Last week, I had the experience of a lifetime when I got permission to use my TechRepublic credentials to acquire an invitation to the press event that Bungie was doing before the Halo 3 release (my review of the event along with images that Bungie gave me will be published on Sunday, September 23rd at Noon PST). All of the arrangements were made, I had plane tickets, bus schedules, and an invitation to Bungie, the only thing I lacked was a place to stay. One of my coworkers turned me on to CouchSurfing.com, a site where members offer up couches, beds, and floors for travelers to stay for free. Since free was in my budget range, I decided to explore this intriguing possibility.
I joined the site, filled out my profile, and proceeded to send out requests. I sent out about a dozen requests, receiving responses ranging from "I already have a couchsurfer those two days" to "I live in Pittsburgh now, thanks for reminding me to change my profile" to "I am couchsurfing in Paris right now, sorry!" I wasn't particularly worried as there were 55,000+ people in Seattle offering up couches and the next day, I got a response from Peter Abrahamsen, who even offered to pick me up from the airport when I arrived at 10:30 p.m.
Peter's place was perfect, he gave me a room with a bed, alarm clock and even got me into his wi-fi. The bus stop I needed was literally across the street from his house and, except for a little misdirection from a couple of gas station attendants, I was able to find Bungie headquarters with no trouble.
Unfortunately, I can't talk much about Halo 3 today as I am under an embargo agreement that lasts until Sunday at Noon PST. What I can tell you is that, in the opinion of someone who has been playing Halo from the beginning, Halo 3 is every bit worth the hype. If you haven't preordered yet, be prepared for very long lines of Halo geeks.
I also highly recommend couchsurfing and would like to send out a great big "Thanks!" to Peter and his roommate Anna. Y'all were extremely hospitable and I appreciated the opportunity to hang out for a couple of nights.
Here are some other news articles about couchsurfing:
- Couch surfers find free digs, friends while traveling globe (The Oregonian)
- Montrealer started couchsurfing (canada.com)
- Have couch, will travel (Reuters)