Dear Stranger from the Internet

A stranger from the internet website

Most solo travelers don't intent to feel lonely and they don't have to be, thanks to the amazing online (and offline) community of people who offer their hospitality to travelers without expecting anything in return. These people have been a tremendous help during my travels around Europe and the Americas and I'm happy I got to return to the community by hosting and guiding travelers in Amsterdam and Mexico. I want to write a guide on how to properly use the traveler community, but I first wanted to share a poem I wrote to summarize my experiences with Couchsurfing, about the unconditional kindness and the discomforting feeling of accepting help you might never be able to return.

This goes out to all the people who share their home in the online traveler community. Thank you for your beds, your showers, your kindness and for making packpacks feel less heavy.

You offered up your house, on a certain site

To travelers who need a place, just to spend a night

I’m a lonesome nomad, looking to spend a night or two

Somewhere close to where you live, so I decide to write to you

Your profile looks reliable, you share a lot of information

About your job, your daily life, and that you live near the train station

There’s a smiling picture of your face, along with photos of your flat

So I start out my message with, “Dear stranger from the internet”


“Could I be so bold, to request a short stay

Just for a night or two, and I’ll be on my way

Could I be so bold to ask, to open up your home to me

And share a meal and spend some time, perhaps if you are free

And I hope I don’t ask for too much

When I request  to borrow a towel and such

I truly hope my message, won’t remain unread

Best regards, truly yours, a stranger from the internet”


We meet on your street and you insist, to carry all my stuff

I politely decline the offer, your hospitality is far enough

We enter your home and to break the ice

I ask “shoes off?” because the floors look real nice

As I put down my bag and leave my shoes on the mat

I get a warm welcoming hug, from the stranger from the internet


Thank you for sharing your place

And for letting me drool on your pillow case

I might steal some shampoo too

But I will make a meal for you

I’ll cook some dinner, while you make my bed

It’s the least I can return, to this stranger from the internet


We share some stories of past travels, while I drink your wine

Could I pour myself another glass, or does that cross the line?

Can I get the wifi code, to make a couple of calls?

Does it invade your privacy, when I look at the photos on your walls?

You opened up your private home, your castle and your habitat

Just to provide help, to a stranger from the internet


Perhaps we never meet again, or we made life long bond

When you request to stay with me, I promise to respond

Perhaps we were friends, or just roommates for a day

But when we meet again, I’ll try my best to repay

You don’t want nothing in return, but I’ll forever feel in debt

To this person who is no longer, just a stranger from the internet