Methods to Use Your Social Community to Journey the World

Celinne da Costa posing at a temple
One among my favourite web sites is Couchsurfing. This web site lets you join with locals overseas and get a spot to remain, a pal 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 adore it much more since they’ve a “who’s close by” characteristic 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 internet and located strangers will to open their residence to her. Not solely did this assist her decrease her journey prices, it allowed her to fulfill fantastic, fascinating, and sort hearted individuals. To me, journey is in regards to the human connections we make – and she or he discovered a technique to make some nice ones. Right here’s her sharing her story, what impressed to do that, and what she realized 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 manufactured from, to frenziedly exploring Philadelphia whereas balancing my research at College of Pennsylvania, to adventuring my manner via each nook and cranny of New York Metropolis. 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 world wide, through which I harnessed the facility 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 via my social community.

What fuels your ardour for journey?
Journey accelerates my private development and challenges me to grow to be the most effective model of myself. There are such a lot of lovely locations on the planet, however after some time, they start to mix into each other. What actually makes journey helpful is the teachings it may possibly train you, in case you are prepared to be current and take note of your setting.

Journey has helped me develop the humility and goodwill to study from people who I meet alongside the way in which. It has pushed me to grasp 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 will not be a matter of what I see, however who I grow to be alongside the way in which. I don’t have to see your complete world. I simply wish to really feel it run via my veins.

Inform us about this lengthy journey you have 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 with out a plan. I needed to make journey into a way of life, not a sabbatical, so I made a decision to design a challenge that might 1. incorporate my fundamental passions (journey, writing, and making connections with attention-grabbing people) and a couple of. create alternatives for a way of life change as soon as I used to be carried out. I challenged myself to design my dream life, try and stay it out for six months and re-evaluate as soon as I acquired there.

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

I ended up being on the street for 9 months for this challenge, and having 73 hosts in 17 nations throughout four continents: I handed via 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 have been going to sleep? 
There have been no web sites concerned! Solely sheer human connection. All of the interactions have been initiated by me and have been enabled by my cellphone (texting, voice notes, calling) and social media (principally Instagram and Fb).

I reached out to everybody I knew telling them about my challenge and asking whether or not they knew somebody they may join me with. I stored shifting from one connection to the subsequent till I discovered somebody prepared to host me. As my challenge grew and other people began discovering out about it, hosts began to achieve out to me via Instagram.

I solely had a one-way ticket to Italy (the place I’m initially from) booked – every part else was on the whim. I had a basic trajectory of the place I used to be going, and I’d add or subtract locations relying on my internet hosting scenario. 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 with out 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 pal’s girlfriend’s shopper’s shopper’s co-worker’s pal. It was loopy the way it occurred. I stored struggling to discover a place, and every individual would cross 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 greatly surprised by how devoted individuals have been to discovering me a spot to remain.

Did you ever meet somebody on the street 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 normally had my subsequent couple of locations deliberate, and every part else up within the air. I used to be consistently assembly and befriending vacationers on the street, and upon listening to about my challenge, 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 challenge: 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 superb. 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 utterly stunned you whenever you have been on the street.
If there’s something I realized from assembly a whole bunch of individuals throughout my travels, it’s that there’s a lot greater than we may ever fathom happening beneath the floor of a human being. It’s our nature to categorize issues. With individuals, it tends to be by tradition, race, geography, faith, and so forth. In the event you make an energetic effort to place these classes apart, sit down with locals, and show some fundamental curiosity of their lives and tales, you’ll discover that every individual is their very own universe. Actually, essentially the most unimaginable nuggets of knowledge I’ve gotten got here from individuals who didn’t even understand their very own brilliance.

One among 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 combating motion towards the oppressive regime alongside a monk who later turned well-known for his humanitarian efforts in direction of orphaned youngsters. What a narrative!

Then, there’s 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 which means of affection and happiness as they proceeded to highschool me on life with their clever Balinese philosophy.

What challenges did you will have couchsurfing world wide? How did you take care of them?
I may by no means predict the consolation or location comfort of my lodging, so I actually needed to study to waft and never set any expectations. I’ve stayed in penthouses with my very own personal room, toilet, 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 greatest 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 have been so completely different: some needed to pay it ahead, others needed to actively present me their metropolis and decide my mind, others have been solely providing a spot to remain however didn’t essentially wish to socialize. I needed to sharpen my individuals expertise so I may keep respectful and intuitive to individuals’s boundaries (or lack thereof).

What are your ideas for people who find themselves impressed by your story and wish to do that on their very own? What are some nice sources you recommend to make use of?
Establish what you’re obsessed with, and attempt to construct your travels round what works for you. My challenge was profitable as a result of I tapped into my strengths and passions. In the event you’d prefer to create a challenge round your travels, I recommend you customise it round your preferences: in case you are an introvert and hate speaking to individuals, for instance, spending hours a day chatting with individuals and asking them to host you will not be the most effective concept. Make your journey enjoyable by catering to what you realistically really feel snug and blissful doing, and ensure you do some planning forward of time.

My greatest useful resource was fellow vacationers who had additionally carried out round-the-world journeys. Once 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 a number 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 via my doubts, fears, and confusions – and being reassured that I’d be okay – made me a lot extra snug with leaving.

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


Celinne da Costa and two of her male hosts

How do you make your cash final on the street? What are a few of your greatest ideas?
My high ideas for individuals attempting to make it work financially on the street:

  • 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 mandatory. I additionally knew I’d go loopy if I didn’t often deal with myself to one thing I appreciated however wasn’t mandatory, so I gave myself a month-to-month “frivolous stuff” allowance.
  • All the time bear in mind that you may barter or negotiate. Touring and negotiating on the street taught me that forex will not be solely financial – it’s social as nicely. I didn’t have plentiful 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 dollars didn’t get me wherever, I’d supply my providers in alternate for items or providers of comparable perceived worth. In lots of areas of the world, individuals reply favorably to a favor alternate. If advertising and marketing isn’t your skillset, that’s completely okay too! I’ve seen individuals barter all types of expertise for experiences of locations to remain: for instance, exchanging farm work or instructing English for room and board, serving to a small enterprise with coding an internet site in alternate without cost excursions, and so forth. The probabilities are countless!
  • Embrace the minimalist way of life. Once I’m on the street, 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 electronic mail locations forward of time, inform them about my challenge 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.

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

Surprisingly, sure. I used to be initially nervous to inform my household and mates about my plan to give up my job to journey world wide by sleeping in random individuals’s houses – 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! It is advisable 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 record?
Oof, am I allowed to say each nation on the planet? If needed to slender 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 will have 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: it’s a must to belief individuals. We stay in a world that’s consistently inundating us with information of what horrible people we’re, however that isn’t 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 manner in kindness for me to fill a guide (and that’s why I’m writing one!).

After all, 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 realized to query throughout my time in Southeast Asia. It’s essential to make use of rationality and logic when shifting via life, however there’s something about instinct that simply can’t be quantified. Hearken to what your intestine tells you – if one thing is off, take away your self from the scenario, no questions requested.

General, 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 charge. Consider 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 world wide, through which she harnessed the facility of human connection and kindness to stick with 70+ strangers in 17 nations throughout 4 continents. Comply with her journey at The Nomad’s Oasis in addition to Instagram and Fb or decide up her guide of quick tales, The Artwork of Being Human. 

Turn out to be the Subsequent Success Story

One among my favourite components about this job is listening to individuals’s journey tales. They encourage me, however extra importantly, in addition they encourage you. I journey a sure manner however there are various methods to fund your journeys and journey the world. I hope these tales present you that there’s a couple of technique to journey and that it’s inside your grasp to achieve 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 right here! Come be a part of the enjoyable! Location TBD!