When Piper Sutherland heard about an opportunity to spend some time in Rwanda learning and volunteering with locals and other travelers, she knew that this was something that she had to do. The only barrier to her plans was a lack of funds to pay for the three-week program with Global Youth Connect in Kigali. But after doing some research it seemed like there were no opportunities for someone like her who was young, wanted to travel with purpose, and was already out of college.
We know that life on the road can be on the pricey side, especially in a city like San Francisco where it seems like there is an endless amount of things to do. Luckily, when you stay at HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel, you know you’re already saving on awesome accommodation (plus that free breakfast!), and you’ve got access to sweet in-house activities, which allow you to experience the city like a local.
There’s so much to love about traveling – new experiences, new sights, new foods, and new memories – especially when you choose to make your home base a HI USA hostel where people from all over the world get to meet because of their common passion. Along with knowing that after a day’s worth of epic exploring you’ve got a comfortable place to rest and relax, staying at our hostels also means that you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something new to fall in love with while you’re on the road, whether it’s a new friend or a new favorite street in a city.
If you’ve stayed at HI Monterey Hostel before, you might have had the pleasure of meeting Markus McMahon, friendly guest services associate and walking Wikipedia page for all things related to this corner of the California coast.
On clear nights when the moon is new, astrophotography enthusiasts and keen Instagrammers flock to HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse to capture otherworldly images of an expansive sky flooded with stars. In winter months, the stargazers are treated to views of Orion in all his glory in the west, the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux right above him, the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major pointing to Polaris the North Star, the Little Dipper in Ursa Minor, plus a host of unnamed stars twinkling many light years away.
Steam rose from the rain-soaked concrete at the Emeryville Amtrak Station, where I was boarding a morning train to HI Sacramento hostel. Inside the train car I overheard a young woman with an indeterminable European accent ask another passenger which was the side with the best views. “This side,” he said, meaning the left side facing the tracks and a couple of tall hotel buildings, so that’s how I chose my own seat.