On my last night in Muenster, I stayed with a local man who lived just outside of the city (2 or 3 miles). His name was Jörg and he was a retired mechanical engineer who now advises private individuals on how best to conserve energy. Whether those individuals be farmers, private businesses, or just a family, he focuses on ways that they can become efficient in not only using energy, but producing their own in order to save money. As someone who is personally interested in similar subjects, I found this fascinating.
However, our conversation didn't end at what we had done for work in the past, present, or occupations in general, for that matter. We moved on to travel, discussing different people that we've met and thoughts regarding them, and our own experiences traveling thus far. Turns out, he had done his fair share for work, though never really got to stray or see much. So now he travels when given the chance and takes either his own family, his neighbors, or other friends. And he uses couchsurfing! So that led to us discussing the best ways to get a host, our experiences whilst attempting to get hosts, and his thoughts as a host. Needless to say, it was extremely helpful.
The best part of staying with him wasn't simply the dialogue passed between he and I. No, it was the entire experience. His gigantic, old house that used to be part stable with its countless rooms, multiple kitchens, and authentic feeling. The animals outside, the huts they lived in, and the crowing roosters in the morning. It was something I had yet to experience in my travels and brought back some nostalgia from growing up on a farm. I guess I could just sum this up with it was unexpected, but a great change of pace that I didn't know I needed, but that I needed. Plus I got to see how someone local lived, which was a big part of WHY I started this trip in the first place. So yeah, chalk that up as a win!
I'll include a page of sketches done while stay with Jörg (below).