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Balance between hosting and being hosted

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WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Balance between hosting and being hosted

Finding I get lots of requests for coming to stay, but in the last 6 months it seems that those requesting seem to have never hosted themselves but have been hosted on countless occasions. I understand that there are times when you are travelling and being hosted rather than hosting but it seems a little out of balance at times. Thoughts?

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Balance between hosting and being hosted

I have hosted many times at home and really enjoyed the interactions and hearing about others travels and adventures. last year we went to France and rode from Paris to Marseilles (with a couple of short train legs for convenience and to meet time constraints). We had one fabulous stay with a couple in Auxerre but otherwise we couldn't get anyone to answer messages requesting being hosted even though I used Google Translate to put the request both in English and French and deliberately chose hosts who were down as bilingual. I was very disappointed as we were hoping to be with locals and enjoy the other side of the coin! Plus we resorted to Air B&B which added costs to the trip that I was hoping to avoid. We had previously been hosted by a very kind family in Mühlheim am Main, near Frankfurt when we rode from Prague to Frankfurt and were hoping to enjoy more experiences in France. It was a big disappointment! Maybe we tried to get hosts the wrong way or something else but it was a big negative for the French trip and one of the reasons I am still not actively hosting!

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Do not trust google translate

Do not trust google translate. It is very basic.
And at holiday times (July and August) many hosts are away.
The only places in France we struggled to find hosts were large cities, and that was replicated around the UK as well. Off the beaten track we were incredibly welcomed and loved it.
On hosting , we try to welcome everyone but sometimes we are triple booked so have to turn people away. You have just as much fun hosting people as you do being hosted.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
same same

We have had the same response in France, always picking hosts who are bilingual and not getting any reply. Had one hosting experience and requested 10. I wouldn't bother trying to be a guest in France again. We are still hosting and meeting interesting people. cheers Vicky

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Guesting in France

I just cycled a week in France and three out of four days we tried, we found very nice hosts. The fourth night was a public holiday with many people travelling. We speak good french though.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Paying it Forward

I was hosted countless times in countless ways when I was younger cycling across the US. It took me years to reach a place where I could give back. I realize that several of my guests are in that same place; young and exploring the world and defining who they are. I tell them all to pay it forward when they are able to do so.

I have gratitude in being able to help and shape people as I was helped and shaped in my earlier, more vulnerable years.

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
Jude and Charlie:

Jude and Charlie:
Although I can understand your feelings and the question: Do WS-members have to "pay back being a guest in some way?".
Ken illustrates this in his contribution in a good way.

My opinion:
No, there are no rules about the number of hosting in relation to the number of being a guest.
WS has a lot of people who generously host huge numbers of cyclists during years and never, never ask by themselves for shelter as a guest.

The rules of WSL are found in the FAQ. These are clear and enough to me.
Very important is to be clear in your personal preferences and limitations.
Put them in your WS-profiles.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Paying it Forward

I completely agree.

I have been treated to the kind and generous hospitality of many people on two 6000km bicycle trips long before Warmshowers existed, so when I heard about this network I was eager to join to be able to give back to the community. We are now in a situation with two kids at home, so it is not so easy or comfortable to request hosting at our stage, but our kids are getting something out of our experience of hosting bicycle travellers, hearing their wondrous stories and witnessing an example of the enriching exchange of offering hospitality in return for meeting interesting new people.

It has been wonderfully enriching. When we talk about this dynamic to grateful visitors, we simply suggest they pay it forward when they have the means, which continues to build the kind of society in which we would like to live.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
It depends also a lot of the

It depends also a lot of the place where you live. If it is a touristic area or along a welknown cycle route you will get more requests than living in a remote area.

I am at the moment travelling in Brazil and made very good experiences with my hosts. But you have to send a lot of requests. My impression is that some people register but never want to use it and they even don't bother to reply.

Can't the list of people not be 'cleaned' from time to time. Can't people who never respond be thrown out? That would save a lot of time and emails.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
This already happens, every

This already happens, every year members who have not logged in for 12 months are sent a message and if they do not reply they are removed, but this is not addressing the source of the problem as evidenced by the free falling site wide response rate:
2013 82.2%
2014 79.2%
2015 73.6%
2016 65.8%
2017 56.4%

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Hi,

Hi,

I'm totally agree with you, Jude.
It seems that some people have find an easy way to be hosted during holidays without participing at something bigger than a cheap trip.
I mean warmshower is collaborative and the aim is to help each other, but it can't be to live on others.
I became an member because I travel by bike and I know the need of a shower in some places where there is no campsite around (I love wild camping :) ).
So I wanted to help travelers and meet people from foreign countries.
In fact, I've never ask to be hosted yet, because we're a family with 2 children and I think it could be too heavy for a host. But on a trip, I know that I can find a warmshower member IF I need it.
I've experienced some troubles with a couple of people (French) who have decided to stay all the week-end at home, just as if it was an hotel. Moreover, they've lied to us because they weren't on a trip, they came in their car and they just needed to see someone for some business in a city near our village.

Others have traced their path according to the position of the host houses and I think that sometimes, they could sleep in their tent or their sleeping bags (some haven't one nor the other).
But I guess it's just my way of travelling and my personal point of view on a bike trip...

I'm still ready to host and people are my guests with pleasure, but I have to confess that, now, I welcome more easily foreign people, and less french people.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
.

Many "new" members, especially younger ones, probably join - as a result of internet research - just as they are about to leave on a journey. So they start asking for Hosting before they have had an opportunity to Host themselves. Maybe they will become Hosts one day.

On the other hand, there are clearly some Members who have no intention to provide Hosting, ever, and only want to " take" free stays. I have noticed some of my Guests have been " unavailable to Host" for literally years : that seems very odd to me, over years I would work out some way to offer Hosting, however limited.

I do notice some profiles are solely devoted to the Member's once-current tour ( sometimes long since expired) without mention of any interest in Hosting.

And then there are the Hosts who have never been Guests, and seem to have no interest in being Guests, either ...

Our Membership is surely "broad" ...

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
'I've experienced some

'I've experienced some troubles with a couple of people (French) who have decided to stay all the week-end at home, just as if it was an hotel. Moreover, they've lied to us because they weren't on a trip, they came in their car and they just needed to see someone for some business in a city near our village.'

Sorry, but that deserves negative feedback, please alert the rest of the community (and probably also the admins) about this behaviour. WS is for human powered travellers only.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Not everyone frames the host

Not everyone frames the host - guest relationship in terms of giver - receiver, some view the hosting as a reward in itself. Hosts who believe they are putting credits in the bank to entitle them to hosting by random members in the future perhaps should try out something like AirBnB where they will at least be guaranteed a monetary reward, there are no guarantees in hospex.

Let those who enjoy hosting host, let those who enjoy being hosted be guests, and those who enjoy both do both - any attempt to force people to do things they are not willing or able to do will only have negative repercussions for site utility, in fact I believe it already has; from what I can gather -nobody has ever given me a direct answer- the philosophy of pay it forward is behind the fact that new members sign up with a form that is marked as 'Available to host' by default, a policy which has crippled the usability of WS in recent years.

Hospex sites have always had an imbalance between hosts and guests, I don't see this as a problem, what is a problem is being unable to find the willing hosts that are out there and that is something which Warmshowers needs to address.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
"I've experienced some

"I've experienced some troubles with a couple of people (French) who have decided to stay all the week-end at home, just as if it was an hotel"

If cyclists are staying at one’s home over a weekend it's completely understandable that they want to rest! I am often willing to show my guests around my city, but most of the time they just want to stay indoors and do laundry or bike maintenance, read a book, or upload their photos and blog posts after a few days away from internet access.

After several days of intensive pedaling, it’s natural to want to be lazy for a day or two, and WS hosts should understand that. What touring cyclist doesn’t take rest days?

(Of course, any guests that are traveling by car and not bike deserve a negative reference to warn the community.)

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Jude is right

Pretty simple: if you do not host, or you're never available, or you never reply..... either you pay (a fee, 20$, 30$, 50$, whatever to WS), or you can't be a guest as your account will be atuomatically deleted.

It's morally unfair to be the first to ask and the last one to give. Do you know what I mean?!

And this is a place for sharing, not for saving money while not giving a s%$t about others in need.

Giovanni