Before moving to Bangkok in 2011 I wasn’t very active on Couchsurfing as Sheffield isn’t the most popular tourist destination in the world, although very beautiful.
After a couple of weeks settling down in Bangkok and getting used to the surroundings we opened our one bedroom apartment up to Couchsurfers looking for a place to crash.
One day I was sent a request to host a couple who had been living in Rarotonga in The Cook Islands working in hospitality and hotels for a few years. She was from Poland and he, from Germany. They had just had a baby girl together called Haumea. Their plan was to take a couple of month off work to go back to their home countries to see their families.
In their request they were talking about their newborn, I love babies in very short doses but I know what I’m doing being the eldest of 4 children, but anything long term, no no, not yet anyway… Emily, my girlfriend at the time, loved babies and wouldn’t shut up about them.
I said that we couldn’t host them as we lived in a one bedroom apartment with only a spare sofa in the living room but I offered to look after 3 month old Haumea for one night if they wanted to spend a night alone to explore the city or just a night off from changing nappies in the middle of the night.
So a week later when they arrived into Bangkok, we arrange to meet them in On Nut night market to get some food and get to know each other a bit as that’s what Couchsurfing is all about. After the food we had a chat about all the important baby stuff and took her off their hands. We headed home on the BTS Skytrain, at which point Haumea decided that she wanted to kick up a fuss…brilliant, but everyone around was very supportive of the young, foreign couple with a tiny, crying baby.
Back at the apartment Haumea was as expected; cute, happy, crying, sleeping, waking, puking, laughing but it was lots of fun anyway.
We met up with them the next morning and off she went on her adventure to the other side of the world. It just shows that there is a great deal of trust in the Couchsurfing community and I hope that this will help newcomers to take the leap and join in. Just use the reference system for trust and verification and make sure you’re 100% comfortable with your potential host first then go for it!
P.S. If there is another claim to the youngest Couchsurfer ever then please forgive my presumption and I would love to hear the story.