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    • thorgalle
      ScoutScribe
      2 months ago

      What a time to read this! I finished the article a here half hour after a Warmshowers guest left my place. We'd had a great day yesterday sharing stories & exploring Helsinki. Warmshowers is similar to Couchsurfing, but intended for bicycle tourists.

      “I think I’ll always be a couchsurfer,” says Roberts, the St. John’s professor. “I don't know if I’ll always use Couchsurfing.com.”

      I was late at the Couchsurfing party, and never really invested in it. Reading this, I see no reason to continue doing something with it. I'd rather try one of the alternatives suggested at the end.

      The concept, and the "pay it forward" mentality will survive the messy company that started it. It's a magical thing. Warmshowers at least has been an immense positive for me, both by being a guest about ~15 times and by hosting tired & grateful cyclists an almost equal number of times.

      PS: I'd love to plug the Welcome To My Garden network, founded by friends in Belgium. Open your garden to slow travellers in tents, if you have one!

    • Florian
      Reading streak
      2 months ago

      Very very fascinating. Bill, we were there for part of this (well, in my case, I was there for almost all of it 😬)

      • thorgalle
        ScoutScribe
        2 months ago

        While reading, I wondered: are you in any of the pictures? 😄 Fascinating indeed. Also which parts of this story had (not) reached me as a CS layman (I only signed up in 2018). The concept and experiences from acquaintances reached me in the early/middle 2010s I think. The cautioning of female surfers was also a thing. But I had heard nothing of the governance circus!

        • Florian
          Reading streak
          2 months ago

          Yeah it was quite the circus. I’ve always been a remote worker so photos with me were a once a year opportunity. It’s probably also how I survived so many mass layoffs... I just kept on working 😅

    • KapteinB
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      2 months ago

      I first heard about this service when I was in college, and had neither a spare couch nor a travel budget. Now that I have both, I've realised I'm much too socially awkward to have strangers sleep on my couch, or to spend a night in the living room of someone I've never even met before.

      There was quite a bit of hype around the "sharing economy" back then, wasn't it? We were going to share everything, our homes, our cars, our bikes, anything and everything that we don't use 100% of the time, all using these different websites. Life was going to be so much cheaper, money I guess we'd use to travel to far-away lands to sleep on couches.

      Now it's all gig economy. Why let people who don't own a car use yours for free, when instead you can drive them where they want in exchange for money?