Posted by: Paul Jenkins | June 20, 2008

CouchSurfing France – Bonjour L’Etranger

Eiffel Tower, Paris, FranceI am going to France this evening for the wedding of two of my university roommates – it’s being held in a small town in the Alps next Saturday.

Sandra, my lady friend, and I, are arriving in Paris a week before the celebration to travel our way through the country. Of course, we have no money, so we’re doing it on the cheap – renting a car and couch surfing from the capital to Orleans, Dijon, St. Etienne, Marseille and finally to Embrun – the latter a sleepy little alpine town with cheap wine and great cheese – the site of the wedding.

CouchSurfing is a social application that allows strangers to arrange accommodations with each other. It’s like Facebook, but with a more singular purpose – to bridge cultures, encourage dialogue and provide places to sleep.

It’s really quite a phenomenal social experiment. I hope our own experience will serve as testament to its idealism. Either way, I’ll let you know how it goes.

We are staying with an art teacher in Orleans because Sandra’s an art teacher and artist. We are visiting a man in Dijon whose couch surfing profile acclaims him as a good cook and connoisseur of wine. We then intend to visit a young family in Saint-Etienne before arriving in Marseille – where we’ll visit an English teacher and her boyfriend.

We’ll then retrieve my other university roommate from the airport on our way to Embrun for the wedding – where we’ve rented a home for the week. We conclude our trip with an overnight drive to Paris for our flight home.

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Responses

  1. Sounds super cool man. I could do with a wine n cheese tour in France, but will settle for pickerel n beer this year. Have some nice stinky cheese for me and wash it down with an impertinent vintage.
    Vogue la galere, tout va bien!

  2. Hi !
    Did you enjoy your trip in France ?
    I’m french, I live in North France and I would like to know the guy whose couch you slept on in Dijon, would you send me his e-mail adress ?
    Thank you !
    Julie

  3. Hi,

    Just wrote a blog post about couchsurfing – how was the experience? Would love to know more about it.

    Check out my blog about slow travel:
    http://slowmovesblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/couchsurfing-your-way-around-world.html

    Cheers,

    Anouk


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