Wade and I have tried several different methods to save money on accommodation while traveling. We stayed in an apartment in Budapest, slept in dorm beds in Belgrade and Sarajevo, stayed in private rooms in Mostar and Dubrovnik ad slept in a sex hotel in Northern Albania. But the cheapest and best by far was couchsurfing.
The website http://www.couchsurfing.org allows you access to a database of people all over the world willing to let you sleep on their couch — giving you free place to crash, sometimes a free meal, a teacher about the country and culture, and an instant friend in a foreign land.
Wade and I searched through the website and found a Peace Corps volunteer in Gramsh, Albania. On the map, Gramsh looked like a little town in the middle of some hills in the middle of nowhere. We would never have had a reason to go there otherwise, and probably wouldn’t have because I think the closest hotel was a couple towns away. But a free place to stay in an out-of-the-way place is one of the things couchsurfing does best.
I was really happy to be staying with Tauschia, a young woman from Washington. Happy to be eating delicious American food (green vegetables! grilled cheese sandwiches! carrot ginger soup! I love that couchsurfing almost always gives you access to a kitchen). Happy to be swapping traveling stories. Happy to staying with a single woman who invited travelers into her home (couchsurfers tend to be more men than women and, in some countries, seems to be mistaken as a dating site to pick up foreign women).
Given all of this comfort and yet I would still have outbursts of frustration at Wade for spending so much time on the computer one minute and then start crying about not having a home for Number Three — the nickname of the fetus growing in my belly — the next.
Oh those pregnancy hormones!
It can be a little trying to be staying on someone else’s couch, not having any privacy, and having to live on someone else’s schedule. But these seemingly small things become bigger issues when you’re pregnant — and have to eat when you need to eat and freak out a little when you need to freak out a little.
So we did a combination of couchsurfing and staying in hostels and apartments throughout our pregnancy travels, respecting the pregnant belly, and realizing that if a pregnant woman ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.
Couchsurfing while pregnant in Albania