity in months, but i posted on the wall anyway, calling out for a get together.
and i could not believe the response.
almost immediately, several people in the area were thrilled that somebody was reaching out. within a couple days, 10 couchsurfers wanted to get together and exchange ideas... so i had a bonfire at my place. and in that night, i got to know 10 of the coolest (<--major understatement) people i've ever met.
2 german girls, a guy from india, a couple from belgium, and some good 'ol ohioans (one who just returned from living in spain, one who will soon move to costa rica, and 2 of whom are renowned local musicians)! we shared travel stories, discussed adjusting in the midwest, talked about cultural differences, and listened to some unique live music beneath the full moon.
it. was. INVIGORATING. and ohhhh so relieving. to know that there ARE people, like the amazing ones i encountered on my travels, and they're EVERYWHERE.
so this is all to say, if you have an open heart, a curious mind, and an urge to know people on a deeper level, TRY reaching out to your local couchsurfing community---whether you're traveling or working a routine, whether you're in a big city or small community, and whether there's an existing conversation or not---START IT. you just might create fulfilling higher-level connections with some beautiful strangers.
and that is what life is all about ;)