Couchsurfers Need Lazy Days

If you’re traveling for quite some time, you will have days when you don’t feel like climbing mountains or going to the beach or roaming around the city and its tourist spots. For Jagoda, the latest couchsurfer who I hosted, that’s the case especially that she had a flu.

Left to right: Ng Jona, Jagoda, Lykee, my friend Jingjing

Jagoda is from Poland. She’s the true definition of a budget traveler. She was already traveling for 3 months and the Philippines was the second to the last leg of her travel. 

She started around Europe, around the neighboring countries of Poland literally without any money. For accommodation, well, couchsurfing, and on one circumstance, booked a hostel at a cheap price with the comfort of an expensive one. She had the room all to herself for P200 because it is still undergoing completion and not yet accepting guests but they made an exception.

For food, she had some leftovers from restaurants, or offered by hosts or by people when she’s hitch hiking. And for transportation, hitch hiking. 

But she said in Asia, it’s not possible to not spend any money. She hitch hiked whenever she can and bought food if she has to. 

Before coming to Iloilo, she spent one night in Bacolod with Ng Jona and they’re telling me she literally just slept there because it’s at the height of her flu. 

Ng Jona went to Iloilo with her because she had to meet a friend here too. On the way, we met my friend Jingjing who got to meet some couchsurfers I brought to my home before. Thus, the photo. 

I brought Jagoda to my hometown Pototan, ate dinner, exchanged some stories about Poland vs the Philippines and watched MMK, PBB which she had no problem watching even though we occasionally translate for her. 

The next day, we did our laundry, my uniform and ALL of her clothes. You wouldn’t believe she was traveling for 3 months already with less than 20 pieces of clothing including socks and undergarments (okay, I didn’t really count but she only had a big backpack, not the Osprey something big).

Then we just watched TV, had lunch, took a nap, watch TV again, went out to print her itinerary and to buy stuff at the market, went around the plaza, ate dinner, then watch some more and she slept early. 

We took off early in the morning, me going to work and Jagoda, to the airport for her flight to Puerto Princesa. 

During her time at home, my mother and father were urging us to go around saying that she’s here in Iloilo for just a few nights so maybe she wants to look around. But she refused because she just wanted to rest. I also kept on checking on her if it’s really okay that we’re not going somewhere and she said that’s just what she needed. She also verbalized that she is also becoming tired of traveling and misses her home. She actually cut her travel short. She had her friend buy her a ticket to Poland a month earlier than originally planned.

Realization: Hosts check out what guests want and not to assume automatically that they’re at your place for you to tour them around. Travelers also need time off from walking. There are times when all they ask is a lazy day with their host. 

I enjoyed Jagoda’s lazy days at home. I needed the lazy days myself… 


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