I’ve always been a bit of a “late bloomer”. Recent example — ended up crowd-surfing at the Gogol Bordello concert (for the first time). Even made a video while being thrown around. I’ve never been backpacking until 2 years ago. I’ve never lived with housemates until about 1 year ago.
I first heard of the term “couch-surfing” a couple of weeks ago, when we were desperate to book a place in Dubbo (for the TripleJ ONS) and the whole place was literally booked out, with nearest campsite being a 35km drive. In fact, I’ve never been to a festival or a big party with multiple performers, until 2 weeks ago.
While researching backyards online where we can throw a tent, I came across a girl, who knew a guy, that let me and my friend crash at his place for the night. It was free. Met him for the first time when we got to his house. We had a bedroom each with a comfortable bed. The dude made us coffee in the morning, we spoke about random stuff and he even came with us to the party. In return — we got him a case of beer. We also met his friends (and that girl who got me his details) for lunch the next day. “You are staying with the biggest hippie in Dubbo!”, he exclaimed at some point. Cool guy.
That being said, I did approximately 10 years of security at all kinds of events: concerts, raves, performances, balls and races, you name it. I just never went there as a spectator.
Now — I am catching up. In about 1 week I’m off to Melbourne, by myself, for the agIdeas. Actually I’ve never travelled alone either, so this will be interesting. All those things I’ve never done before I actually always wanted to do, it’s just that, well, it’s never too late, so why not now.
In Melbourne I’m staying at backpackers (again, experiencing this further). I’ll also be going to a bunch of seminars, talks, lunches and dinners, all with people I’ve never met before.
What’s interesting is that I’ve had numerous people crashing at my place over the years. Many I only met that day. Quite a few stayed on the couch, although I never knew the term “couch-surfing” even existed. I stayed in caravan parks with friends and woke up bitten by bed bugs. I’ve shared a 2-men tent with 4, I’ve woken up due to being rained on or because the owner of the place I was securing overnight was knocking on my car window.
But, I like new experiences. Without them, your ideas go stale, your brain has nothing new to explore. My brain needs to be fed, whether it’s a talk on trace elements and neuroscience, which I’ve recently attended (and understood almost nothing), or a conversation about fox tail lotto, which is, well, a little disturbing.