“I am a travel reporter with a preference for countries that have a bad reputation,” Stephan Orth describes himself. On the ground, however, the motto of the professional couchsurfer, despite extensive travel preparation, is: “Approach everything with an open mind.” And that’s exactly what is needed: Couchsurfers look for free accommodation at strangers’ homes via the Internet. Where, and how comfortable this form of travel away from the tourist trade ultimately is, is almost always a surprise.
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