Couchsurfing: Riding the Continental Swell

The trip: living out of my backpack and traveling across northern Europe alone

Mission: to try the chocolate of every country I visit

Travel itinerary: almost none.

Map? HA.

At the time of writing, I’m having my last supper before spring break in Burgos, Spain, where I’ve spent the past two months. In the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve stopped worrying and learned to love the Castilian Lisp. This small Spanish town two hours north of Madrid has imprinted itself on my mind and it feels a lot a bit like home. But…

Even though its charm doesn’t wear off easily, the enclosure does. And so one sleepless night three weeks ago, I decided to make a profile on, skim a map of Europe and the Middle East, and plan my spring break. I sketched the following plan: couchsurf across northern Europe, taking cheaply booked trains and planes along the mainland.

Oh and one more thing? I’m going it alone.

Paris, Bruges (Belgium), Amsterdam and Utrecht (Holland), and Copenhagen. A day trip to Malmo, Sweden if possible.

In each place, I’ll be staying at the homes of locals who I had been messaging ever since booking my transportation. See, after booking 400 dollars worth of transportation, I realized maybe it was a bit rash to do so without taking lodging into consideration beforehand. So I logged into my account and began messaging countless people begging for them to host me. “Hey (insert name here)! My name is Veronica, I’m a 20 year old Erasmus in Burgos, Spain and I would like to couchsurf with you!” With the insertion of a few polite truisms, a personalized message, I would conclude with saying, “I’ve never traveled by myself, but being scared adds to the adventure, I think. I hope I’ll be able to stay with you and learn from you as I travel.”

After clicking the send button, that was that. All I could do was hope that my goal of spending zero money on lodging would come to fruition. Soon, however, I started getting messages back. A few people said yes, many others said they were busy. And for some of my tourist spots, I had to go back to the drawing board. But as of last week, in Paris I’m staying with students and an opera singer, in Belgium with a local family, students in Amsterdam. And in Copenhagen, with one of my best friends from BU.

About Veronica Glab

Veronica Glab (CAS '11) is the Feministka writer for the Quad. "Feministka" means "feminist" in Veronica Glab's native language, Polish. There are few things Veronica loves more than eating pineapple, taking long walks on the beach, and thinking about Rasputin's beard.

View all posts by Veronica Glab →

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