EOCP #3: Ryoji Yoshimura – Hosting 40+ Couchsurfers, Forming Global Relationships, and Life Changing Travel

October 29, 2017
Couchsurfing with Ryoji

“I never thought I was going to travel two or three years ago…it just came up to me…it was some sort of instinct saying ‘Let’s do it. Let’s go for it.'” – Ryoji Yoshimura

Ryoji Yoshimura (@ryoji_o_yoshimura) is a veteran couchsurfing host based in Kitakyushu, Japan.

Since 2015, he has hosted over 40 travelers in his home. These travelers are commonly called “couch surfers.”

A couch surfer is a person who stays at a local’s place, often on their couch or extra mattress, for free.

Meeting travelers from around the world, Ryoji felt inspired to see a bit of the world for himself. After trips to The Philippines and South Korea, Ryoji took a year off from school to travel.

In order to do this, he first spent four months working in Australia. Once he had enough money he put these funds towards visiting places like the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, and Iran.

Ryoji has fascinating experiences from couchsurfing in different countries and continuing to host travelers in his home. The lessons he learned throughout his gap year changed his perspectives and helped him develop a deeper understanding of who he is.

He is now finishing up his university studies in Kitakyushu, which I think is a great testament to not put your dreams on hold.


Some of the things we discuss include:

  • Experiences from couchsurfing: both hosting and being hosted.
  • Hitchhiking around Taiwan
  • Tools for learning a new language
  • Developing a better understanding of yourself
  • Global connections and relationships
  • And so much more

Scroll down for links and show notes…

Thank you for listening and enjoy!


QUESTION OF THE EPISODE: Have you ever taken a gap year or other significant time off from “real life” to travel? If yes, how did you feel different (if at all) upon returning home?

Please leave your answer in the comments.


Want to hear from more travelers?

  • Lars Feste – Learn about Iceland, necessary conditions to see the Northern Lights, and the power of saying “No.”
  • Theo Moon – Get inspired to follow your passions, live life to the fullest, and add “adventure sparks” into your routine.


Show Notes and Links

Connect with Ryoji – Instagram | Couchsurfing

  • Why would anyone host a couchsurfer? [3:40]
  • What is Couchsurfing? [5:45]
  • Ryoji’s method to prevent hosting nightmare guests. [9:00]
  • Staying with a nudist. [11:45]
  • Hitchhiking in Taiwan. [12:45]
  • Finding a “grandpa” through couchsurfing. [15:50]
  • Gap year and working in Australia. [18:50]
  • Visiting Iran for two weeks. [22:10]
  • Tools for learning new languages. [27:00]
  • What should a first-time visitor to Japan definitely do? [32:30]
  • Visiting the United States for the first time. [36:30]
  • Earthquakes and typhoons in Japan. [39:50]
  • What is one of the first things Ryoji does upon arriving in a new place? [46:40]
  • New experiences. [47:40]
  • Misconceptions of traveling. [50:30]
  • Life changing effects of traveling. [55:00]


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From the suburbs of Chicago. Founder of Edge of Comfort. Currently exploring Asia. I don’t need a tuk-tuk or massage.

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