I'm writing to invite you to join a great new website I'm involved with called Couchsurfing.com. Couchsurfing.com brings the power of the Internet to travelers by opening up homes worldwide for cross-cultural visits and connections. Instead of paying for an expensive hotel any time you go somewhere, stay instead with a local to get the real flavor of the town.
Everyone "couchsurfs" already with friends when they go to a foreign city where they know someone. It's a friendly thing to do and it saves money. But what if you've always wanted to go to Iceland and don't know any locals there? You can't (or don't want to) pay for a hotel, or you want to skip the usual tourist spots to get a real local's perspective. Surf someone's couch instead! By using this website, you can instantly find someone in dozens of cities and countries worldwide. And the site is growing by leaps and bounds - we just opened it, but there are already a lot of members. It'll only keep growing and getting better.
There are no fees to join - it's an entirely free service. What about the risks of staying with a stranger, you ask? Well, there are two groups of people on Couchsurfing.com - members of the public, and a verified "inner core." Every member of the inner core is at most only a few degrees of separation from one of the four founders. As for the public, people can post testimonials and vouch for each other to help reduce risk. Most importantly, no party - either the host or the guest - is ever obligated to host or visit. Either party can refuse at any time. So you can take the time to get to know the other person well in advance of the visit before you share your living space.
Couchsurfing can mean literally staying on a couch, or it can mean sharing a guest room, a backyard, a tent-spot, a Wi-Fi network, or most anything else. It's the spirit of Couchsurfing.com that makes the service unique - the spirit of facilitating genuine, cross-cultural connection and giving between two good-hearted humans. If you surf someone else's couch, it's suggested that you open up your own couch to others as well. In this way, the cultures and travelers of the world build the bonds that make the world a better place.
If you have any questions, or if anyone on this list knows me personally and feels they should be allowed to join the inner core, just shoot me an email. We're all psyched about this service and looking for all like-minded travelers to join our exciting new network.
P.S. Please feel free to forward this email