‘Cultural couch-surfer’: Man explores different cultures through American households

‘I learned that being American is not just one thing’, Benhamou said

Ever imagine swapping lives with someone from a different background? Leaving your comfort zone to learn about other cultures and traditions, literally living with a different family. One man is doing it in his own way through travel. He's set off an adventure where he stays with families of different cultural groups nationwide through videos in "I Moved in With America."

The United States of America is enriched with hundreds of thousands of people from different backgrounds and life experiences.

The idea that one individual would have the ability to spend a significant amount of time among cultures different than their own isn’t realistic -- except for Content Creator and Entrepreneur Markian Benhamou, 24.

So far, Benhamou has experienced living with a Hawaiian family, a Black family, a Jewish family, and a Native American family. He looks forward to upcoming stays with a Mexican-American family and Italian-American family.

He documents his traveling experiences on social media.

Benhamou joined News4JAX on The Morning Show to share his experience traveling across the country as a “cultural couch-surfer.”

“My goal is to live with 10 families around the U.S. to learn what it means to be American,” Benhamou said.

Benhamou was born in England to French American parents. Unlike most, he grew up among various cultures in several countries. Before moving to America -- Benhamou lived in Russia, Spain and Hong Kong.

“I want everyone to learn about the beautiful cultures around the U.S.,” he said. “We don’t know much about other cultures, we build misconceptions and stereotypes.”

Benhamou said making friends with people who do not look like you is the best way to learn about different people. He went on to explain that through these interactions it is important to not expect everyone to have the same experiences in life he had.

“So far, I learned that being American is not just one thing,” Benhamou said.

Benhamou has gained a large following on Instagram and YouTube with over a million followers combined. These platforms are where he shares his traveling and interactions with the people he lives with.

Despite his online presence, he said this journey is not about him, it is about the different cultures he feels lucky to experience.

To follow how he is making his mark on American society follow his Instagram, and YouTube.


About the Author:

Ashley is rising senior at University of Florida studying broadcast journalism, specializing in meteorology. Ashley lives in St. Augustine.