2012 is going to be a big event-season that, for many, will require a bunch of travelling. This means dealing with long-distances, overpriced airport food, and carrying around large bags of shred equipment. That said, one of the most important things you will have to deal with is finding a place to crash while you’re visiting any given event. The best option, in my humble opinion, is to bring a tent and your camping gear and posting up near the hill or in your buddies yard. If you don’t have a tent, or didn’t bring it, then that means you’re couch-surfing in a local skater’s living room—getting deeply pitted by the flower-print upholstery of the sofa. Either way, yard or couch/carpet or lawn, you are staying at their house and should have some common courtesy in return for their generosity.
Back when I used to work in LA I stayed at my good friend Dustin’s house where he had been living with his sister. She gave me the single rule of the house, one that is still the best and most concise rule I have ever heard of. She said the one rule was to “Be Aware.” Being aware covers it all, it’s like a picture that says a thousand words. So what does it mean? To me, it means that as a guest, you need to be aware of the norms of the house and mold to them—you need to clean up after yourself and go the extra mile to help where you see that you can. You can do your part by cooking meals for the house, buying food for the house, doing all the dishes, cleaning the bathroom, etc. When you are “aware”, you understand that you are an additional and temporary member of that household and thus should pull your own weight.
Personally, my travels will be taking me to Colorado, Portland, Canada, and hopefully Europe. All of which find heavy traffic from skatecationers, where staying with locals is a critical element in affording the whole operation. Being aware can apply across the board—whether you’re headed out of the country or around the corner. Minding this golden-rule will lighten the burden of the host and ensure that you keep a good reputation with the greater skate family, thus increasing your travelability throughout 2012, and the years to come. Be courteous. Pour some out for the homies. Be Aware.