I arrived at Julia’s place in Spanish Harlem at 9:19pm on a breezy December evening. She wasn’t there. Pacing my intercom buzzing politely, my cold finger quickly began to lose hope in what was supposed to be my first Couchsurfing adventure. Right before I gave up, Julia showed up from around the corner and apologized for being late. I felt relieved as we walked up to her apartment on the second floor. Julia suggested we go to dinner and I said I would love to grab a bite. In her eyes, we were on a date, and I had no idea that was the kind of website I signed up for. As soon as I sensed the romantic energy, I gently brought up my partner in the conversation and the evening went on a different path. We had such a great evening together. Right behind the couch I was sleeping on, I noticed the roses wallpaper. I fell asleep in this gloomy Manhattan apartment.
"Surfing USA" is a collection of feelings in the shape of spaces and faces. It invites the viewer to wake up and fall asleep in somebody else’s home, and get a glimpse of America behind four walls. From New York to Texas, I observed the Couchsurfing community by participating with no familiarity or prior experience. I wanted to see what America looks like from the inside, and learn more about the reasons for welcoming a stranger to one’s home.