Network Of Couch Crashers Makes Travel Easy Anywhere
New York Times:
NEIL MEDEL'S Manhattan domicile is certainly homey, but it is by no means spacious. Just 7 feet by 10 feet, with its one window overlooking St. Marks Place, it is a living room in miniature, a mere haiku of a place. Mr. Medel, who is 33 and works for an importing company, sleeps on a loft platform that he shares with 40 pairs of blue jeans that rise in untidy stacks, and blue plastic tubs stuffed with other belongings.
Nonetheless, the Philippine-born Mr. Medel is an eager and generous host at least three days out of seven to like-minded visitors from Los Angeles, Texas, Sweden, Germany and points beyond. Mr. Medel is a couch surfer, as are his guests; he and they find one another through the Couch Surfing Project, at couchsurfing.com, a three-year-old global community built on a MySpace/Facebook model of personal profiles connected through a network of "friends." According to statistics on the site, it has well over 300,000 members from more than 31,000 towns and cities around the world.