Seeking an “authentic” experience as he backpacked through war-torn Afghanistan, Dutch tourist Ciaran Barr searched the Couchsurfing website for locals to stay with. “It’s naive and reckless.”That is what happened to North American couple Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, who were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012. After reaching Kabul, the deadliest place in Afghanistan for civilians, Barr and Augestad stayed with Couchsurfing host Naser Majidi, 27, who works as a technical adviser for a water utility company. Elyas Yari, who became a host in 2017 despite the objections of loved ones, says he enjoys listening to his guests’ travel “experiences and their ideas”. But Barr and Augestad are not oblivious to the potential pitfalls of travelling independently in Afghanistan where the Taliban and the Islamic State group terrorize much of the country.
Source: Egypt Independent January 16, 2019 10:47 UTC