Couch Surfing in Palm Springs!

February 14, 2012

Aurora with her host Sven while she's couchsurfing in Palm Springs
I know it’s hard to see, but we’re acting like we’re surfing on his couches – get it?

You may have wondered where I stayed the night between the bike ride and the half marathon (or maybe you didn’t, but either way I’m gonna tell you).

I tried CouchSurfing for the first time.

I didn’t know what to expect. I’d read about Sven (my host), but who knew what was going to happen – trying out this new website, staying with strangers? I’m happy to say it was a great experience! I never wanted to leave!

Sven and Moselle (his roommate) are two of the most interesting, fun, and nice people I could’ve hoped to have met. Sven has been keeping this book (which I think was an awesome idea) filled with messages and memories from all the different people he’s hosted – and he has hosted some cool people. One girl was in the middle of biking around the country (or was it the world?). Either way, it was a super big place.

Both Sven and Moselle were incredibly nice. Moselle is another NY transplant who basically hikes for a living (cool, right?). Sven has traveled a ton! He backpacked around Europe, spent a semester in Australia. He’s pretty much the epitome of fascinating.

He’s currently studying to become a teacher. (He decided he was done being an engineer. I love when people stop being in situations they don’t love and go after ones they do. Kudos to him for doing just that.) Also, he is so creative! He does woodworking, painting, and such. Everything he had created was awesome.

A guitar made by Sven
See this guitar? Sven made it.

At first I was worried that maybe my hosts would feel like it was a burden to have a surfer (which was silly). Why would they? I mean, they volunteer to do it!

They never made me feel like I was a burden – even a bit. Their hearts were open as well as their (incredible, sweet, spacious, convenient-to-all-my-events) home.

I can’t even put into words how much this experience surpassed my expectations. (I’m sure that’s exactly what you want in a blogger – someone who can’t describe things.)

As I mentioned, we got invited to that barbecue with the AIDS LifeCycle posse. I told Sven and Moselle, and they were totally up for it!

You may think it’s odd that I thought it was odd for people to be up for mingling with new people and eating some free food – but in Los Angeles it’s pretty common for people to not want to go out for things because of traffic… or not wanting new friends.

Out in Palm Springs, we were game for adventures! Sven’s sweet girlfriend, Erin came over and we all headed to the barbecue together. (Side note: Erin is a great conversationalist. She’s a master of asking people follow-up questions.)

As we talked with the cyclists, I learned more about biking. (You clip into your pedals?! Um, does that sound scary, or what? I feel as though all I would ever do is constantly fall over.)

By the end of the barbecue I wasn’t the only one convinced that I should be doing the week-long bike ride. We all had become pretty sure that it was an excellent idea.

A painting of a woman, done by Sven
Yep, Sven painted this.

These AIDS LifeCycle staffers are incredible salespeople. I’m ready to be a freaking cyclist (as is apparently everyone who ever comes in contact with them)!

(Random note: Sven and Moselle got a free large pack of hot dogs and buns when we left. Score!)

We went back home and got to bed early. How sweet that my hosts were looking out for me! They thought about the fact that I had a half marathon the next day, and they wanted to make sure I had a good amount of rest. So, everyone was sent to bed in the nine o’clock hour. (Did I tell you they were awesome, or what?)

In the morning it was time for half marathon #4.

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