Couch Surfing and My Hip Dad

My dad got home from a fishing trip today and saw that there was a random car with an out of state license plate in the driveway.  After putting his gear down and giving me a hug he says, “Are those couch surfers or do you know those people?”  I love that this is my dad’s response, and he couldn’t have said it any more nonchalantly, like it didn’t matter that there could be two strangers sleeping in the extra bedroom in his house.

I introduced my dad to Couch Surfing after living a very active CS life in San Diego.  My apartment was always filled with strangers from other parts of the world.  These strangers, or instant friends, became more than just weekend guests.  They became a part of my world, some staying for extra days, weeks, months, and it was beautiful.  I made some very good friends at the time, by hosting and meeting other local hosts, friends that I still talk to and friends that I will stay connected with for the rest of my life.

This is the part of Couch Surfing that I wanted my dad to see.  I wanted him to see that CS is not a community full of freeloaders and people that want to steal your precious stuff.  It’s about being comfortable with yourself, your surroundings, and letting other people into your life.  It’s about opening yourself up to others which is something all of us should practice.

So, after hosting a frisbee world champion, a couple of dudes passing through trying to avoid the busy city, a couple of girls that just wanted to go on a bike ride in the forest, and many friends of friends of friends my dad has become part of the Couch Surfing community without even realizing it.  He is now used to and comfortable with meeting new people, and his generous hospitality has extended beyond the realm of family members.  He has grown to trust his daughter and her judgements (I hope!).  Above all, he has learned the importance of hydration and making new friends.  Much of my happiness and knowledge of the world comes from meeting new people, sharing lives, and sharing homes.

That is the type of thing a person carries with them forever, whether they are on the Couch Surfing website or not.  We learn to share from the moment we come into contact with other human beings.  Remember what they taught us in school, “sharing is caring”.  Thank you dad for being so open, accepting, caring, and way hip.

11.14.12 – Sleeping Powers

Guess who got to sleep until 850am today!  I woke up naturally without an alarm blaring in my ear!  Those of you that have slept in the same room as me know how loud my alarm is.  Those of you that have slept in the room next to me know too.  I am a deep sleeper.  That is something that I love about myself.  I can fall asleep in airports, bus stops, parks, libraries, chairs, cars, or in any bed, floor, or patch of dirt.  I don’t wake up when people walk about the house which is a great quality to have being a couch surfer.  There are of course a couple of exceptions to my wonderful sleeping powers.  I cannot sleep in a hammock.  I had such terrible nights of sleep in a hammock I won’t even lay in one for longer than 20 minutes.  I will say that one good thing came out of my four sleepless nights in a hammock.  That would be my friend Stella.  Let’s just say she was sitting on a picnic table which I passed on my way to the bathroom.  Also, I can’t share a blanket, unless it’s queen or king sized, with some one if I want to sleep without interruption.  I love to snuggle – awww – but usually, in the middle of the night I wake up and grab my own blanket or beloved sheet.  I make a cocoon like a sleeping bag or like a cocoon I guess.

Any travelers out there have the same sleeping abilities?  Or lack of?  What’s the worst, weirdest, or best place you have ever slept?

I will share one of my favorite sleeping places.  My family all gathered at my Aunt Beth’s place in Ohio for a weekend.  The cousins had free reign of the basement.  This is a big basement, but we all decided to sleep in a square formed by two couches, an air mattress, and the television.  I found some space on the floor in the middle of the square surrounded by the people I love.  I slept like a baby.  This is how my cousins and I have slept since we were kids.  We would all huddle together, put on a movie, and pass out before the movie is finished.  It may be a safety/security thing, but I think it goes beyond that.  It’s happiness.  I sleep best when I’m happy.  I always fall asleep while reading books.  That just so happens to be one of my favorite things to do :-)