Skate across America Day 11: Couch Surfing

Oct. 14, 2010

Total Distance for Trip: approx. 123 miles
Current Location: Philadelphia

We’re still hanging out in Philadelphia, as we were a bit ahead of schedule. I’ve spent the last few days working on setting up some Couch Surfing opportunities in the Baltimore and DC areas. If you don’t know what Couch Surfing is and you fancy traveling, you need to know about it!

Couch Surfing is an online community, somewhat similar to Facebook and other social networks, but it’s purpose is to connect travelers with people who can put them up for while they’re in town. This is more than just a way to get a roof over your head; it’s also the perfect way to get a connection with someone in a city or community prior to arriving.

Usually, when people travel, they arrange their travels in such a way as to spend the most money, make little connection, and go home disappointed. The tourist industry is designed to do one thing: make money! Think of it like the corrals in an amusement park: You follow them in, you experience the attraction, and you leave. What if you could get outside of those corrals? What if you could experience a world that has not been defined by a tourism company? That’s the point of couch surfing: to help people connect, learn, and share a genuine experience with the people in the places they visit.

My motivation for using Couch Surfing is to create real connection with the people I meet as I skate across America. It’s a great way to spread this message of freedom on a very grassroots level, and it lines up with my original vision for the skate. For me, half of the adventure will be in making connections along the way. As I’ve said before, I view people as undiscovered worlds. Imagine how big the world is to me! Sure, I can explore the physical world, but the world of people, connections, and relationships holds infinite possibilities.

Perhaps the next time you travel, you will focus just a little more on the real adventure: the people you meet.


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