I really need to spend some time with them after two months alone in New Zealand, traveling by mountain bike following trails and back roads. During these 60 days I really spent 30 days on my pushbike to ride 2100km. I could ride an average of 70km per day thanks to my smart way of travel: I had only one 35L bag. You can say whatever you want, with less you will always do more. I could hitch-hike sometimes or even going for a tramp, leaving my bike somewhere. However you already know that, you were following me on Google+.
What I would like to talk about today is the process I used to find a place to stay with a random local in New Zealand.
How to get a bed for free?
Indeed I have a strong experience about asking random people to stay with. I started it when I was in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains 3 months ago. Since, I have never spent a night in a guest house.
The main reason is not to realize huge savings, but to don’t speak french or stay with the European Culture. I didn’t cross half of the world to come back home.
The second best point is the locals know their country better than anybody else and they can give you some great tips for the next part of your travel. This point allowed me to travel without any plan. Every night, the best way to follow the next morning was an important part of our conversations.
However you must find an excellent reason to ask a local to stay with. If it was me, I wouldn’t welcome someone casual without a project. If you are just looking for a place for free and nothing else, you will miss the best dimension of traveling: SHARING FROM HEART TO HEART. You must bring something special, find a good reason to act like that and involve the locals (It’s a privilege to get involved in something, especially when there is not much to do.).
In this way, I could discover who I am and what I want to bring to his world. The majority of my personal questions found their answers as well. I always met the right locals whose I needed at a certain moment. Positive energy? Certainly. Destiny? Well, that’s a big word but why not.
The timing is one of the most important part to find a local who will accept to receive you.. I experienced a lot and the best hours to ask were always between 6pm and 7pm (excepted in small villages, you must start earlier because everything shut down pretty quickly). Before it’s too early, after it’s getting too late (with the English culture. with the Spanish one it might be different). Also it’s the best way to get your diner for free, sharing more and go to bed earlier (believe me, after 120km and 6-7hours riding you are tired). However, I always highlighted I could go in town to get some diner before any answer from the local I asked to.
I have been in a few tricky situations, without a place before 9:30pm. It’s very hard to have an eye contact and to don’t afraid someone.
To finish, if you want to stay with a random local only to realize big savings, it’s the wrong way to proceed. I do it because I understood on my way down along the Australian East Coast than sharing and going deeply in the culture were the right way for me to be fulfill with happiness. I also awoke some hidden parts of my personality and got really good interpersonal skills.
Of course this way of travel isn’t for everybody. You must feel it coming from inside.
- You must feel it from inside, it’s a part of your personality
- Don’t only follow your mind, do what your heart tells you
- Why it’s a part of you? Why do you act like that? Find the answer and you will find a host!
- What do you have to share to make this experience unique for both of you?
- You must have an eye contact before to knock at the door
- The best time to ask is between 6 and 7pm (English and French culture)
- You will feel more and more comfortable with practice
- The world is yours, you have 5000000000 doors to knock!
My GPS tracks
I invite you to download my GPS track to see them on Google Earth to activate/deactivate some informations
The New Zealand Alps
The Rees and Dart Track
Craigieburn Forest Park