Couchsurfing his way around the world

“Where they Went” by Diane Daniel
(Published June 8, 2008, in the Boston Globe)

From Di’s eyes: I wish everybody in his and her 20s would take this kind of trip before “settling down.”  Hudson is more adventurous than most. He got an early start by to college in Australia, just for the fun of it. 

WHO: Hudson Doyle, 26, of Brookline, Mass.

WHERE: Around the world

WHEN: September 2007 to February 2008

WHY: “I had just finished a graduate degree in acupuncture and I wanted to see how they practiced Chinese medicine in China. I also wanted to go to Australia and visit friends,” said Doyle, who went to undergraduate school in Sydney. “I got my ticket through STA Travel when I was still a student.”

Hudson Doyle (far right) eating lunch with couchsurfing hosts in Torino, ItalyGOING AND GOING: Doyle’s flights took him to Spain, Italy, Cyprus, China, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. He was on a tight budget and stayed mostly in youth hostels but he also stayed for free with eight CouchSurfing members for a total of 30 days. “It’s a great service, but it’s quite a bit of work online to find places that fit your schedule.”

NOW WHAT?: Doyle’s only reason for going to Cyprus was to visit a friend there. “Just before I was going I got an e-mail from him that he was being deported because of a visa issue. So I wasn’t really prepared to go there alone.” He stayed at a sketchy hostel in Nicosia before finding a CouchSurfing spot with a Dutch citizen living in Limassol.

Hudson Doyle in Zhejiang Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Hangzhou, ChinaDOCTOR’S NOTE: The internship that Doyle, a graduate of New England School of Acupuncture, had set up was an hour south of Shanghai at Zhejiang Provincial Hospital in Hangzhou. “It’s a picturesque city popular with Chinese travelers. It’s small in China – with 4 million people.” I took a bus from Shanghai with a piece of paper they’d sent me with all their information in Chinese. Otherwise I did a lot of sign language and pantomime. I observed rounds in acupuncture and Chinese herbals. The acupuncture was pretty much the same, but I learned a lot on the herbal side. The doctor was really good at diagnosing and making formulas.”

EASTERN FAME?: While staying in a dorm with young Chinese travelers he was asked to help with a China Central Television cultural documentary to precede the Olympics. “They took us out to this sanctuary and we acted out like a skit; I was a foreign traveler and a Chinese guy was the interpreter.”

Hudson Doyle holding a banana flower, hiking in the jungle in Chiang Rai, northern ThailandISLAND TIME: In Thailand Doyle hit the beach, landing on Koh Phangan in time for its infamous rave-like Full Moon Party. “It’s a pretty cool little island and not very developed, although tourism is expanding. From Bangkok he went to Ching Rai, where a guided jungle trek took him through hill tribe villages. He stayed with friends in Australia before heading to North Island, New Zealand, where he mostly hitchhiked around. “It was just fantastic, and the people were so generous.”

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3 Responses to “Couchsurfing his way around the world”

  1. master14 Says:

    So, you like to travel around the world.
    Have you been in Indonesia?
    That is my country. There are many beautiful place and traditional medicine too.

  2. didaniel Says:

    Hello master14. I don’t know if Hudson Doyle, the traveler I wrote about, has been to Indonesia, but my husband and I (the blogger) have been. In 2006 we visited Java, Bali, and Lombok. It was a very exciting trip!

  3. Hudson Says:

    Yea, in 2003 I checked out Bali for 10 days. My girlfriend went to high school in Jakarta and speaks highly of the island Flores. We joke about checking it out together someday.

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