The only thing better than getting to know a new city when 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.
In this edition of Featured Traveler, where we get to know real guests at HI USA hostels in Northern California, we caught up with Josephine, a student visiting HI San Francisco Downtown hostel for her spring break.
What brings you to San Francisco?
Well, I’m on my spring break and it’s far away from where I live. Plus I didn’t need a visa to get here so I thought, “this is my chance.”
Do you do a lot of traveling?
Yes, I’ve travelled a lot. I’ve been pretty much everywhere in Europe, to northern Africa, northern Asia, and once to the United States and the Caribbean!
Where’s your favorite place you’ve visited?
St. Petersburg is my favorite place by far. It’s the most visually beautiful place I have ever seen, and the people are awesome, but I mainly love it because it’s all so beautiful.
So what’s the best thing about getting to a new place?
I love that everything is new and that it’s possible to not even know how things work. Like, can you drink the water, or how do you talk to people, or how do you get around? Stuff like that.
And what do you like about staying at hostels?
So I’ve been in San Francisco for two weeks couch surfing, but then I decided to stay at a hostel because it’s easier to get to everything and you can also just hang out. I love how many people there are in one place, and how different everyone is. And I really like that there are places like this [the common room on the second floor of the hostel] where you can hang out and have a lounge.
What advice would you give to someone who hasn’t travelled much before?
Don’t be afraid to not stick to the plan. If you see something fun that you want to do, just do it! Don’t just stick to things that you have to cover or have to see just because you are in a specific city. It will make your trip so much better.
What would you like people to know about where you’re from?
Germans are a lot cooler than we sound! We’re open minded, and we have a history for 70 years that nobody looks at!
Why do you think travel is important?
Travel is important because it shows you that there are so many things you never question, like things that only you do or your country does, and that you don’t always think that there is another way of doing things. But when you travel, you get to do and see all these things you didn’t even think about, and that’s so valuable.
Want to hang out with travelers like Josephine at HI San Francisco Downtown hostel? Make your booking on this site now!