Couchsurfing is one thing. Tindersurfing is something else entirely.
But it’s exactly what it sounds like.
The concept was created by Anthony Botta, a 25-year-old Belgian man from Brussels.
Botta spent two months travelling Europe, staying only in the homes of women he’d matched with on Tinder.
He visited eight different countries - Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland - and stayed with 21 different hosts in total.
It’s undeniably a savvy way of saving money, but that wasn’t Botta’s main thinking behind the idea.
It was the summer between finishing uni and starting his job in marketing, and the Belgian decided he wanted to make the most of his final long summer.
“I wanted to do a last massive roadtrip,” Botta told The Independent. “I had several ideas (going to Ibiza, biking around Europe with a rabbit etc) but once I got the Tindersurfing idea I knew that would be a great way to travel and good fun.
“Money saving plays a part but I will say it is more about meeting new people, new cultures and discovering places I have never been to. I love to get out of my comfort zone and Tindersurfing definitely took me out of it.”
So how does it work?
Before he arrives in a new city, Botta, who is multilingual, sets his location on Tinder to allow him to swipe in his next destination.
And then it’s just a case of getting matches.
“I’m not really picky because in the end all I am looking for is a place to stay,” he says, but admits that ideally he wants to find someone he fancies. That’s not always possible though - on two or three occasions, Botta was struggling to find a host and ended up swiping right on everyone.
“I managed to find a host in every city I wanted to go to expect for Vienna so I just went straight to Bratislava as it’s only an hour away,” he explains.
Botta has had to be efficient too - when you’re trying to find somewhere to stay that night, there’s no time to waste with endless small talk.
“After a few days I found out I couldn’t spend three hours a day just chatting on Tinder explaining what I was doing,” he explains.
“So I came up with the following game plan: break the ice with ‘You are my first match in the city’ and then whatever the lady would text back I would send her the link of the trailer video that is on my Youtube channel followed by ‘wanna be my host?’”
As you might expect, reactions were mixed.
“The most common one was ‘wow that’s cool but not for me, I wish you luck in your travels’,” Botta explains.
“But of course a guy that only travels with Tinder was never going to please everyone so yes I had negative comments, insults, ladies deleting the match etc. And of course ladies that would just say yes before we even started talking.”
With some of the women he’d just stay overnight, but after meeting one he particularly liked, Botta stayed for five days.
And of course, he never had any idea what his accommodation would be like.
Botta says his final host was the worst: “After two months on the road I ended up in a small, dirty place in Poland. So small she was doing the dishes in the shower.
“Speaking of the shower, the water in there wouldn't evacuate, it was blocked by a massive ball of hair. Disgusting. Plus she was a smoker which is a no for me.”
But fortunately some experiences were more positive.
“In Munich I stayed with a lady that lived in a real mansion,” he explains. “That house was maaaaaaaaad. Swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, even her own gym. She lived in the same street as several famous Bayern Munich footballers.
“My other best was Köln, my host there was just so perfect. Smart, cute, intelligent. For a second I thought about stopping my trip and spending my whole summer with her. But it was only my third stop and I’d promised myself to do it until the end. We’re still in touch though.”
And yes, Botta did sometimes hook up with his hosts, but he says it was never a given that it would happen.
“In the end it is like a regular Tinder date: sometimes you go to bed together, sometimes not. If you don't click, if the magic doesn't happen, then I sleep happily on the sofa.”
Botta accepts that as a man, he is in a much safer position than a woman would be when it comes to Tindersurfing, and he wouldn’t recommend women try it.
“Tinder is full of creepy guys that will send you dick pics even before saying hello,” he says.
Botta documented his journey on YouTube, despite having no filming training.
He’s now working in Brussels, but still Tindersurfs when he can, last spending a weekend in Holland
Next up, he’s planning on heading to America or New Zealand.
Women of the world, get swiping and watch out.
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