I was just reminded of this when I was chatting to my current Couchsurfing host this morning.
The Couchsurfing community is a worldwide network of friends (just friends that you have yet to meet). So, if you find yourself in a far-off land, and you need help, a friend is not far away.
An example of this in action:
Last summer, while I was walking along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, I put a huge hole in one of my walking socks – and needed a replacement pair.
Believe it or not, kilt socks are impossible to find in Spanish markets 😉
So I contacted, Highlander, my kilt makers in Scotland and asked them to send out a replacement pair.
And that was the moment that I realised that there was a problem with even this idea!
I didn’t have a postal address in Spain. And as I was constantly on the move (and couldn’t wait around for the week or so that it would take for the Spanish postal service to deliver them to me), there was no immediate solution.
And that’s when I thought of Couchsurfing. Of a network of unknown friends who I might be able to turn to.
I estimated how far I might travel in 2 weeks, then added another 100km on just to be sure. And I came up with the town of Adra.
It was then a simple case of contacting Couchsurfing members in Adra, until I found somebody whose address I could use.
And that’s how I met Olivia.
So, wherever I am in the world, I am reassured to know that a friend (an as yet unknown friend) is never too far away (it is just a bonus that they are usually local experts too 😉 ).