10 – 13 October 2010
Through CouchSurfing.org I’d emailed a few potential hosts in Fort Lauderdale, I was really hoping to not have to stay in a hostel again as they were all more designed for crew accommodation than travellers and had pretty poor online reviews. I did end up hostelling for one night; sure enough I was in a room with a few wretched looking guys trying to get crew work. Luckily a couch surfer named Miki got back to me and offered me a place to stay for a few nights. It was the beginning of a pivotal change to my travelling, something so cool that you wouldn’t ever do it any other way. You see I’d been craving adventure [I still am] and normal modes of transport between run of the mill hostels just didn’t cut it as adventurous any more. I started my adventure by jumping on the back of Miki’s 1800cc Honda motorcycle and roaring over to see his place. Although exhilarating I can’t say I’m a big fan of riding on the back of those things, half way through the trip while tearing down the roads in a t-shirt and no helmet I concluded it was one of the stupider decisions I’d made while travelling. An adventure no less, but I decided to be a little pickier about which adventures I embarked on.
Miki although older than myself and different in many ways still turned out to be a superb example of a couch surfing host. A very open, trusting and friendly individual right from the start; Miki really improved my time in Florida. The benefit of Couch Surfing over hostelling is the personalisation of knowledge, personal involvement and meeting different people. With Miki I got a little bit of personal involvement, like when we spent a night drinking his wicked White Russians. But mostly Miki helped by personalising his knowledge of the area to what I was looking for – essentially he assisted me in having a good time. I was able to get a free round of go-karting where he worked and use his work arcade gaming card for unlimited gaming. Another day Miki suggested I go on the Jungle Queen tour which proved well worth while; I especially enjoyed the alligator wrestling show which I will do another post on later as soon as I get some video editing software working.
The Jungle Queen took us through the natural and man made waterways of Fort Lauderdale while our commentator enthusiastically pointing out celebrity houses and provided noteworthy gossip. I use the term loosely as our commentator obviously thought what he was saying was noteworthy, but really, is there such a thing as noteworthy gossip?
On the 13th I bid farewell to Miki and I flew to Washington DC, my flight proved rather troublesome.