What to Expect When You Post Your Next Moroccan Trip on Couchsurfing !
For those who know what couchsurfing is, please skip the next paragraph. For those who don`t:
Couchsurfing International Inc. is a hospitality exchange and social networking website. The website provides a platform for members to “surf” on couches by staying as a guest at a host’s home, host travelers, or join an event.
Most of long term travelers or budget travelers are very familiar with https://www.couchsurfing.com/ and have used it at least few times in their travels. Simply put, hosts will lend their couch in exchange for stories or finding more about a different culture.
While first I decided to only surf in this backpacking adventure through Morocco, there where times when this was not possible due to either the lack of hosts in the area or the lack of trustful hosts.
I have posted on this platform with few months before that I would travel through Morocco for 14 days. The number of answers I got had been overwhelming (over 100 messages in 3 months). But not everything went well.
These were my thoughts before the start of my journey in Morocco.
- 98% of them put their phone and whatsapp number in the first message they sent me
- Some of them would harass with their “hospitality” even after you had declined their offer (sometimes even 3 times), probably hoping you wouldn`t noticed you had already spoken with them before. And when questioned about this, they would disappear again to reappear in few weeks..
- Some will harass you, deactivate their profile, reactivate it, hope you won`t see the previous messages and harass you again.
- When declining their offer for various reasons, few of them will call you a racist, ungrateful and urge you to never visit their country; I had print screen- ed one of such conversations. I previously told him I would not accept his host offer since he had no references, an almost empty profile and had not one picture with his face (only red flags about this one). I left his profile picture to be seen to prove it.
Read from bottom up.
- There would be some that will ask you for money at the end of hosting (especially near the desert area) – be sure to read their references, the clues are always there
- 2 or 3 claimed that they can only host me, but not my boy friends due to lack of space 🙂 and actually expected to leave my friends
- Lots will claim they are your new bestfriend after 2 short conversations
- Most of those who offered to host were new on couchsurfing with no references or completed profile description
- Many of them have been very nice to share interesting local spots to visit and offer guidance over what phone company to use, what is their favorite Moroccan food, etc.
- Only 2 females had contacted me! The lack of women presence is disturbing, but understandable in a Muslim country.
On the other side, Moroccan people I had contacted with a couch request, those who had lots of references and looked trustful, 60% didn`t reply, 30% declined for various reasons and 10% kept in contact with me.
It`s getting harder and harder to know who is genuine and who is not. But beautiful people are out there. They exist! I`d use couchsurfing in Morocco all over again. I grew more intimate with its culture and style of living, which I wouldn`t have been able to if I would have stayed in a hotel room for 2 weeks.
I was careful with my host selection, so should you!
You can always find me on: