Rachel Smith might have not become so hooked on CouchSurfing if her first experience hadn’t been a really magnetic event.
“What catapulted me into the CS community was a Chicago museum day with travelers and other locals like me. That led me to becoming more involved, and finally to volunteering for CS.”
What are her favorite CS events to this day? Below, she lists her top 5, and tells us what was so awesome about each one of them.
My top 5 CS events (in no special order):
1. Cookie Party
The most creative and indulgent CS event I’ve ever been to was a holiday cookie party. At a CouchSurfer’s apartment, we made and shared Christmas cookies. I brought my own recipe — special apple spice! Later, we played some intense rounds of Wii bowling. What a night!
2. Circus Open House
Since circus arts are both a hobby and a part-time job, I decided to host an open house to teach these skills to CouchSurfers. My talented friends volunteered to help for an evening, and everyone had fun juggling, swinging on the trapeze, and hanging upside-down in the air. Lesson learned: CouchSurfers are willing to try anything!
CouchSurfer hangs upside down at Rachel’s Circus Open House
3. Museum Day and Picnic
The first event I ever attended was a Chicago museum trip. We visited the Museum of Science and Industry and had a picnic by the lake. The adventurous ones even went swimming, but a violent storm caught us by surprise and forced us to take shelter in a local bar where we waited out the storm over a few pitchers of beer.
A great day in Chicago – Rachel Smith is the smiley girl in red.
4. St Louis City Museum
Visiting the City Museum was part of the St Louis Couch Crash, but it was by far the best part of it. The museum is like a giant playground for grown-ups and kids alike, made out of reclaimed building materials from the city. The best way to get to know a group of CouchSurfers is to do an activity with them, and we had fun climbing through caves and airplanes and going down the stories-high slide.
5. Chicago Couch Crash
With all the creative minds in this city, the Chicago Couch Crash turned out quite spectacular. There were visits to the museum, comedy shows, a fire performance on the beach, an arena concert, a board game night for those who didn’t wish to party, and a huge bonfire barbecue for those who did. Chicago has more to offer than I imagined, and I grew up here!