A long time ago, I vowed to be more appreciative of where I lived. As much as I despised it sometimes, I needed to preserve my sanity. It felt as if like-minded people were everywhere but Brisbane. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends, but they don’t love travelling. Not the way I like to enjoy it, anyway. And I respect that, but that still left me with a void.
When I returned from Europe after meeting more amazing people than I could count, I was even more determined to meet the same amazing people I had so often encountered overseas.
What better way to do that than to host a Couchsurfing Easter pool party at my good friend Anita’s house?
Next thing I knew, scores of people from all over the world, including Peru, America, China, Chile, Germany, Portugal, England and some locals, were showing up to have a taste of Anita’s famous Chilean barbeque, bask by the pool and just engage in general merriment.
Charades were played (Translink, Barney Stinson and God/’heaven guy’ being the operative words for the days to follow). Ridiculous poses failed for underwater photos.
Homemade Chilean empenadas, courtesy of beautiful Carolina, were created.
French crepes with butter and sugar were eaten. Travel stories were swapped. The house was alive with non-stop chatter.
And scrambled eggs were fashioned for breakfast. A smashing start to Sunday!
It didn’t end there. “There’s another party on the Gold Coast hosted by the ambassador for the area, if you guys have nothing to do.”
I couldn’t think of a legitimate excuse not to go.
A pit-stop home to collect some clothes and more alcohol later…
A 30-person Twister game then ensued.
Much a cider was consumed.
Midgets were lifted.
People even fell off hammocks and got beer on their heads.
The all-night party continued after seven of us tried to squeeze into the five-person compartment of a 10 person tent. But the swag seemed a better option for some.
Needless to say, the sober ones failed to catch sleep. But who needs sleep when you have the sun shining and the beach beckoning the next day?
What surprised me was the lack of hooligans that showed up at both events.
Sure, it was loud.
Yes, there were drugs (only at the second party!) and plenty of booze. But the general decorum was actually civilised.
It was just an extremely large group of people sitting around, having a chat with no intention of breaking glasses over heads, throwing fist fights and running naked down the street singing It’s Raining Men at the top of their lungs.
I don’t recall a time where I enjoyed myself for so many consecutive days with so many diverse, incredibly fun and personable people in my whole life. Ever.
Oh Couchsurfing, how you did change my life in the best way possible.