In 2008 I traveled through Asia by land for nearly 10 months. I spent a great deal of time exploring new places, but mostly I spent a whole lot of time just sitting in buses, trains, bikes, motorbikes, all sorts of transportation. Getting around from one place to another was always a fun challenge but exhausting. It offered a way to meet fellow travelers and get tips and tricks about the places I was seeing. And no tip was more valuable than the best place to stay.
From $1.50/night huts in the 6,000 islands to a three star "luxury" hotel in Delhi, I've slept my way through some interesting places. But the best experiences I always had were staying with expats or locals and really getting a taste of the city.
After foolishly sending my passport to the Indian embassy in Beijing, I found myself unable to book a room in any guest house or hotel. With one week wait to get my passport back, I found myself in a bit of trouble. Luckily, a friend of a friend took me into their home. Not only did I get to see Beijing from the point of view of an expat, I got to do the Beijing version of the running of the bulls!
In Vietnam, staying with Sonja, who was living and working in Ho Chi Minh City, gave me a sneak peek at what day to day life was like for an expat. It was so great, I stayed a month
Now that I've settled down in Brooklyn, I have been trying to get the same feeling and experience of traveling without really going anywhere. Discovering new places I have never been to and revisiting city favorites is not enough. So, what's a way to travel and meet new people without leaving home? Lovlilocals and airbnb!
For the past year, I have hosted over 200 people hailing from 50 countries around the world and loving it! Although I don't get to travel, I get to experience New York from a newcomers perspective. So, if you are one of those people wondering how they can get a the thrill of travel without the expense of it, join lovlilocals and host some travelers through couchsurfing or airbnb. Your life will be changed for the better!