Joachim has been traveling around the world. He left Paris on his 25th birthday, came back one year later in 2010. And you're here on his travel blog.
Since he came back, he started writing a book: 360 in 365 »

Cette page est aussi disponible en :

360 in 365 – Joachim voyage autour du monde

360 in 365 – Joachim voyage autour du monde

Open NavigationOpen Navigation

The CouchSurfing Experience

Okay, so I didn’t write a lot recently. I guess I’ll tell you what’s been on my mind these days : CouchSurfing.

Basically, CouchSurfing is an online community connecting people travelling and people having a couch to host travelling people. Very basically. Because in fact, it’s much more… It’s a network based on trust, that allows people coming to a city to not be the simple tourist doing sad tourist things all alone and who’s forced to spend the night at his hotel because he doesn’t know people with whom he could have a great time talking and who would be willing to meet people from the other side of the world to whom he would show his country and how his country is the most beautiful in the world and if it’s not the most beautiful, it’s at the very least the nicest with people. There’s a cultural exchange across the couch (which could lead to other kinds of exchanges on the said couch) (but well, CouchSurfing isn’t a dating site… at least, it’s said it’s not).

How did it all begin? An american student, or was it an IT consultant? he had some cheap train tickets to Iceland (I think it might have been plane tickets), but he didn’t know anybody there, so he spammed hundred of university students to find a couch. Unsurprisingly, of the hundreds, some answered, and a few month later CouchSurfing was launched.

And does it work? Can you avoid meeting a convicted felon, ex rapist who would sell your organs to the South American Mob after eating them and burying them under a playground? You betcha! Some people like to meet strangers and trust them. And the system is based on trust. If you have a good experience with somebody, you add the person as a friend, and you write a testimonial, and you say how you trust that person… So if someone else is wondering if the person will be nice, your advice will be there to help. Freeloaders, perverts and mustachoied people are quickly banned from the community.

CouchSurfing is in the whole world. You can find a couch at the last minute in Paris, or be friends with people from Micronesia or Pakistan, or organize your trek in Argentina with Korean people, or even party all night long in the transsiberian with CouchSurfers from around the globe. Well, I guess it’s possible, you just have to search for a couch and the occasions will jump at you.

So yeah, I’m a CouchSurfer. I discovered that website a few years ago, but I only joined the community when I traveled in Europe. Thanks to that I could be hosted in Vienna and eat the best falafels with three german speaking CS girls, I was hosted in Berlin by a translator / choregrapher / singer from the US who invited me to stay longer to see him in concert, and the same in Stockholm except it was a french-speaking IT professionnal, and instead of a concert it was beers in a typical swedish bar. And then I visited Copenhagen, Christiania and Tivoli with a danish student girl.


Back in Paris, and having no room in my flat to host people, I said I was all for a Coffee Or A Drink. So I was contacted by Alina, who knew nobody in Paris… We went to the Louvres, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, and one of the places I like for a change, the Canal St.Martin (less touristic than the other things, and I love the effect it does: “Aw I know this place, it’s where Amélie was filmed!”). I also showed around Paris to my Swedish host, and to various other people. Last Sunday, I was with Katya & Roma, from Moscow, in the Parc de La Villette, watching a movie with a wine bottle and a camembert…


So yeah, CouchSurfing is an awesome experience, and it will be one of the big things in my travel. Thanks to CS I could find people with whom I will travel around Mongolia next month, the more, the better (to share the expenses). And I’m also contacting russian people to host me in Moscow on the first night of my adventure…

Travellers, curious, open minded people… Don’t hesitate to join CouchSurfing, you’ll find all kinds of good friends there.


  1. Merci pour ce partage d’expérience.

    J’ai entendu parler de CS il y a quelques temps déjà, mais ça m’était un peu sorti de la tête. Et puis un ami français installé lui aussi à Taipei s’est inscrit dès son arrivée ici (dès qu’il a eu un appartement, en fait), et il a hébergé quelques personnes, ce qui lui a permis de rencontrer du monde et de se faire quelques (bons) potes dans le coin !

    Du coup, c’est décidé : je m’y inscrit très bientôt ! (quand j’aurai sorti la tête de l’eau niveau taf et santé…)

    Comment by Pierre — Aug 13th, 2009 @ 04:58 AM
  2. ça a l’air cool, ça me donne envie d’heberger des gens ^^

    Comment by Lucie — Aug 18th, 2009 @ 03:55 PM
  3. Le mieux au début c’est d’aller rencontrer des gens aux CouchSurfing Meets, y’en a au moins tous les mois, ou carrément toutes les semaines et on y rencontre des tas de gens sympas, des parisiens mais aussi des voyageurs :)

    Comment by joachim — Aug 18th, 2009 @ 05:25 PM
  4. J’ai une copine qui fait ça depuis un an. Au départ je lui disait: “tu es folle à heberger des inconnus”, mais finalement l’idée est vraiment sympa. Je ne savais pas qu’on pouvait y participer aussi pour “faire decouvrir” sa propre ville, sans faire partager le canapé. ça me tente encore plus ça…vu que j’aurais un peu peur à inviter des gens que je ne connais pas! courage JOJO pou ton aventure.


    Comment by Tiziana — Aug 26th, 2009 @ 12:30 AM
  5. Hello mr moustache,
    je suis pas du genre tres expressive au travail mais c’est parce que au contraire quand je m’attache aux gens je chiale. Compte sur moi pour que le jour de ton départ (dans 4 jours) je te fasse une mega pub et aussi pour suivre assidument ce site.
    Bon je sais c’est pas grand chose, puis ton aventure est si incroyable, si originale, si TOI!
    Tu vas nous manquer, sans mr moustache ça sera moins drole, mais nous suivrons tes aventures. Prends soin de toi et surtout
    BON VOYAGE l’ami

    Comment by rore — Aug 29th, 2009 @ 11:06 AM
  6. Hey M. Moustache,

    Je viens de découvrir ton blog via le blog de Rore ( que j’ai aussi découvert aujourd’hui grace à Med ( -faisons honneur à ceux qui linkent- et j’apprécie énormément de lire la façon dont tu as préparé ton voyage.

    Bien loin de la mienne, vu je suis parti 300% à l’arrache ( suis toujours en vadrouille), c’est donc très intéressant pour moi de voir comment d’autres se sont organisés.

    Vais continuer à vadrouiller sur ton blog, et ptet poser quelques messages.

    See ya !


    Comment by Naga_ — Sep 4th, 2009 @ 11:30 AM
  7. Pour tous ceux que le couchsurfing intriguent, je l’ai pratiqué de bombay a paris. J’ai filmé toute l’aventure et vous pouvez voir la bande annonce sur le site :

    A plus dans l’bus joachim


    Comment by Fred — Sep 30th, 2009 @ 08:25 AM

360 in 366?
All the contents on this website has been created by Joachim unless otherwise noted.
Copyrights and licenses - ©2009 Joachim
Served around the world by WordPress. Hosted by Dreamhost.
A Production Joachimesque