It's the ultimate small talk question: "So, what do you do?"
For those with an office, a job title, and an official business card with a recognized logo, it's a simple question to answer.
But for the millions joining the ranks of the entrepreneurial revolution, it's a loaded question.
Imagine letting complete strangers into your home. Weary and weathered with an industrial-sized backpack on their shoulders, they stop at your place while on a journey around the world. The only information you have about them is a photo and short profile on a website.
Would your couch be available?
In the current age of the "sharing economy", this concept might not seem so strange. With the rise of companies like AirBnb and Uber, new travel norms have formed.
But one platform existed long before such companies were created: Couchsurfing.
If there's anything that glossy adventure magazines, back to school advertisements and study abroad brochures have sold younger generations on, it's the fun and excitement of wearing a backpack.
In fact, we have wholeheartedly embraced backpack culture, especially when it comes to bootstrapping travel. The allure of the life you can carry on your shoulders while venturing all over the world is understandably enticing.
So, assuming that you too want to be like those grinning, world travelin' go-getters in the pretty photos, you'll probably want to get a backpack and go somewhere. But if this is a new foray, you might need a little help starting out.
We've all heard the stories.
You know, the ones where your traveling friend boasts about the amazing host who gave them the secret locals tour of the city, the hostess who directed them to the breakfast restaurant with the epic pancakes, or the family who included them on their weekend outing to the beach.
These days, travelers want to experience places with real people that offer authentic insight into daily life in a new location. They don't want to arrive to a place only to get caught in the deluge of tourist traps alongside hundreds of other strangers or suffer through overpriced bar crawls and awkward group tours.
Let's change the world.
Who wrote this?
Gina Edwards, Impact Explorer founder and lover of all pun jokes, making a positive change in the world, Stephen Colbert, Jif Peanut Butter, and staying inside on rainy days. Order may vary.