Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry. — Jack Kerouac
In the past months of volunteering at a hostel that is on the verge of dying because of the lack of guests and management, the owner has asked Marc and I if we would be interested in taking over and if we think we could do a better job. Having many nightly discussions about the changes that needed to happen to make this hostel successful, even after Marc found himself sleepwalking and crawled into my bed in the middle of the night when we were the only two people in the staff dorm and there were four other sets of empty bunk beds, I suppose we felt we could still do this together. I told him the only stipulation was that if he tries crawling into my bed again he will get a five-finger slap to the face and I don’t care how dangerous it is to wake up a sleepwalker. After agreeing to this request the hostel was quickly moved to new management. Our goal was to create a welcoming and inviting hostel for backpackers since we ourselves are one in the same. I’ve realized that in order to create a successful hostel it isn’t having the most comfortable beds, cleanest facilities, or most amenities, but in creating an environment where people feel welcomed and accepted. It is the genuine attitude and passion for making something that is unique and creates positive memories, whether traveling for several weeks, months, or even years. The formula is not difficult but just as with any business you have to understand what your guests want. I always tell people that if you want to own a restaurant then before you do spend time working in one from every level. Work as a dishwasher, as a busser, as a server, and once you can relate to what you are requesting of your staff and understanding the difficulties and frustrations they experience, you, as an owner or a manager, will be able to relate to them better and provide a better experience for both your staff and your guests.
Our dream team of rebranding the hostel also including a very fun and outgoing Brit named Saf. A previous attorney in the UK, she quickly became a great new friend, a friend that I felt that I would carry with me for the rest of my life. There are many things I can say about Saf and I know that she knows what a great friend she means to me because I have had the opportunity to tell her time and again, but if I had to sum up just some key points of her I would say that first of all she has an enormous heart for others, an infectious laugh and smile, she has a patient ear for listening, and is not quick to give advice but will sit with you for hours and is truly a friend that through thick or thin will always be there for you. Thank you Saf, I feel that it has been such a blessing getting to know you and spend time with you.