GoCambio is a free website where backpackers can find alternatives to hotels, guesthouses and hostels by exchanging their native language skills in exchange for a a place to stay with a local. One person writes about their experiences of using GoCambio.
I’m sitting here thinking where do I start? I mean essentially I went to Spain on my own to live with people I have never met for a week.
Some people may think it is crazy living with strangers, but my trip to Zaragoza was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.
I truly believe happiness is achieved outside of your comfort zone and GoCambio was a new adventure that I had not experienced and I am so grateful that I did.
I had no expectations of Zaragoza and so I was in for a nice surprise. It was beautiful - the people, the city and the sunshine.
I was blessed and so lucky to have met such amazing people that I can now call my friends. We all need good people in our lives and so the trip was worth it just for that alone.
I stayed with Alex, a 6ft 6 handsome man and Bimba, a stunning nurse from Barcelona.
They were so welcoming, open and kind hearted. I was given my own key, room and shown the fully stocked fridge and the sweet drawer (anyone that knows me will know that food is a hobby of mine!)
I felt right at home and I was included in everything from Thursday’s €2 tapas nights to the Sunday vintage market with a DJ.
Alex booked tickets for a Burlesque night which was very thoughtful as he knew I am dancer. Burlesque in Zaragoza was interesting to say the least and Ill say no more!
What I loved the most about Cambioing was that I was fully immersed in the culture. If I were to have stayed in a hotel I would have eaten there and used a map to find places to see.
However with Cambioing I was introduced to many new friends, brought to the local bars and was shown the hidden gems in Zaragoza.
Alex’s English was almost perfect, but I was able to help Diana and Bimba. Bimba’s English improved so much in just one week, but she is a quick learner. The language barrier was not a problem.
Arm gestures, Google translator and sangria meant we understood each other just fine!
I love the Spanish culture and we went to a Latin music bar one night where, wait for it, men actually asked women to dance.
I can hear the gasps of many Irish people’s disbelief as our night out usually consists of downing as much drink as possible to avoid paying into the club, “dancing” to Tina Turner, followed by the mandatory doner kebab. We’ve all been there.
As a dancer myself I was in heaven and I even got to dance salsa. Everyone was so friendly and open minded. I could go on for days about the fun I had in Zaragoza.
What I love about GoCambio is that both parties benefit and most importantly it’s free. I would recommend everyone to give Cambioing a go as it is a life experience you wont regret and with each life experience you grow as a person.
I am already planning my summer in Europe with GoCambio.
For more information about GoCambio, just click here.