Couch Souls (CouchSurfing Project) 2014

Welcome to the world in portraits. A keepsake of memories from our travellers who have slept in our spare room, providing us with an insight into their life & travels as a Couch Surfer. 


Ruut, 21, Finland.

Meet Ruut, the first CouchSurfing (https://www.couchsurfing.org/) visitor to be introduced to my 'Couch Soul' side project of 2014. We didn't have very long to take this photo, but I'm so glad I did. The way you can connect or learn from a new person within half an hour is absolutely magical. I can't wait for this project to grow! Ruut (Ruth) 21, is from Finland, and see's the Northern Lights on the regular. She has been traveling within Australia for 3 months. She has visited Melbourne & Sydney, and focused on telling me about The Twelve Apostles, the Great Ocean Road and Bondi Beach. However, she has wanted to go to New Zealand since she was 9 years old as her favourite hobby is Snowboarding. She likes listening to rock, pop and indie music while she draws elegant & quirky art. I asked her to pose with something that means to her, she says it is her 'travel book' (I'm not sure exactly what it was!).  "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it all." - Andykities Aikonaan. Ruut's favourite quote from a Finish rockstar, she says she loves this quote particularly because she truly believes "you are what you're thinking".  Safe travels, you smiley & happy soul!

Meet Ruut, the first CouchSurfing (https://www.couchsurfing.org/) visitor to be introduced to my 'Couch Soul' side project of 2014. We didn't have very long to take this photo, but I'm so glad I did. The way you can connect or learn from a new person within half an hour is absolutely magical. I can't wait for this project to grow!

Ruut (Ruth) 21, is from Finland, and see's the Northern Lights on the regular. She has been traveling within Australia for 3 months. She has visited Melbourne & Sydney, and focused on telling me about The Twelve Apostles, the Great Ocean Road and Bondi Beach. However, she has wanted to go to New Zealand since she was 9 years old as her favourite hobby is Snowboarding. She likes listening to rock, pop and indie music while she draws elegant & quirky art. I asked her to pose with something that means to her, she says it is her 'travel book' (I'm not sure exactly what it was!). 

"Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it all." - Andykities Aikonaan. Ruut's favourite quote from a Finish rockstar, she says she loves this quote particularly because she truly believes "you are what you're thinking". 

Safe travels, you smiley & happy soul!


Kersten, 26, Germany. 

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Meet Kerstin, 26 year old graduate from Germany. "I stayed with a beautiful family in Nepal. It is such a poor country but they were so lovely. In the city of Kathmandu, they only have electricity for 8 hours a day."

Kerstin loves outdoor adventures and sports. She has her rock climbing gear with her as she travels to find great locations to challenge herself. She is a rockclimbing tutor for children. As Kerstin enjoys her outdoor adventures so much, she also loves Skiing and swimming. She has recently graduated from college studying teaching, she wants to teach basic mathematics. "In Germany you have to study 5 years for Teaching, plus one more year of an Internship." Kerstin has one more year to go as an Intern. 

Some highlighted adventures from her travels include: a Safari in Namibia,  deep water soling + climbing in Thailand, canoying in Vietnam, sleeping in the Desert in Israel and trekking in Nepal. 

She believes in the quote (pictured) because "you should just do it without regret, rather than thinking about it."


Riccardo, 41, Italy. 

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This simplistic traveller Riccardo, 41 from Italy, popped into our home for a couple of nights stay with plenty of friendly conversation and a sharing heart. Rico, from Italy, usually spends his time writing, sailing, and travelling. Some of the many wondrous places he has visited are Mexico, Brazil, India, Argentina, China, Japan, Vietnam, Ireland, Africa, and of course, Australia. Amazing! 

"So Rico, is an Aussie accent officially the worst one in the world?" We laughed, but to my suprise, he told me it depends on the type of Australian you are. "Some people you can really understand and I have no problem, others, I have nooooo idea!". I learnt that I talk too fast to people who don't speak your language, funny what you don't think about yourself until a bunch of other people agree! 

I asked Rico what inspired him to travel "how have you caught this travel bug?" - his first trip was to Spain when he was 20 years old, after finishing a college exam and it was a 'long weekend'. He met some interesting people who proved that travelling comes with ease, but it was mainly his curiosity. "Curiosity, if you want to see what is more than the walls you live within... then travelling is your answer." I then waved him goodbye as he walked up to the Gateway Motorway North bound, heavy backpack on and 'NORTH NOOSA?' sign to attract yet another adventure for himself. There I was filling up my car, knowing that Rico was off to find a new soul to help him along his trek to his next destination. I got goosebumps and my heart felt warm.... if only I was running around in a suburb of a city, city of a Country, awaiting my next surprise. Talk soon, Rico! 


Luisa, 18, Germany. 

Luisa, 18 from Germany, finished school in Ibbenbüren in June 2013. A holiday was desired between finishing school & studying Medicine, in which she wants to do as a career. Amongst the pressure of studying she loves riding her horse, in which Dad found a similar interest and start of a conversation. 

Luisa wanted to travel to other countries, especially Australia, "as it is so diverse on every corner and within every person you meet. There are mountains, desert and the City. The seasons are often changing - hot, cold, and even snow. I also wanted to come to Australia because I love water! Diving, swimming, skiing, snorkelling. I wanted to see Dolphins!". 
A few other reasons Luisa wanted to travel after school was to learn, gain confidence and independence, meet people, and to just learn how life really works... I hope you have fun on your travels Luisa, you are so young, friendly and free-spirited! 


Drew, 20, Courtenay - Canada. 

Drew is on exchange in Sydney, Australia studying Commerce in his third year. Whilst on his semester break, Drew decided to visit Brisbane. He happened to find the Boland's on his first ever couch surfing adventure, so we did the best we could to advise of the best places to visit while he is here. 

At 20 year's old, Drew's future career goal is finance related. Dad and Drew had much conversation in common. He wants to own a small business, perhaps investment banking. 

Although a little quiet, I asked Drew's favourite thing about Australia. He firstly mentioned the culture, and how laid back it is, the friendly people, and it often reminds him of home. Drew's favourite band is Alexisonfire, and loves competitive swimming, ice hockey, guitar and piano. 


Salome, 24, France. 

Dad & I have a sweet spot for Salome, our longest staying CouchSurfer (I think it's almost two months soon), and her first ever CouchSurfing experience. The number one thing that made her visit so comfortable, was the on-going connection both from humour and lifestyle. She brought wondrous amounts of delicious meals, stories, movie soundtracks and positive energy. It was almost like having a sister around for me! 

We were treated to so much French ingredient - not just cream, butter, sugar & Nutella crepes, but laughter, help, independence and advice. She even came along to a few photoshoots of mine, and helped out at home when clients came to me. We loved sun baking and dipping in the pool during the Summer heat (except our hatred of Ants interrupted), sneaky shopping trips and discussing fashion & photos. Dad & Sal often found themselves discussing higher levels of consciousness, God & religion. Even though they may have different opinions, they still found peace and acceptance of their differences.  

Salome will always be a long time friend for the Boland's and we wish her so much luck every step of her travels, and for the rest of her life. She truly deserves anything she desires. Thankyou for making your stay so perfect & comfortable, Sal!