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Why I’m having the best week ever

by Marian Schembari on November 13, 2012

For the past few months I’ve been tossing and turning over the idea of moving back to the States. As much as I’ve grown to love New Zealand, it’s not my home and I miss my friends, my family and the ability to travel the world without spending all my savings and all my annual leave. (New Zealand is very, very far from, um, everywhere.)

Finally, after months of freaking out over what I was going to do with my life, I decided to just make a decision and go. Without a plan, I figured I would road trip across America for a year until I found my ‘dream job in my dream city.’

The next day – decision made no matter what happened – I saw CouchSurfing had posted an opening for a Social Media Manager.

So I made this:

Two weeks later and I’m booked on a flight to San Francisco to join the CouchSurfing team.

Yup. Writing that was just as heart-poundingly exciting as I thought it was going to be.

I’m moving to San Francisco to work for my dream company doing my dream job in a city I’ve wanted to live in since I first visited at age 18.

My CouchSurfing Story: The Abridged Version

I fell in love with CouchSurfing a year ago, when I spent five weeks staying on couches, air mattresses and guest bedrooms up the east coast of Australia.

You guys were with me when I subsequently discovered the CS community in Auckland. When I made fast friends and did everything from hike the Tongariro crossing with 80 surfers to motorbiking with a speed-loving Indian doctor through the Coromandel.

The CS community changed my life and made me view my place in the world both as something bigger and smaller than I ever could have imagined.

If you’re unfamiliar with the breadth of CouchSurfing, here’s a brief quote from their mission statement that sums it up perfectly:

At Couchsurfing, we envision a world where everyone can explore and create meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter. Building meaningful connections across cultures enables us to respond to differences with curiosity, appreciation and respect. The appreciation of diversity spreads tolerance and creates a global community.

I couldn’t be more humbled, more inspired and more honored to be able to work for a company like CouchSurfing. And the fact that I get to move to San Francisco in the process? Icing on the cake of life, yo.

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  • Steph Auteri

    Congratulations, Marian! San Francisco is a beautiful city but, even more importantly, you’ll be within spitting distance of wine country. (Priorities.) I also love that you landed a job with a company you’ve been involved with for the past year, using a brilliant video. This is so perfect! Still, I’m going to insist that you let me know the next time you’re on the east coast, punk, so we can have a yoga + drinks date.

    • Marian Schembari

      YES! Also, don’t you fret wee thing. I’m coming home for Christmas so we are still totally doing our yoga and drinks date. I’ve been looking forward to that all year.

  • Miriam_Salpeter

     That’s so exciting! Congrats to you! I love success stories like this. All the best as you make your big move and start your new job.

  • Alexis Grant


  • Natalia Sylvester

    That is AMAZING!!! I’m so freaking excited for you!!! It sounds like this job is perfect for you and I know you’ll be amazing at it. 

    I can totally relate with you on the San Fran love. I hope to slowly make my way over there in the years to come ;) 

    • Marian Schembari

      Well I hope to see you there! Let’s make 2013 the year we finally meet.

  • @dbsalk

    Marian, I’m so happy for you. Isn’t it nice when something works out *just right?*

  • Gail Ramsay

    Congratulations that is so wonderful! I have loved following your journey on your blog, you are so inspiring :) 

    • Marian Schembari

      And you are so sweet :)

  • Abby Butts

    Congratulations on the new job and move!  I love how you go for whatever it is you want and get it!!

  • sabai2024

    What an awesome story, Marian! Congratulations!

  • Becs

    Congrats mate! I can so relate. Love New Zealand, but being there made me realize how lucky I (we) am/are to be American, to be able to just pick up and go home and just leave whenever.

    Love SF! Plus they have a few NZ/Aussie shops there, so you can get your fill whenever needed:-).

    • Marian Schembari

      Thank you thank you! You’ll have to tell me the name of those stores, I will most definitely get homesick for New Zealand very, very quickly.

  • Marian Schembari

    Why I’m having the best week ever

  • Jenny Foss

    I’m so excited for you, I can hardly even stand it! I can’t! Good luck and safe travels! I’m going to surf your coach once you get settled in SF, I call! :)

    • Marian Schembari

       It’s on like donkey kong, woman.

  • Carin Siegfried

    Congrats Marian! I hope your move goes smoothly and that the new job ends up being as awesome as you imagine.

  • christinenegroni

    I am without words. But full of feelings.

    • Marian Schembari

      Me too mama :)

  • Susan Johnston

    Congrats to @MarianSchembari on her new job as social media manager at @Couchsurfing:

  • Sabah Allen

    That is so exciting, it is like a dream come true. Wish you the best and hope reality will be as thrilling as the dream.

  • Natalia Sylvester

    You. Are. Amazing, @marianschembari! Congrats on the new job as social media manager of @couchsurfing!

  • Carlos Cordero

    I am very happy for you.  Sounds like you are going to  have the time of your life.  Do not go back home before having a glass or two of Fossil Ridge Pinot Noir (my favourite).  Believe me.  I took a whole case to Peru once.  
    Did you take H.Dibble to Paneton (at Vicky Park)? Try not to run out of time because that will make 1 more memorable Auckland moment.All the best and I can’t wait to read about your adventures from the other side of the Pacific Pond. 

  • Alexis Grant

    Bingo! @MarianSchembari does something different to land a job: #jobsearch

  • Lia Allen

    Yay!!  I’m so happy for you!  It’s gonna be awesome!  Like I said, I’ll hit you up when I’m over there, either in Spring for a visit, or for my move in August.  Congrats!

    • Marian Schembari

      Yes please, can’t wait! My couch is your couch :)

  • Ajschembari

    Proud of you, big sis. We all are.

    • Marian Schembari

      Thanks bro. Can’t wait to see you in just a few weeks!

  • Khaled Allen

    You Rock! I just wanted to let you know that you have always been an inspiration to me, and now that you are realizing your dream of moving to SF (also shared), you are even more. I was watching the video and thinking to myself, “Yeah, I definitely vouch for Marian!”

    • Marian Schembari

      I’m luck to know you too bro. Thanks for making my head bigger :)

  • Carlos Cordero

    Why I'm having the best week ever

  • jessicamalnik

    Congrats, Marian! I’m sure you will rock your new gig at Couchsurfing. 

  • Carlos Cordero

    A FANTASTIC example of personal marketing using social, in video RT @MarianSchembari: Why I'm having the best week ever

  • EmilyKaatherine

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you!!

  • thenorthernist

    As soon as I saw that video, I knew the job was yours. Glad CS had the good sense to realize it too.  Congratulations Marian, I can’t wait to hear about the next chapter of your adventure.

    • Marian Schembari

      I love your faith in me!

      • thenorthernist

        I’m pretty sure that vid sent your app straight to the top of the pile. ;)  And I’m chuffed I know someone in SF again, a city I’ve been wanting to revisit for about ten years.

  • Thomas McMillan

    Have fun in San Fran!!!!

  • Thomas McMillan

    Have a fun time in San Francisco! Great town.

  • Sara Beth Allen

    We totally had a conversation on Twitter a few weeks ago about how you should write more about Couchsurfing. This makes me all the happy!

    • Marian Schembari

      Oh man, yes we did! Funny that ;-)

  • Marian Schembari

    @janetnorcal I've been offered a job in San Fran. See here: Where are you based again?

  • Michelle Bizon

    Moral of the story: @MarianSchembari does awesome stuff. @Couchsurfing is lucky to have her!

  • diane shipley

    Oh my goodness! What EXCELLENT news, congratulations. It sounds like the stars aligned for this one. 

  • Janet Brent

    little late to the party.. saw your instagram photo of the golden gate bridge and had to see what’s up. CONGRATS!! SF is also a city I’d LOVE to move to someday.. If I were to move back ‘home’ at all. Living in SE Asia for almost 3 years and its starting to feel like home :P I’ve been in touch with CS a few times but not really big on the community though it’s obvious that a CS position would have to go to an insider and a BIG congrats (again) for that!! excited for this new chapter.. dream job and HELLO dream city!!

    • Marian Schembari

      Never late to the party. And thank you! If you’re ever in San Francisco, my couch is your couch.

  • Bruno Ciano

    Why I’m having the best week ever

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  • Naomi Garnice

    Belated congratulations! Great news.

    • Marian Schembari

      Aww, thanks Naomi! It’s still just as awesome :)

  • Alexa Davis

    Wait… I haven’t been on your blog in quite some time to stalk (shame on me)… but this is great.

    And you are still as great as the first time I flooded your inbox.

    Also, I vouch for you, too!

  • G

    That’s awesome! I heard your story at WDS last weekend, so super cool! I’m actually visiting San Fran from Idaho for a few weeks next month, maybe we can meet up? :) I lived and traveled in NZ for a year on a WHV and was such an early adopter of CS my username is actually a single letter – I’m a fan! We can dish sheep, kiwis, couches, San Fran highlights, and world domination!

    • Marian Schembari

      Awesome! And yeah, for sure let’s meet up. Shoot me an email (found on my contact page).

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