In the beginning of 2001, Dutch national Ramon Stoppelenburg started the website www.letmestayforaday.com
requesting for a place to stay at people’s homes and some help with food and drinks. And guess what? He received some invitations. A LOT of invitations. 3,577 invitations from 77 countries to be exactly. So a trip was born.
From May 2001 to July 2003 he travelled the world withouth any money visiting the people who invited him over through his website.
In exchange for the given hospitality he wrote an extensive daily report on his website before hitchhiking to his following location. The travels took Stoppelenburg through the Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, South Africa, Spain, Australia and Canada. Ramon became a well-known internet celebrity and all the coverage by international media and the number of visitors to the website allowed Stoppelenburg to have everything sponsored: his website, clothing, camera, backpack, shoes and even his airline tickets.He shared popcorn with Geri Halliwell and shook hands with Steve ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ Irwin. Britney Spears was published next to him in an American newspaper and he had his own column in a Dutch newspaper.
American television networks followed his website about the ‘notorious Dutch freeloader who travelled the world since May 2001’. Every month millions of people from all over the world would read his reports.
He was the Internet’s first travel celebrity, according to the British Sunday Times who hence voted him ‘internet personality of the year’. Among other ‘honorary’ titles to his name are ‘The Godfather of Couchsurfing’ and ‘The world’s biggest freeloader’.All his adventures are covered in his book “Letmestayforaday”. Here, Ramon Stoppelenburg relates about the fascinating experiences with Spanish night trains, tropical Australian islands, the cold Canadian North, the madness of the media, drunken hosts in Ireland, farting South African elephants, but also about toothache, spoiled tourists and dead kangaroos.
Global wanderer of the world. Avid cyclist, skier/snowboarder and passionate ping-pong player. Can't live without mountains in my vincinity. Fascinated by cryptocurrencies and hackerspace-like collaborative creations. Linguaphile with a special interest in Chinese, Russian & Spanish. Lover of both good & cheap wines, random facts and singing in the shower.
Travel and backpacking remain my first true love. The crazier and more original those earthly exploits the better!