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Friday, February 20, 2009

Couch Surfing?

I mentioned a few posts ago that my daughter and her friend packed up and took off on an adventure to Alberta a couple of weeks ago. Against my (better, I think) judgment, off they went in her friend's car, with barely a dime between them, no job prospects, a shaky plan about where to stay and really no idea what they were doing. Not to mention, driving through the Rocky Mountains in winter. I ended up paying for them to stay in hotels for 2 nights on the way there so they wouldn't be trying to sleep in the car or drive for 24 hours straight (I can remember being 19 pretty well sometimes!)
I continue to struggle with my maternal urge to protect her and the desire to let her learn from this experience...
They started out staying in an apartment that her friend's father owns in the city. It turned out that the apartment was connected to a business that he has there and they weren't able to stay more than a few days. They both got jobs in a restaurant after about a week. Then, they got a 2-day gig over the weekend, house-sitting for someone who works in the office.

Here's the situation now:
Since Sunday, they have been 'winging it', staying at some random friend's house and sometimes sleeping in the underground car park under the apartment building. This is where I started getting "nervous".

Ok, a bit more than nervous maybe:-) My brain was screaming "ARE YOU GUYS CRAZY? YOU COULD BE RAPED OR KILLED!!" but I restrained myself slightly and said something like "I bet that's cold."

Then I talked to her today and she was hanging out in her friend's car all day while her friend was at work. When asked where they were going to go tonight, she had no answer.
My brain screamed again "MY CHILD IS HOMELESS! I MUST SAVE HER!"
but I said something like "do you guys have any idea where you could go?"
Of course, she had no ideas and said they would probably stay in the car park tonight.
Well, my maternal super-hero couldn't resist. I started looking up hostels in Calgary online and found one not too far from where they were. I ended up faxing my credit card info to the hostel so they could stay there tonight. *sigh* Of course, Aly was all teary and thankful and sorry they hadn't planned it all better, etc, etc, etc...

So now my brain is screaming (a little less loudly now) "what are they going to do tomorrow?" and then my sweet, wonderful husband sent me an IM saying 'what about couch-surfing?'
So, off I went on my google search, and found which is an online community of folks all over the world who offer up their couches, extra beds, and sometimes a room to travelers for a night or a few nights....for FREE! What a neat concept. I had read a bit about it on SparklytoSingle's blog. She had an interesting experience in Europe with couch surfing, (and stirred up quite a controversy on her comments) but I'm not going to think about that right now:-) Besides, I've only sent requests to couch-offering females. Now, I'm just waiting to hear back from a (hopefully nice, kind, sweet, friendly) person who will allow my child to crash on her couch for free.

Whew, this teen stuff gets more and more challenging. Moms of 20-somethings keep telling me it gets better...I sure hope so. This has got me sprouting grey hairs everyday!


Beth - IndieNorth said...

Oh mommy...I think back to my teen years, and I am not looking forward to going through it with my two. Kudos to you for keeping your head!

Official couchsurfing sounds like an awesome idea...I wish it was around when I was 19, and I sure hope it's around when my kiddos get there.

Laura said...

Do you follow Ori on Twitter? He is a very cool guy who couchsurfs. His Twitter name is CouchsurfingOri he has been doing it for a while and can answer questions if you have them.
I finaly added your new blog to my list today. I will have pictures for you in a day or two.