Couched Intentions


CouchSurfing Ad
My ad on Couchsurfing. Property of David Alan Gay with permission to use provided credit is given to the author.

I’m not a mayoralty candidate in the municipal elections, but I feel I’ve been canvassing like one for the past few weeks.

I’ve been calling up friends, family members and even former co-workers to ask if I can stay with them while I continue my job search. If you’ve been following my blog, I mentioned I’m losing one of the places I’ve been staying at as a base of operations. If this is your first time here, click the link for a recap.

The responses I’ve received have been varied: some offered a few days here and there for me to stay. To those people I say thank you for helping me during this trying time of my life. Others have given me reasonable and understandable explanations why they could not accede to my request, and I accept that with no hard feelings and will ask someone else down the list.

The problem that I face now is that I’ve run out of people to ask. That’s it. There’s no one left, at least those I know of.

Before I left Kitchener, I created a profile on a site called http://CouchSurfing.org. I created the profile as a fall-back in case I ran out of places to stay, and it looks like it’s going to be needed. The site is about envisioning “a world made better by travel and travel made richer by connection. Couchsurfers share their lives with the people they encounter, fostering cultural exchange and mutual respect”. In simpler terms, people host others for a few days, while exchanging values, stories and experiences in the process.

I can get behind this. We now live in a world that encourages a “me first” mentality where everyone else is an opponent, while looking down at (if not ignoring) those who are in danger of falling through the cracks. I much rather live in a world where everyone works together for a better society.

I have a lot to share with my potential hosts, not just through common interests but also because of my 50 years of life experiences. I grew up in a time period where there was no access to the Internet, no mobile communications, and in an economy that was a lot better than it is now. On top of that, my job search that has been ongoing since the start of 2010 has been both a life-changer and a personal rebuilding process.

On the other side of the equation, I can benefit from hearing an alternative point of view based on a cultural or generational perspective. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “there is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view.”

I cleaned up my profile a little to make it sound less needy-for-a-place-to-sleep and posted a few notices asking for hosts to stay with. I also contacted a few potential hosts, but I’ve been declined so far. I understand their initial caution since they do not know me from Adam, nor about my past as a responsible law-abiding citizen who wants to meet people to share experiences. That has not dissuaded me from my goal. and that is to broaden both my horizons in life experiences as well as offer more choices to stay while I continue the job search.

Thanks for reading!

David

P.S. If you are capable of offering a few days a month for me to stay in either Toronto, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, or Elmira (all in the province of Ontario, Canada), feel free to contact me.

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