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Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

I Opened my door to a new world…Hosting my first Couch Surfer!

June 25th, 2009

Hosted my first Couch Surfer…Love this new world that has been opened up to me!

 

 

Gaurentee...I don't look this cute when I Twitter!

Gaurentee...I don't look this cute when I Twitter!

You’ve Got Mail….Internet connecting perfect strangers has come a long way since 1998, when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan portrayed business enemies that fall in love in cyber space. Meg’s character Kathleen types into space, “Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, not small, but valuable. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.

Lately, I’ve seen Social Media, such as Facebook and Twitter, portrayed as the new means for people attempting to validate their existence. I agree to a certain extent…However, I am deeply grateful to Twitter and Facebook for opening a new world to me!

No secret…I am passionate about traveling. You can image how excited I was when I began to follow travelers on twitter. Not long afterwards, I noticed travelers using CouchSurfing a network many use to save on accommodations and to meet like minded people. The Mission statement: “CouchSurfing seeks to internationally network people and places, create educational exchanges, raise collective consciousness, spread tolerance, and facilitate cultural understanding.” According to their statistics, there are 1,206,768 CouchSurfers across the globe with 232 unique countries involved. There are 284,295 CouchSurfers in the United States alone!

My response, “SIGN ME UP!”

www.CouchSurfing.org

www.CouchSurfing.org

At first I saw CouchSurfing as a way to afford my ultimate dream, traveling across the world on a budget. After exploring the website, I decided to sign up as a host as well, with the assumption that no one would be traveling to Urbana, Ohio. So, when I opened my Gmail account the other day I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had a couch request. That is an understatement: I WAS SO EXCITED! I “GOT MAIL!”

Jason heading off to walk some more...

Jason heading off to walk some more...

My new friend Jason arrived last night and left this morning. He is a young adventurer taking five months to walk across America before finishing his Masters Degree in Journalism. I think my husband was a little concerned. Not about the safety of offering our home to a perfect stranger, but about the wild hair I might get once I hear about his adventure. I confess I thought about it… an adventure by myself walking across this great country sounds appealing!?!? The reality is that this young man is attempting something physically exhausting and at times dangerous, not to mention at times BORING. I know myself too well…too much Tiff time makes me crazy! At any rate, Jason spoke so highly of his experiences with CouchSurfing. He really could not afford to stay in hotels every night and staying with a stranger is safer than sleeping in the woods.

Technology has come a long way in connecting people. When I spend time posting to Twitter, I may be attempting to validate my life as some have explained it. But the reality is I am also making some very cool friends along the way. I may live a small, but valuable life…and I AM brave enough to open my doors to an adventure, whether it be mine or a fellow traveler‘s. I love this new world that has been opened to me!

 

 

 

 

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Traveling abroad…is there a “quick fix” for my wanderlust?

April 23rd, 2009

The options for travel seem to be endless and dreams don’t seem so far off!

 

 

For years I have been dreaming about traveling abroad.  After coming out of an extremely difficult season of my life, it is now time to pursue that dream.  I even sold my car and embraced minimalism in an effort to save money for trips.  Not exactly sure where I want to go or what I want to do while I am there, I went on search for a plan. 

 

I love Twitter!  Twitter has opened the world of real travel to me and has introduced me to numerous bloggers on the subject of travel.  There are blogs that alert me about the deals in the tourism industry.  Although I appreciate the information I have gained, those who are living “outside the box” intrigue me.  I have discovered that there are actually people who have decided to live nomadically, taking their businesses on the road and selling it all to travel full time.  One of my favorite bloggers on this subject is the Soultravelers3.  This family sold it all, moved to Europe and purchased a motor home to live nomadically for the past five years.  I also enjoy Vagabonish and Rolf Potts Vagabonding.  These bloggers have opened my eyes to the possibility of traveling frugally.  I am learning about Hostels and joined Couch Surfing, an organization that links fellow travelers all over the world that open up there homes and offer a couch to crash on.  I have a friend who traveled throughout Germany using Couch Surfing.  How fun is that?  I now understand that travel does not have to be expensive.

 

Still, in the vastness of our world…. where do I start?  My husband and I are about two years away from having the freedom for extended travel.  True to my nature, I want to take off now!  So, I keep watching twitter for inspiration. 

 

I received a Direct Message from @Real_Gap.  They happened to respond to a comment I made about checking out Argentina.  I love Twitter!  Real Gap for Grown Ups opened up another intriguing option.  What about volunteering, learning a skill or even work while living abroad?  I have taken short-term mission trips in the past.  Taking extended time off for “holiday” or taking a career gap seems so foreign to most Americans.  This organization offers opportunity for people to take a career gap, for as little as two weeks and up to a whole year.  I spent the day reading about all their trip options and am excited about possibly going to Costa Rica to learn Spanish, cooking and Latin Dancing.  I could go for two or four weeks and be immersed in their culture.  This could be a “quick fix” for my wanderlust.

 

Do you have wanderlust?  Do you think travel abroad is impossibly expensive?  Is time an obstacle for you?  I would love to open a discussion with fellow travelers…. we can all learn from each other!  The options for travel seem to be endless and dreams don’t seem so far off!

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