Do you like to travel in style or could you sleep in a cave? In the city of Petra, people have been living in caves for thousands of years. One man, named Al-Bedoul, lives in the same cave that’s been owned by his family for hundreds of years. Al-Bedoul welcomes travelers from around the world to stay in his cave for free. He is one of a growing community of couch surfers around the world. Couch surfers stay for free at other couch surfers’ homes when they travel.
Al-Bedoul is an unusual couch surfer. Most couch surfers live in normal traditional houses and apartments. It’s called “couch surfing,” because many of these people don’t have a guest room to offer, but they do have a couch. And that’s fine for a lot of people. What about you? Could you sleep on a stranger’s couch in another country?
Travel is one of the greatest things you can do for your own personal growth, but it can be expensive. Couch surfing is completely free. There is no money changing hands, so it’s becoming more and more popular, especially with young people in their 20s and 30s, who want to travel, but don’t have much money.
And of course, travel can be great for improving your language skill. There are now over 4 million couch surfing hosts in 246 countries, and 70% of them speak English. What a great opportunity to not just be a tourist, but to make real friends with native English speakers. Couchsurfing.com was started by a company in San Francisco. Their mission is to create a global community where people can make “meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter.” What do you think? Would you try couch surfing on your next trip?