I’m back! I’m back! I’ve been away for the past couple months because of travel and sheer laziness, but I’m ready for more backroom political deals and motorcycle-crashin’ Steelers. Thanks for keeping it real, friends.
While I was traveling, I got in a bit of a pinch with European labor strikes, airport delays, and Barcelona pickpocketers. It was *not* a fun experience. But during my adventure, I discovered an interesting site that hooks up travellers with natives … via couches. Well, I’ll let the site explain:
Couchsurfing helps you make connections worldwide. You can use the network to meet people and then go and surf other members’ couches! When you surf a couch, you are a guest at someone’s house. They will provide you with some sort of accommodation, a penthouse apartment or maybe a back yard to pitch your tent in. Stays can be as short as a cup of coffee, a night or two, or even a few months or more. When you offer your couch, you have complete control of who visits. The possibilities are endless and completely up to you.
Just for the heck of it, I searched for all available surfers within 20 miles of Pittsburgh, PA … and I found 94 people! There is even a Pittsburgh community. If you have a spare room, a couch, a backyard, time for coffee or cocktails … and want to share the ‘burghlove, then consider signing up. (The site has some extensive information about the safety of couch surfing, including some info for solo women hosts or travellers. No one has to host a traveller or respond to a request if s/he doesn’t want to, and there is a validation system in place to authenticate the identity of participants. Here’s the FAQ for more info.)
Now … for all you out-of-towners reading this … you have no excuse not to visit Pittsburgh. With free accommodation, $1 bottles at the BBT, and 20 cent wings at Fat Head’s … you can have yourself a trip for under $20 bucks. Cheers!
Dont forget free bacon night at the Harris Grill… I’ll say it again.
Mark Stroup says
Welcome back (I say this from 600 miles away). I’ve always believed tourism in Pittsburgh — and in many similar cities — is just as much driven by informal networks of friends and relatives (auntourism) as it is by Holiday Inns, first-day destinations, and Delta Airlines. Three cheers for the couch surfers!
I met many CoushSurfers while I was in Pittsburgh for a conference. It was an awesome experience!
paolo ( http://couchsurfing.com/phauly )