One of my favorite websites is Couchsurfing. This website allows you to connect with locals abroad and get a place to stay, a friend to show you around, and local information. I remember I used it when I was first traveling and stayed at this lovely home in Athens. I’ve grown to love it even more since they have a “who’s nearby” feature on their app, which I heavily used in France last year.
Celinne, on the other hand, created – and used – her own personal social network. She traveled the world only staying with friends and friends of friends. She reached out on the web and found strangers willing to open their home to her. Not only did this help her lower her travel costs, it allowed her to meet wonderful, fascinating, and kind-hearted people. To me, travel is about the human connections we make – and she found a way to make some great ones. Here’s her sharing her story, what inspired her to do this, and what she learned along the way.
Nomadic Matt: Tell us about yourself. Who are you? What drives you?
Celinne Da Costa: My love story with travel dates as far back as I can remember: I was born in the heart of Rome, Italy, to an immigrant Brazilian mother and a German-raised Italian father. Since leaving Italy, I’ve gone from living in the quintessential suburbia neighborhoods that American dreams are made of, to frenziedly exploring Philadelphia while balancing my studies at University of Pennsylvania, to adventuring my way through every nook and cranny of New York City. Last year, I left behind my corporate advertising job in the city to design my dream life from scratch. I began with a journey around the world, in which I harnessed the power of human connection and kindness to stay with 70+ strangers in 17 countries across four continents.
Eighteen months later, I’m still …
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