The Aidric CouchSurfing Filter
Apoldu de Sus, Romania
After fifty-something nights of continuous CouchSurfing, I find myself wondering if all 'Surfers encounter such generally excellent hosts as we have. Tatiana and I reflect often on our experiences, and though we've had a few complications, awkward silences and unhappy moments, those instances are certainly rare and far between.
For finding some of the best hosts that Hungary and Romania has to offer, I really wish to thank my infant son. Although I'm quite certain that having Aidric along with us keeps people from taking us into their homes, at the same time I know there are people that have responded and hosted us simply because we're traveling with him (several of our hosts have even told us as much).
I know the number of hosts that we scare off by CouchSurfing with Aidric far outweigh the number that we attract, and that's a shame, but I do think that the hosts that we're left with are generally going to be the best of the bunch. These are the pick of the littler, with outgoing personalities, good communication skills and fast rates of reply. And because we're traveling with an infant, everyone knows up front that neither party can afford to play around with arrival times or accommodations.
On some level I can't help but think that we three travelers offer up a very different type of CouchSurfing profile than the ones that typically make contact with folks, and that we'd be seemingly much more approachable and trustworthy than a lone male asking for refuge. I suppose it's up to the individual what's more scary: a solo male traveler or an infant—that can be a hard call.
Knowing this, I wonder what type of experiences I would have CouchSurfing without a family in tow. Perhaps shorter stays… and certainly more quite time. Perhaps the response/success rates for individuals traveling alone aren't even on par with what we've experienced as a family. I've really no idea.
But what I do know is that I'm very disappointed with the number of responses that have come back from Bulgaria. Out of over twenty inquiries (sent out nearly two weeks ago now), I've received only three replies—one of which was to tell me that their place wouldn't be suitable for an infant. If this ratio is to be indicative for the whole of the country, I really don't have great hopes for spending much time there.