Celinne da CostaCouchsurfinginterviewInterviews

Tips on how to Use Your Social Community to Journey the World


Celinne da Costa posing at a temple
Considered one of my favourite web sites is Couchsurfing. This web site permits you to join with locals overseas and get a spot to remain, a buddy to point out you round, and native info. I bear in mind I used it once I was first touring and stayed at this beautiful residence in Athens. I’ve grown to find it irresistible much more since they’ve a “who’s close by” function on their app, which I closely utilized in France final 12 months.

Celinne, alternatively, created – and used – her personal private social community. She traveled the world solely staying with mates and mates of mates. She reached out on the net and located strangers will to open their residence to her. Not solely did this assist her decrease her journey prices, it allowed her to satisfy great, fascinating, and sort hearted folks. To me, journey is in regards to the human connections we make – and he or she discovered a option to make some nice ones. Right here’s her sharing her story, what impressed to do that, and what she discovered alongside the way in which.

Nomadic Matt: Inform us about your self. Who’re you? What drives you?
Celinne da Costa: My love story with journey dates way back to I can bear in mind: I used to be born within the coronary heart of Rome, Italy, to an immigrant Brazilian mom and a German-raised Italian father. Since leaving Italy, I’ve gone from residing within the quintessential suburbia neighborhoods that American goals are made from, to frenziedly exploring Philadelphia whereas balancing my research at College of Pennsylvania, to adventuring my method by means of each nook and cranny of New York City. Final 12 months, I left behind my company promoting job within the metropolis to design my dream life from scratch. I started with a journey all over the world, through which I harnessed the ability of human connection and kindness to stick with 70+ strangers in 17 nations throughout 4 continents.

Eighteen months later, I’m nonetheless touring full-time and writing a guide about my expertise circumnavigating the globe by couchsurfing by means of my social community.

What fuels your ardour for journey?
Journey accelerates my private development and challenges me to change into the perfect model of myself. There are such a lot of stunning locations on the earth, however after some time, they start to mix into each other. What really makes journey beneficial is the teachings it may well educate you, if you’re prepared to be current and take note of your atmosphere.

Journey has helped me develop the humility and goodwill to study from those that I meet alongside the way in which. It has pushed me to know my insignificance on this planet, but nonetheless take actions that can positively affect others. Most significantly, it has challenged me to open my coronary heart to others and stay within the second. In the end, journey shouldn’t be a matter of what I see, however who I change into alongside the way in which. I don’t have to see your entire world. I simply wish to really feel it run by means of my veins.

Inform us about this lengthy journey you had been simply on. How did you consider it? How lengthy did it final? The place did you go? What did you do?
I didn’t wish to simply give up my company 9-5 job on a whim and journey the world and not using a plan. I needed to make travel into a lifestyle, not a sabbatical, so I made a decision to design a mission that might 1. incorporate my major passions (journey, writing, and making connections with fascinating people) and a pair of. create alternatives for a life-style change as soon as I used to be accomplished. I challenged myself to design my dream life, try and stay it out for six months and re-evaluate as soon as I received there.

That’s the place the thought of my social experiment got here from: I circumnavigated the globe by couchsurfing by means of my community. I needed to reincorporate actual human connection again into my life. I by no means used the Couchsurfing website since everybody who hosted me was related to me by some means (mates, mates of mates, folks I met on the highway).

I ended up being on the highway for 9 months for this mission, and having 73 hosts in 17 nations throughout four continents: I handed by means of Europe, the Center East, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and the US.

Celinne da Costa skydiving in New Zealand

How did you truly discover hosts to host you? How far forward do you know the place you had been going to sleep? 
There have been no web sites concerned! Solely sheer human connection. All of the interactions had been initiated by me and had been enabled by my telephone (texting, voice notes, calling) and social media (largely Instagram and Fb).

I reached out to everybody I knew telling them about my mission and asking whether or not they knew somebody they may join me with. I stored shifting from one connection to the following till I discovered somebody prepared to host me. As my mission grew and other people began discovering out about it, hosts began to succeed in out to me by means of Instagram.

I solely had a one-way ticket to Italy (the place I’m initially from) booked – every little thing else was on the whim. I had a basic trajectory of the place I used to be going, and I might add or subtract locations relying on my internet hosting state of affairs. There have been locations I needed to go to it doesn’t matter what, so there have been typically instances once I was right down to the wire and didn’t discover a host till tremendous final minute. Different instances, I had hosts lined up months forward. It at all times labored out – I used to be solely left and not using a host as soon as, in Dubrovnik, Croatia. I ended up renting an inexpensive room final minute, however fortunately, I did make some native mates on that journey so I’ll have a spot to remain if I return!

What was the furthest reference to a number that you just stayed with? How did that occur?
My furthest connection was seven levels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was: my mother’s buddy’s girlfriend’s consumer’s consumer’s co-worker’s buddy. It was loopy the way it occurred. I stored struggling to discover a place, and every particular person would move me alongside to another person they knew till ultimately, somebody was out there and prepared to host. This occurred a number of instances throughout my travels – I additionally had loads of five- and six-degree connections. I used to be stunned by how devoted folks had been to discovering me a spot to remain.

Did you ever meet somebody on the highway and stick with them? Or did you strictly stick with mates of mates?
Sure, on a regular basis! There was by no means a degree once I had all my hosts lined up – I often had my subsequent couple of locations deliberate, and every little thing else up within the air. I used to be consistently assembly and befriending vacationers on the highway, and upon listening to about my mission, a overwhelming majority would supply to host me with out me even asking.

Celinne da Costa posing with some locals

For instance, I met an older gentleman for all of 30 minutes as I used to be leaving a meditation retreat in Nepal (which, humorous sufficient, was additionally a part of my mission: my Kathmandu’s cousin labored so I used to be his visitor). Regardless of understanding me so briefly, he provided to host me in Tasmania. I ended up visiting his and his spouse’s farm (situated in the course of nowhere) six months later with one other host, and it was wonderful. 4 full strangers ended up spending a whole night sharing tales about our travels and philosophies on life over a feast of freshly caught crayfish and greens picked from their backyard.

Inform us a couple of host tales that fully stunned you if you had been on the highway.
If there may be something I discovered from assembly a whole bunch of individuals throughout my travels, it’s that there’s a lot greater than we might ever fathom happening beneath the floor of a human being. It’s our nature to categorize issues. With folks, it tends to be by tradition, race, geography, faith, and so forth. When you make an lively effort to place these classes apart, sit down with locals, and exhibit some fundamental curiosity of their lives and tales, you’ll discover that every particular person is their very own universe. In actual fact, essentially the most unbelievable nuggets of knowledge I’ve gotten got here from individuals who didn’t even notice their very own brilliance.

Considered one of my favourite encounters was with Maung, an older gentleman that I met who was a lodge supervisor in Myanmar. After some dialog, I discovered he smuggled cows to Thailand for a residing when he was youthful, and was a commander within the guerilla preventing motion towards the oppressive regime alongside a monk who later grew to become well-known for his humanitarian efforts in the direction of orphaned kids. What a narrative!

Then, there may be Adam, the Italian-American host I fell head-over-heels in love with (spoiler: we broke up). We grew up lower than an hour away from one another within the US but I discovered him whereas he was residing in Australia.

Lastly, I’ll always remember asking my host Anna in Bali whether or not she knew of a non secular healer and her telling me that she lived with one. That week, I spent most of my evenings sitting on their porch in an Ubud village, discussing the that means of affection and happiness as they proceeded to highschool me on life with their clever Balinese philosophy.

What challenges did you’ve got couchsurfing all over the world? How did you take care of them?
I might by no means predict the consolation or location comfort of my lodging, so I actually needed to learn to go with the flow and never set any expectations. I’ve stayed in penthouses with my very own non-public room, rest room, and maid, and I’ve additionally stayed in cots on the ground of a village with a gap for a bathroom. It’s humorous as a result of a few of my most “uncomfortable” internet hosting lodging ended up being my richest and finest experiences, and vice versa.

Celinne da Costa and one of her hosts

Additionally, “studying” my hosts was a problem. Their causes for internet hosting me had been so totally different: some needed to pay it ahead, others needed to actively present me their metropolis and decide my mind, others had been solely providing a spot to remain however didn’t essentially wish to socialize. I needed to sharpen my folks abilities so I might keep respectful and intuitive to folks’s boundaries (or lack thereof).

What are your suggestions for people who find themselves impressed by your story and wish to do that on their very own? What are some nice assets you recommend to make use of?
Establish what you might be obsessed with, and attempt to construct your travels round what works for you. My mission was profitable as a result of I tapped into my strengths and passions. When you’d prefer to create a mission round your travels, I recommend you customise it round your preferences: if you’re an introvert and hate speaking to folks, for instance, spending hours a day chatting with folks and asking them to host you might not be the perfect concept. Make your journey enjoyable by catering to what you realistically really feel comfy and completely happy doing, and be sure you do some planning forward of time.

My finest useful resource was fellow vacationers who had additionally accomplished round-the-world trips. After I was eager about doing this journey, I reached out to full-time vacationers on Instagram, requested mates in the event that they knew individuals who went on lengthy journey journeys, and did lots of “weblog browsing.” I had so many Skype calls with strangers who had simply completed round-the-world journeys earlier than I left for my very own. Speaking by means of my doubts, fears, and confusions – and being reassured that I might be okay – made me a lot extra comfy with leaving.

Particularly, my journey was impressed by one in all my mentors Leon Logothetis, who’s the creator of guide (and now TV present) The Kindness Diaries. He traveled the world on a yellow bike counting on folks to supply him fuel, meals, or shelter, to show to himself and to others that humanity was type. Different books I additionally learn that ready me for the journey had been Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton, and A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle.


Celinne da Costa and two of her male hosts

How do you make your cash final on the highway? What are a few of your finest suggestions?
My prime suggestions for folks making an attempt to make it work financially on the highway:

  • Know your weaknesses, and plan for them. I’m horrible at numbers and by no means budgeted earlier than, however I knew I must if I needed to make this work financially. I created an excel sheet and for the previous 18 months, have been documenting and categorizing each single expense so I can monitor the place I would like to chop down if obligatory. I additionally knew I’d go loopy if I didn’t often deal with myself to one thing I preferred however wasn’t obligatory, so I gave myself a month-to-month “frivolous stuff” allowance.
  • At all times bear in mind you could barter or negotiate. Touring and negotiating on the highway taught me that forex shouldn’t be solely financial – it’s social as nicely. I didn’t have ample funds, however I did have a skillset: I’m a model strategist by commerce, in addition to a author, social media influencer, and content material creator. When negotiating with didn’t get me anyplace, I might supply my companies in change for items or companies of comparable perceived worth. In lots of areas of the world, folks reply favorably to a favor change. If advertising isn’t your skillset, that’s completely okay too! I’ve seen folks barter all types of abilities for experiences of locations to remain: for instance, exchanging farm work or teaching English for room and board, serving to a small enterprise with coding a web site in change without cost excursions, and so forth. The chances are infinite!
  • Embrace the minimalist way of life. After I’m on the highway, I stay a really minimalist way of life. I solely journey with a carry-on to maintain my belongings to a minimal, I hardly purchase souvenirs or garments, I stroll or take public transportation at any time when attainable, and I purchase most of my meals on the grocery retailer. I usually don’t pay for tradition and history-related actions or excursions; I e-mail locations forward of time, inform them about my mission and that I’m a author (along with having my very own social media following, I additionally write for some main publications… each which I achieved by creating this social experiment). Since I stick with locals, I don’t pay for lodging, which helps tremendously.

Have been your loved ones and mates supportive of your touring journey?

Surprisingly, sure. I used to be initially nervous to tell my family and friends about my plan to quit my job to travel around the world by sleeping in random folks’s properties – I actually anticipated them to attempt to speak me out of it. Though a handful of them did, the overwhelming majority had a response alongside the strains of “Sure! You might want to do that!”

I used to be overwhelmed by the assist, how a lot they believed in me, and the way they supported me alongside the way in which, emotionally in addition to by connecting me to potential hosts. I couldn’t have made it with out them!

Celinne da Costa and a new friend

What’s in your bucket listing?
Oof, am I allowed to say each nation on the earth? If needed to slim down to 5 locations that I’m itching to see, they’re: Peru, Bolvia, Antarctica, Japan, and the Philippines. Now I simply want to search out hosts there!


Do you’ve got any recommendation for those that really feel like Couchsurfing is one thing harmful that they may by no means do?
Sure! The primary rule might be the toughest to internalize: you must belief folks. We stay in a world that’s consistently inundating us with information of what horrible people we’re, however that’s not the case in any respect. I discovered all around the world that most individuals are good, and wish to assist. I’ve sufficient tales about individuals who went out of their method in kindness for me to fill a guide (and that’s why I’m writing one!).

In fact, there are exceptions, and that’s the place my second piece of recommendation is available in: belief your instinct. Western society significantly values thoughts over coronary heart, and that’s one thing I discovered to query throughout my time in Southeast Asia. It’s vital to make use of rationality and logic when shifting by means of life, however there’s something about instinct that simply can’t be quantified. Take heed to what your intestine tells you – if one thing is off, take away your self from the state of affairs, no questions requested.

Total, I’ve surfed over 100 couches previously couple of years and I’ve solely had one dangerous expertise which I rapidly eliminated myself from earlier than it escalated. Statistically, that’s a 1% weirdo fee. Imagine that individuals are good, and that’s the world that can manifest for you!

Celinne da Costa left behind her company promoting job within the metropolis to design her dream life from scratch. She started with a journey all over the world, through which she harnessed the ability of human connection and kindness to stick with 70+ strangers in 17 nations throughout 4 continents. Observe her journey at The Nomad’s Oasis in addition to Instagram and Facebook or decide up her guide of brief tales, The Art of Being Human

Develop into the Subsequent Success Story

Considered one of my favourite elements about this job is listening to folks’s journey tales. They encourage me, however extra importantly, in addition they encourage you. I journey a sure method however there are a lot of methods to fund your journeys and journey the world. I hope these tales present you that there’s multiple option to journey and that it’s inside your grasp to succeed in your journey targets. Listed here are extra examples of people that overcame obstacles and made their journey goals a actuality:

P.S. – I’m having a meet up on January 23rd in Queenstown. You’ll be able to signal for that by clicking here! Come be part of the enjoyable! Location TBD!

The publish How to Use Your Social Network to Travel the World appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

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