Sitting in my hotel in Mexico City, tired after a day of walking and sightseeing – alone – I decided to check out the CouchSurfing groups in Mexico City to see if I could meet up with some locals and travelers to socialize a bit. I’m a fairly recent arrival to the CouchSurfing scene, and since joining about a year ago we have hosted a half-dozen CouchSurfers in our home in Kittery Point, Maine. And all experiences were unique and wonderful – everyone we hosted was full of wanderlust and shared the “change the world, one couch at a time” spirit of the exceptional CouchSurfing community.
There seemed to be a fairly active group in Mexico City, so I responded to a message offering to meet up on Saturday for a boat ride in Xochimilco, an area at the end of the light rail south of the city center. Famous for its trajineras (flat-bottomed gondolas) that wind through the canals, the last remaining vestige of ancient Tenotichlán, the Aztec capital built in the middle of a lake in this central Mexican basin cradled in a basin between snow-capped volcanoes. On a previous trip to Mexico City I visited Xochimilco alone and chose not to go for a ride. All the other boats were filled with merry groups celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, special events or simply a fun, relaxing afternoon with family and friends. Feeling conspicuously alone at the time, I just wasn’t in the mood to go solo on the gondolas.