I remember a few years ago when I saw on the Couchsurfing website “International Family Weekend“, an annual couchsurfing meeting for families. I really wanted to go, but the event was by the sea, a bit far from Krakow and we did not go. A year later the meeting was in Gorce, so I did not have an excuse. I signed up for the event uncertainly – I was not sure what kind of family there will be, maybe some hippies or fanatics in some field. Maybe everybody knows each other for years and I will be there only a waste of space? In an inflow of enthusiasm, I enterned to teach yoga classes, which I became interested in a few years earlier. And here I walked into an excellent company of traveling families.
How does our International Family Weekend look like now?
Once a year, we choose a weekend during the holiday season and a place in Poland, which is reasonably possible to reach. We gang together families with children, mainly Polish families, but we try to expand the team with families from abroad and of course, new families. There are regulars, mainly families from Poland, but also two families from Latvia and the Netherlands. Every year 2-3 new families join, thanks to which our conversations are enriched, and each convention has an unique atmosphere.
What connects us?
In theory Couchsurfing, because organizing these meetings started there. On couchsurfing website our first events were created and promoted. In truth, however, it is not about Couchsurfing, but rather about the sum of features that people represent in our conventions. They are always travelers – near or far, more or less interested in sport, going on short or long trips. They are people curious about the world and very open to others – they believe in the good will of others and want to give something selflessly. Everyone without exception is very active in various fields and they like to share it.
You will find here:
– cycling buffs and mountain guides
– hostels owners, who travel more than be at home
– photographers and filmmakers with all kinds of lenses and cameras
– enthusiasts of various sports such as: running, cycling, football, volleyball, yoga, pilates, fitness
– record breakers and masters of fulfilling their “bucket lists”
– specialists in Ayurveda, meditation or alternative medicine
– multilingual people, mixed families, some with teaching skills (-> workshops!)
– enthisiasts of field races, all-round events or orienteering games
– board games and “mafia” type of games freaks
– chemists, physicists, computer scientists, biologists, pharmacists, engineers, artists, linguists, traders and entrepreneurs
– enthusiasts of all kinds of reading (fiction, sci-fi, travel)
– at the end, always parents!
There are no political or religious topics at our meeting. We meet to spend a great time and to inspire each other.
This year at our X CS International Family Weekend event (annual couchsurfing meeting) there were 13 families from Poland and Latvia.
What did we do?
First of all, we integrated ourselves, we got to know the names and interests of all 13 families from Poland and Latvia.
Secondly, we practiced yoga, cross-fit, cycled, ran with the map, swam in the lake, played volleyball or canoed.
Thirdly, we ate breakfast and lunches together, and in the evening at the campfire we listened to travel stories.
Fourthly, the children were busy all the time and did not sit “on our heads”: they made slims (= boogers from glue), took part in travel, sport and language workshops, played football, elastics or hide-and-seek.
There were also board games, talks about books, face yoga workshops, capoeira or Ayurveda consultations.
Who organized everything?
Each of the participants gave something from himself: either organized workshops, games, or coordinated a bicycle trip, canoes or even purchased wood for a bonfire. There is no one organizer, or rather: each participant is an organizer!
If you are close to the idea of such meetings, and you hesitate, I encourage you: do not lose another, valuable meeting, just book 5-7 July 2019 for annual International Family Weekend and come. Once you show up, you will get into this event and will definitely be permanently in your annual calendar 🙂
In order not to be groundless I present to you photos by the guide and photographer Ania Kuś-Smęder, who also drags her family around the world (Ania’s Profile: https://www.facebook.com/krakowprzewodnik)