Andrew and I have used the CouchSurfing website many times as we’ve travelled around the world. We’ve stayed with CouchSurfers in Canada, the US, Mexico, Argentina, the Netherlands (Holland), Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, and Belgium, as well as here in New Zealand. Because we’ve always lived in either apartments (Andrew) or a bus or motorhome (Dave), it’s been difficult to reciprocate to the CouchSurfing community (though we did have one couchsufer stay with us in Guadalajara). Now that we have a “real” home (and a sleepout as well, no less!), we are able to welcome couchsurfers into our home here. It’s almost as much fun having people from all over the world stay with us here as it is to visit other people’s homes.
If there’s time (which is most of the time), we like to invite our couchsurfers to play a game Andrew and I love, called Settlers of Catan. This is a very fun game which is won by attaining just ten points. In Settlers of Catan, you get to “harvest” resources from the land, build settlements and cities and roads, establish an army (if you want to, though the army never fights) and do lots of trading. It’s a great game that usually takes about an hour, though the game can run anywhere from 3/4 hour (our fastest game) to a couple hours. Here in New Zealand, it is quite expensive; we got a discounted price of $60 ($48 US) from the Auckland Armageddon Expo last year. Everyone who’s played Settlers of Catan with us has loved the game (or so they say).
We’ve had seven couchsurfers (including a father and daughter) stay with us here so far, from Canada, England, France and Germany (you’ve already met Claudia, who made us Kaiserschmarrn), and we look forward to having more stay with us. It’s especially easy and nice to have a sleepout (detached small “house” with small kitchen, loo, and bedroom), because by staying in it, our couchsurfers can have their privacy. Most of our visitors, though, spend much time with us, either in our kitchen, our lounge, or out on our deck (or in the gardens, of course).
We have enjoyed all of our couchsufers, and we’ve enjoyed playing Settlers of Catan with them, with our house sitters, and with our local friends.