elmarschraml.com

Occasionally updated personal site and blog

Tag Archives: personal

Round the world in 40 days

Since my employer has a very generous policy for going on a 2-month mini-sabbatical [insert obligatory mention that we’re hiring], I find myself with the whole of May and June off. Also, being in my thirties and single, this is an excellent opportunity to do something a little crazy – visiting 10 cities on 4 continents equals 40 days of travel… (technically ended up being 39 days (flight schedules are weird sometimes), but I like the Jules Verne vibe..)

Since people have been asking for my itinerary, to e.g. hopefully not call me in the middle of the night due to expecting me to still be in a different time zone, here’s the list:

  • May 2nd Munich -> Cairo
  • May 6th Cairo -> Abu Dhabi
  • May 9th Abu Dhabi -> Kathmandu
  • May 13th Kathmandu -> Kuala Lumpur (just an airport stopover)
  • May 14th Kuala Lumpur -> Singapore
  • May 17th Singapore -> Osaka (onwards to Kyoto by train)
  • May 22nd Osaka -> Hongkong
  • May 25th Hongkong -> Las Vegas
  • May 31st Las Vegas -> Orlando
  • June 3rd Orlando -> Reykjavik
  • June 8th Reykjavik -> Copenhagen (stopover during the day) -> Munich

Stay tuned for updates here, plus my instagram account might finally see some use (although you really should support the open web rather than posting your content in somebody else’s walled garden – but that’s a rant for another day)

How to get hosted when couchsurfing

It’s Oktoberfest season in Munich, so I´ve been getting a lot of couchsurfing requests lately, way more than I can, or want to, host.
Also, couchsurfing has gained a lot of popularity and attention lately, so there`s an influx of a huge number of cs newbies, which, unfortunately, leads to a rising percentage of lame requests.

So here’s some tips on how to get hosted – that is, hosted by me, according to my subjective critieria.

1) References, references, references. There’s no better way to show me that you’re a nice guest than having positive previous references. Of course, everybody has to start somewhere, with no references, that is – but why not host people at your place, before asking others to host you? If you have no references at all, I might still host you, but you’ll have to overcome pretty long odds.

2) Read my profile, and show me that you’ve done so. Usually you’ll have to send a few requests until you find a hosts, so it’s perfectly OK to copy-and-paste the same request to multiple hosts – but add a little something that refers to my profile, to show me that you’ve read it. This assures me both that you’ve read and understand what you’re getting into in terms of location, couch and “house rules”, and that you’re not only looking to save money, but also to make a local connection, which makes hosting you more fun for me.

3) Show me who you are. Again, references help a lot here. Getting verified is also good for showing me that you’re a safe guest. At the very least, have a few recognizable pictures, and fill out your profile in a way that shows me what kind of person you are, and what kind of things you like to do. A couchsurfing request that’s a bit longer than two lines also helps. For example, if you’re into good food, experiencing local culture, interested in art or history, or a science nerd, we’ll almost definitely find a common interest, whereas if you want to mostly go out and party, you’re much better off with a different host, because I’ll neither be interested in joing you, nor can I tell you which clubs are good to go to.

4) Show some interest in couchsurfing. I’m happy to help you save hotel money, but I don’t want to be used as a free hotel. Couchsurfing is based on reciprocity and making international connection. Not everybody has the space to host, and you don’t have to get terribly involved, but you should couchsurf because you want to support a good idea and community, not because you heard it’s cheaper than hostels.

Couchsurfer’s guide to Munich

After living in Munich for a few years, I’ve collected quite a few favorite spots in Munich. And since I host couchsurfers pretty frequently, I’ve finally made the effort to put together a little booklet collecting some personal recommendations for things to eat, do and see in Munich. With, so far, quite the emphasis on “eat”…

Anyway, I’ve put it up on the “Stuff” page, or download it directly here.

Couchsurfing Review

My last couchsurfing guests for this year, Brant and Paula Wong from California, put up a blog post about their stay in Munich here. Glad they liked it, and this way the whole world gets to see my tiny kitchen…

This year, I’ve hosted people from Canada, the U.S.A, France, China, Spain, Germany and Chile, and had a blast with all of them.