Alamy I realised recently that travellers to Melbourne have two options if they want to stay with me. It got me thinking about how my personal priorities had shifted since I was a young couchsurfer travelling through Europe, the US and Australia about a decade ago. Back then there was a finely honed art in reading through scores of couchsurfing profiles for the next city or town on the itinerary and writing personal, genuine letters to the most appealing among them asking to stay at their place. Friends the author met, couchsurfing in Warsaw. Today when I travel I prefer using Airbnb — partly because I usually have the finances to rent out an entire apartment in precisely the area I want to stay — but also because more often than not I will be looking for a place to write from, so I need to make the investment in getting a quiet comfortable work space.