In Books, Couchsurfing, Creative Commons, Writing

I don’t cry often. Never in public. So, it completely surprised me when I broke down in the middle of my talk at the launch function of my book ‘Copy Right and Left‘ two weeks ago.  Right in front of  a packed audience. For a full 20 seconds (which felt a lot, lot longer, trust me !!).

It was an outpouring of relief.  Authoring a book had been on my bucketlist for as long as I remember. I have tried many times and failed in as many times!  Wrting a book is a long, arduous, tiresome, sometimes lonely journey. To cross the finish line and to see your baby come to the world is an amazing feeling. I just proved a point to myself.  Guess, I got overwhelmed.

So good was the entire experience, I couldn’t wait to get started on another arduous, long journey!  🙂 Especially, if its on a subject that is very close to my heart : Couchsurfing.

The book is titled, ‘COUCH : How a Simple Furniture is Helping World Travelers Save Money and Build Lifelong Friendships.” Read more about the book at

I remember the first time I couchsurfed. It was in Kuala Lumpur in May 2008. I stayed with a very friendly young Chinese guy, who was extremely hospitable. Two days earlier, I stayed in a plus 5 star hotel, courtesy of a large corporate who had invited me to speak at their conference. The stay at the 5 star hotel was luxurious but I enjoyed the couchsurfing experience more. I realized that it was the genuine hospitality, the kindness of the human heart and the opportunity to experience the local life is what couchsurfing so much more endearing. After my first experience, I was hooked. I knew this was my calling.

Since then, I have traveled to many countries which included USA, UK, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Croatia and South Africa. In each of these countries, I had wonderful experiences staying with the locals. Each of the experience had been memorable.

Being a guest can only be surpassed with the joy of playing host. Me and my family have had the privilege of hosting travelers from France, Belgium. Japan. Australia, Malaysia and other countries.

I have since been a big evangelist to the concept of couchsurfing. I have been encouraging my friends to open their doors open to strangers and to experience the joy that I have felt. This book is an extension of that.

I genuinely felt happy with the book project, the sort of exuberance that a kid has while waiting to watch a KungFu Panda movie. I actually woke up at 3:50 am when subconciously the idea of the title came up. I fell in love with it and immediately started to work on the outline of the book.

To me, this book is an escapism. Just like how people take a coffee break or smoke break to break the monotony, I take out time to write this book.

This book has practical advice from my own experience and from experienced couchsurfers around the world. We already have some awesome people on the Advisory Panel.

I have always enjoyed doing collaborative projects and in the same spirit, this book is being authored in an open, transparent manner. The book is written on a Wiki.  You are welcome to contribute to the book. You are free to chip in and edit the book as you feel is right. Every person who contributes to the book gets mention both in the ‘Contributors’ section of the website and in the book.

Couchsurfing reaffirms my faith that people are good hearted. couchsurfing has taught me many life lessons and this book is my way of saying ‘Thank you’!