A few months ago I met with my friend Mattia, from the GabbiaNo association, to trace a hypothetical travel itinerary around the world.
Mattia also informed me about the existence of an international community of very special people, “Couchsurfing”, which allows us to offer and request hospitality among the members of the group, to get directly in touch with the reality of a specific place. I immediately thought that this reality could greatly facilitate my journey, so I decided to undertake a short test trip to verify the goodness of this hypothesis.
Recently a German girl known a few weeks ago, having learned of my project, offered to show me the city where she lives at the moment: Vienna. What better time to start my test?
The easiest and most comfortable way to get around turned out to be a night train, I left in the evening from Verona, the conductor kindly accompanied me in my bunk and indicated how to get to the bathroom.
I was alone in my compartment and despite the excitement for the trip I soon let myself cradle in a pleasant and restful sleep.
My train arrived at the destination the following morning, Andrea came to greet me at the station and while we were having breakfast at the bar we started chatting about my crazy idea and what we could do during my stay in Vienna.
Indeed the abundant snow in the streets did not allow long walks, so I alternated pleasant chats with my friend to complicated searches for hospitality on the couchsurfing website, which does not shine for accessibility. I soon resigned myself to sending public requests, rather than directly addressing individuals, the exploration of the various profiles was not very easy for me.
In fact, I use my iPhone through a screen reader that, in short, translates into words what others see and if those who have developed a specific computer environment did not take into account some criteria, I can also encounter major difficulties in carrying out operations simple.
I vented my frustration in the kitchen, preparing a risotto for my friend and her roommate, who opened a bottle of wine for the occasion. When I tasted it, I thought sometimes it would not hurt to be able to temporarily deactivate a second sense.
Obviously I appreciated the gesture and I will tell you that, after several glasses, it seemed to me that the taste improved.
The following day I left for the next destination, Prague. The Czech capital is a popular destination for tourists, even by couchsurfers and unfortunately my request has not had any luck.
Last summer, however, I met Federico, a boy who is part of the CS group of Verona, very active in the sofa traveler community; he thought about it he found me a useful contact, a girl who hosted in the past and who agreed to receive me.
Who knows how it will go …