When I first began planning my travels and booking accommodation, my number one priority was privacy. No thank you to sleeping in the same dorm room as ten other people (remember my personality test about being happy with dying alone?). Then after looking at the cost of private rooms everywhere and weeping, I realised that privacy costs. A lot. So I went right for the opposite extreme.
For those who don't know, Couchsurfing can be described in two ways.
1) You connect online with kind people who are willing to host you in their home for free.
2) A free delivery service for serial killers.
I signed up and was immediately accepted by two nice fellows in Long Beach for the first leg of my travels. Given that I had no references it was either very kind of them or very suspicious. I chose to believe the former and happily confirmed my stay.
When I finally arrived very sweaty and exhausted, I met my hosts Dustin and Ryan. Dustin works at Sony Pictures and has had his identity stolen multiple times as a result of the Sony hacks. Ryan works as a delivery driver, delivering medicinal m...edicine to people 'in need'. If you are my mum and you don't know what that means, good.
I was walked back to the garage where I would be sleeping (not a good start). Turns out it was the coolest garage I've ever seen. It had a big bed, couch, and air mattress (there were two other surfing parties arriving around the same time) as well as a tv, chairs, table, guitar, and anything you would need to just relax and not do anything all day. I saw an old school copy of Treasure Island on the table and opened it to find that it was hollowed out. Spoiler Alert: The treasure was weed.
Two girls, Manny and Fanny (not a joke), from France arrived shortly after and we all got together to have a beer, pizza, and a game of Cards Against Humanity. The next morning we all woke up after noon like true adventurers and went into the kitchen to find that Ryan had cooked us a fantastic breakfast.
This sort of great hospitality continued right up until my final night there when I unfortunately fell in love.
He was a friend of our hosts and had come over to hang out and have a drink. I had told everyone that I was going to have an early night because I had an early train to catch the next morning. Ryan said that was totally fine but I had to make sure I heard Jason (the friend) sing a song and play guitar before I slept. I resisted the urge to request Wonderwall and instead asked if he knew Wild World by Cat Stevens. He said sure he did (ten points for Jason). So he got out his guitar, tucked his hair behind his ear and...my god he played and sang so beautifully I damn near cried (marry me now please).
Two hours later and he and Ryan were singing Don't Dream it's Over, my tenth song request of the night. Because the garage also served as the lounge, I fell asleep on the air bed as the others continued to play music and chat.
Falling asleep as a beautiful man unintentionally serenades you? Yes please.
Knowing that same beautiful man definitely saw you drooling in your sleep and mouth-snoring? No thanks.
Momentarily falling in love with someone but then not making an effort to talk to him properly or even find out his last name for future stalking? I don't have an answer that's just what happened.
The next morning I slept through my alarm, had to run to catch the train, and ended up getting an allergic reaction as a result. While my face was slowly inflating I remembered I had left a single sock back at the house.
Just call me