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).
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.
HI USA believes travel should be accessible to everyone, and one way we’re helping make this possible is through the Explore the World scholarship. Eighty-one $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to individuals who are keen to venture overseas on an educational or service learning journey. If you’re interested in taking a trip to deepen your understanding of people, places, and cultures, this scholarship might be for you.
The Point Reyes National Seashore is known as a refuge for those who are looking to escape the chaos and calamity of everyday life. Within the expanse of the park, you get the serenity of green trees and shrubs on the hills and the calming magic of the ocean that stretches out forever, so a stay at HI Point Reyes hostel feels like a soul-cleansing retreat. With all this nature for inspiration, it makes sense that the little nearby town of Point Reyes Station is also quite the haven for artists.
from far and wide
that stayed with us and others
and brought the word
'hostel' to me and dreams
of train trips to Europe and Japan
to my sisters.
We threw parties
that threw open the gates
opening our fences
joining our backyards,
for a few nights
before returning to our
-Jane, HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse
As another year comes to an end, we all start thinking about the 12 months ahead and how we can try make them a little better than the ones before. And if your resolutions for the coming year include more travel, we’ve got some suggestions you can take on the road. So, never mind about eating less gluten or calling your parents more (although, on second thought, maybe you should call your parents more). Instead, let’s usher in the new year with set of resolutions you can stick to. We hope they enrich your experiences and open you up to new adventures and new friends!