The only thing better than getting to know a new city when you’re travelling is getting to know your fellow wanderers and the different places they are from. The absolute best part, though, is discovering that despite whatever differences you may have – language, fashion sense, or taste in music – you almost certainly have a few things in common, like a shared love of adventure and new experiences.
We’re starting a new series to help you get to know real guests at HI USA hostels in Northern California. This edition’s Featured Traveler is David, who lives in London, but is originally from Spain. We caught up with him when he was visiting HI SF City Center and had been in San Francisco for two days.
What brings you to San Francisco?
I travel about four a five times a year, so this was next on the list.
What do you think of the city so far?
Every place is different. San Francisco has a special thing – you can call it an attraction. Aside from the Golden Gate Bridge, there’s culture, history and great people.
What would you like people to know about where you’re from?
London is a crazy city. It’s fun and you get to meet people from all over the planet. It’s cosmopolitan because lots of people are moving there. It’s good for people to visit, but people there work like robots.
Spain is a very nice place to go for holiday. There’s different cultures, environments, attractive sun and beaches.
What has been your favorite experience while travelling?
My good friends and family say I travel a lot, but the thing is, I can never get enough of it. Every single place is special; every place offers a great experience, and I won’t say any place is the best. I love going to places that people don’t find attractive, but that’s what also makes those places special.
What do you love about staying in hostels?
I find hostels better because I can get there and meet an interesting person. It’s easy to introduce yourself and you get to know people. It also depends on the country, but I wouldn’t mind saying “hi” to people here [at HI SF City Center]. Sometimes I feel intimidated though, because of my English and different countries have different expressions.
What would you say is the most important rule if you’re visiting a hostel?
So many people ask me, “Who are you travelling with? Isn’t it scary?” Not at all. As long as you try socializing you’ll be fine. I recommend that you don’t be scared.
What is an essential that you can’t travel without?
The most important things that I have before I go are my camera, wallet and passport. And the phone just for Wi-Fi. I don’t care if I lose my clothes, but those are the things I never forget.
What’s the next place you plan on visiting?
My next trip is in April to Peru for two weeks. This year I’ve been to Cuba and Canada as well.
Why do you think travel is important?
It’s to see an answer to a question. It’s to learn so many things and to open your mind. When you go to countries like Nepal, or third world countries, you see lives that you could have never imagined and you start to appreciate the basic things that you have. Like having running water out of a tap. You get to open your mind to new cultures and interact with people and get more information. Travel makes you feel good and helps you mature. And there’s sightseeing of course, but the most important thing is you appreciate what you have and you see different ways of life.
Meet more awesome travelers at any one of our HI USA hostels.