El fin del sueño del Couchsurfing

I used to say that Couchsurfing was globalization done right, where ideas and exchange mattered more than money or status. When you met someone who said they were a Couchsurfer, that it meant they had a different viewpoint on life, that they knew how to share, and were culturally open minded.

Back in the day, we would test travelers to see if they were worthy of Couchsurfing – if they had the values or mindset to join. Once, I met a friendly Malaysian in Bulgaria, with whom I shared a train ride with. Couchsurfing was so small back then that Noel had never heard of it. But I felt he was an open, warm, giving person, so I told him about Couchsurfing and recommended he join. He did and quickly became an active user, and later, an Ambassador.

That was natural, organic growth, a site which spread through word of mouth, introduced by people who shared the same ideals. If you were meant to be a Couchsurfer, you would find it. If not, it would remain apart, a subculture in a world of diversity. With time, we felt, the larger society would be ready.

The End of a Dream: Couchsurfing’s Fall

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