written by Hayden J.
The Hostel Group shares with you amazing hostels from around the world, and I encourage you to Book Directly with the hostel for any future reservations. This helps put more money into the hands of the hostel instead of the big Online Travel Agencies, and during these hard economic times, it is even more important to do so. My first real travel experiences took place 8 years ago when I was 20 years old, and these experiences have helped shape who I am today.
Growing up in Southern California, playing baseball and enjoying friends and family, I never really left the city too often unless it was for sporting events. My first real travel was not far at all, and that was when I went to California State University, Fullerton in Orange County. So by 18 years old, my first experience of integrating myself to a new culture was a 1 hour drive up the road. I say that I was in a "bubble" that I never really knew I was in. To be honest, Travel was not that important to me at the time.
During my second year at college, my roommate mentioned to me that he wanted to study abroad. I did not have this idea, but at this moment, the travel seed was implanted. After figuring out what study abroad program fit for me and my major, I ended up in London, United Kingdom. Truth is, in London they speak English, and I was a little intimidated to be in a foreign speaking country. (Remember that before all these decisions, the furthest place I ever really traveled was just an hour away from where I grew up). So, it kinda makes sense that at age 20, I chose London.
Being a 20 year old guy in college at the time, one of the coolest things I could do first in London was visit a pub and buy my first legal drink. In the United States the legal drinking age is 21, so it makes sense as to why this would be on the top of my list of things to do.
Budgets, or simply not having much money, meant that I had to explore various options when it came to accommodation, and that is when I found out about hostels. These affordable and fun hostels that I stayed at provided me with a melting pot of travelers from all over the world.
I met so many fascinating people at hostels that I would have never of known if I stayed at a fancy hotel. One of the first things I did in Paris was go and visit the Eiffel Tower with a new friend I made from Japan that I met at my hostel. When I visited Cardiff, Wales I went out for a beer with a new friend from India, who was studying to become a doctor in London, that I met at my hostel. In Barcelona, I had lunch with a friend from Canada that I met at my hostel. The list goes on and on... My (now fiancé) and I stayed at a hostel in downtown San Diego, and the next thing we knew, we were enjoying a Pub Crawl with new friends we had made from Brazil, Germany, Korea, and Eastern USA.
When do you get a group like this together on a consistent basis? The answer is, when you stay at great hostels.
Traveling not only opens your eyes to the world, but it also gives you the confidence to try new things with your daily life. Right after we graduated college my (now fiancé) and I moved to Maui, Hawaii. We had never visited before, but we figured we would try it out. We both love the beach, I surf, and if people continually choose this as a "honeymoon" spot, then it must be a great place yes?
Over 5 years later and we are still here enjoying ourselves, but this confidence in moving to a new place was a gift given to me from my study abroad and past travel experiences. I hope to share other travel stories, hostel updates, and anything else that is fun and inspiring in the world of travel on this community page.
I look forward to the future and to the next trip!
Founder, The Hostel Group