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Collection of travel stories from Couchsurfing – a global community of travelers, facilitating stays with locals or opening your home to visitors. The book focuses on conveying the atmosphere of countries and cities through the personalities of locals and moments experienced with them. In all, the book includes more than a hundred stories, organized into cycles and grouped chronologically.

Adventure / Action
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Couchsurfing (also couch) — one of the biggest communities of independent travelers. Unites more than 6 million people over 246 countries. Its members offer free homestay during travelling and organize trips together.

Couchsurfer — member of the Couchsurfing community.

Host — a person who offers homestay; to host – to offer a homestay.

Surfer — a person in search of a homestay; to surf – to stay over.


Having finished the first university year in Penza, my hometown in the ass end of nowhere, I spent my summer holidays trying to move to Saint Petersburg. Initially I wanted to leave and become a bartender, though a figure of a military commissar[1] – horny for idle boys to recruit – blew it off. Another way was to transfer to Saint Petersburg State University. Alas, the academic deficiency of 13 subjects was too much to overcome despite my success in the entry exam.

Pretty soon, I had to take a backseat with moving. A quick 5-day visit to Petersburg turned my world picture inside out. I’ve seen the whole world without leaving Russia. Dazzling beauty of streets and yards was a common thing in this world. People travel all over this world: sometimes carrying Dostoevsky’s anguish or Mayakovski’s pep. I fell for anthropology and embraced the spirit of wanderlust into my soul.

Having returned to Penza I spent the rest of the summer quarrelling with father, working as a courier in the tax office and hanging out with strangers. That summer was much better than the previous ones as I was obsessed with computer games, poisonous pubertal virginity, thoughts about teen suicide and fear for the future. Still, that summer was boring, so I was making my plans for the next one.

That’s how I got that idea to go to the States via Work&Travel. Many students knew about it, but few would actually try it out. I saw the goal, not the obstacles. I was able to save money for the first payment by working small jobs, and I was lucky to make it before the ruble collapsed. For the second payment I borrowed money from my mother which I returned to the cent upon the end of the program. It took me half a year to improve my English to look smart enough at the interview in Moscow U.S. Embassy. I even managed to surprise my interviewer by knowing a bunch of hotline numbers by heart.

I had one month left before the trip. Finished the summer session ahead of schedule and was looking forward to having a great time. I didn’t want my Work&Travel to slide into Work&Work, so I planned a trip across the States. Just draw a circle route between the biggest points eastwards and closed it in New York.

The only question was where to live. That’s when I learned about CouchSurfing. Honestly, I can’t really recall how I found it. Most likely it came across in one of those TED videos watched millions of times. I instantly fell in love with an idea of multicultural homestays. I felt vibes of freedom, adventure spirit and desire to discover something new.

The States seemed both familiar and strange piece of land for a Russian. I’ve had no idea of the subtleties of life overseas. What’s important for them, what worries them, what they dream of.

CouchSurfing seemed like a perfect place to get comprehensive answers to such complicated questions.

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Further Recommendations

Annie1712: Von Anfang an hat mich diese Geschichte fasziniert und ich kann nur sagen "Bitte lesen", denn hier passt alles

aduerr46: I enjoyed this story so much, it is so exciting! I need more. Please update soon

marilyn: I loved reading about forger and Addy. They are cute together

marilyn: Mac is so sweet. He needs a strong woman by his side. Eva and him balance one another out. And now.....Miles is here.

Teresa Knapp: Getting better!Still feel like you could have gone into more detail in some areas and I see where you left it open at the end for another one!

marilyn: Rubble is so cute. He is shy and loving but at the same time he is fierce. I am happy he has June now.

Teresa Knapp: Wow! It really moved fast and felt like parts were left out for the reader to decipher but the story line was good!

marilyn: I think this is my favorite so far. When Breaker started to talk to Aurora I just knew this was going to be amazing. And when he spoke in front of his family for the first time in years because of Rubble....omg...I knew it was my favorite. He is amazing. And the girls all have fighting spirits in...

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Tracey K.: Enjoyed, keep writing.

odalisanais87: Really hoping Evie and Dusty work out and that Mandi isn’t pregnant

Sharlene Fielder: Amazing sequel. You tied it up so nicely! Thank you for writing this amazing story. Thank you for sharing your amazing gift of weaving tales with us readers. Cannot wait to read more of your work.

Teresa Villalobos: The 2nd book is amazing! I have new twists and turn and it’s all connected through faint strings. I can’t wait to find out what the results are! I wasn’t shown book 1 but this is wonderfully written

Dyana: Nice story. God bless you Author

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