As an eighteen year old with a long ten months of full-time retail work drawing to a close behind me, my final eight weeks before departing for university were an exciting prospect. My gap year had been more shelf stacking and sassy customers than backpacking and charming locals, but I hoped to change all that. I only had two limitations: money and company. My year out had been lucrative, but most of that was already sunk into university housing, books and booze so finance was thin on the ground. My friends had for the most part jumped straight into university, and the ones that hadn’t were happy to spend their final months drinking cheap beer and watching television; international adventure was a tough sell. So I was left with a dilemma: how to throw poverty, solitude and wanderlust into a pot, without ending up back at the British Embassy? The answer was CouchSurfing.