Room for friendship

Room for friendship

He may only be 27 but for the past seven years, Mr Ganesh App has hosted more than 100 guests, from 30 different countries, in his home. Mr App is part of the Couchsurfing scene and plays host to travellers who are mostly on a budget.

Couchsurfing is a social network website and was founded in 2003 as a non-profit organisation.

It is a platform for members to find accommodation in the countries they visit by staying as a guest at a host's home.

Sometimes, the travellers - or surfers - would be given a spare room to stay in and, other times, they would be given an empty couch or a spare mattress.

The website allows hosts to search for travellers, do background checks and post events for members who live in that country to join.

Mr App, who also goes by the name Segaro or Gapp, has been a Couchsurfing member since 2007.

He moved from Chennai to Shanghai and two years ago he made Singapore his home.

That would mean quite a bit of house hunting but Mr App had always made it a point to check with the landlords if guests are allowed.

Hosting has become a huge part of his life, he tells tabla!

"The best thing about hosting is, it is a positive thing. The idea is built up on the fact that travellers are generally good people. The more you travel the more open-minded you get, the more culture-sensitive you become and so on. When you host, you really feel good about it. You feel that you are in some way helping to prove that there is goodness in the world," said the IT consultant.

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