“Tell me why you pretended like you were a robot for about half an hour last night?” – Karesa to Vince
I got really lucky with my first experience couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is staying at people’s homes while traveling and sleeping on their couch for free! Thanks to Danielle’s idea, the three of us girls got to hang out with the most interesting Irishmen that ever lived in Dublin, Connor and Vince. I knew for sure that I would have a blast during the first night of meeting them when Vince pretended to be a robot for about half an hour for no reason. There are plenty of benefits when couchsurfing, and I suggest it to most people who are up for a good time. Check out www.couchsurfing.org for more information. I share with you my reasons why you should.
Benefits of Couchsurfing:
Save some dough – Traveling is not the cheapest, so saving money on anything while traveling is a great idea. Couchsurfing allows you to save money on hotels and hostels by sleeping on somebody’s couch for free! Plus, you probably will have a kitchen to use to save money on restaurants by cooking at home. Or you have a refrigerator to store left-overs from restaurants that you can eat when you get home from a night of partying. This, of course, depends on your host, and if they let you use the kitchen.
Meet some locals – What’s an easier way to meet a local than by staying at their house? Vince and Connor took us to one of their friends 21st birthday party, and we hung out with a lot of locals there. The birthday boy got 21 kisses from his friends after blowing his birthday candles. It was definitely different from a typical 21st birthday party in the United States!
Learn some culture – You could read plenty of books about culture, but you will never learn better than by hearing from the locals. People speak English in Ireland, but did you know that there is a language called Irish? You might have heard of the term “Gaelic,” but in Ireland, they just call it Irish. It is a traditional language that the locals have to learn in school. One of the guys I met at the birthday party said that the language was made to be poetic. We had fun learning a few words at the party! Also, we learned that drunk driving in Ireland is serious. You may get a ticket for drunk driving in the states, but in Ireland, you can lose your job! We walked a couple of blocks to get to the party to save us some hassle. A walk with friends always ends up being more fun that you can imagine!
Find the best shops – Meeting some girls at the party definitely paid off! We found out about Penneys. Great shopping place! It’s like a Forever 21 in Dublin. Affordable and awesome. They have a great selection of clothes, accessories, and shoes! There is also a male section for the guys who want to shop.
Convenient transportation – Depending on your host, you may save some money from riding taxis or trains. Vince and Connor were nice enough to drive us to the Guinness Factory, to the bars, to the restaurants, and to the bus stop for the airport. We got to experience riding in a right-hand drive!
Experience the best restaurants – As soon as they picked us up from our set meeting place the first night in Dublin, they took us to the best place to get fish and chips. We also went to Tenor’s Grill, good food at affordable prices. We also experienced the biggest burger when they took us to Jo’ Burger. Delicious!
International Friends – Couchsurfing gains you friends from all over the world! You stay at their place and they show you around. If they ever want to visit your motherland, you can give back by letting them stay for free on your couch! Stay in touch and if you wanna travel back, they’ll be around to hang out with. So be respectful of their place, and you’ll have international contact all over the globe!
Aside from all of these reasons, the three girls and I had an amazing time in Dublin! Thanks to Connor and Vince. We played Twister and Smash Brothers on our first night. It was refreshing to play video games after a few months of studying abroad. Connor put on his gorilla suit from last year’s Halloween and we had a blast taking pictures. They both decided to shave 70s style mustaches that weekend, too! It was an experience in Dublin that I’ll never forget!
Date of Adventure: November 2009
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Life Experience: Couchsurfing