There’s something about the humble picnic – the simple pleasure of sharing a meal outside with great company while the sun shines happily from above – that makes it feel good to be alive. Now that we can gearing up to celebrate the beginning of summer and all the good things that come with it, we can also start getting excited about all the picnics to be had in spectacular places. HI Marin Headlands hostel, which is lucky to call one of Northern California’s national parks home, is a paradise for spending time outdoors, especially if you’re up for a bit of al fresco dining.
One of the best things about staying at a HI USA hostel is the fact that you get to meet and interact with people you may not have paid much mind to out in the ”real world”. You just never know who you might befriend while hanging out in the hostel common room, or while you’re out on one of the hostel’s volunteer-led tours, or over a community dinner cooked in the kitchen. And if you’re an experienced hosteller, you may come to realize that there are certain characters who seem to be a constant feature no matter where in the country (or the world) you’re hostelling.
Whether you’re used to warmer climates or quite content in the cold, there’s no denying that spring is a pretty wonderful time of the year. All the life that seems to have been hiding within the earth emerges, and the world seems to become a more colorful, brighter, livelier place. If you happen to be in Northern California during the spring and summer months, you’ll find that HI USA has some pretty sweet spots to do some Julie Andrews “Hills Are Alive” spinning around amongst beautiful blooms (or just regular viewing and photo snapping if you’re not the spinning type).
Being a budget traveler on the road doesn’t mean you have to miss out on awesome sights due to lack of funds, especially if you’re staying at HI USA’s San Francisco hostels where you get some pretty sweet perks. One of which is a 20 percent discount for the Oscar de la Renta exhibit at the impressive de Young Museum.
HI USA’s IOU Respect program aims to break barriers by gathering a diverse group of young individuals for a two-week cultural exchange program. Participants come from six countries – the US, Egypt, France, Germany, Lebanon and Tunisia – and travel to two cities where they take part in facilitated dialogue sessions, team-building project work and group outings and activities.