Hostel Interviews

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Anthony St. Clair

Dodgy characters like this are generally best avoided.
  1. Current Age?

  2. Nationality

  3. Where do you live now?
    Eugene, Oregon, USA

  4. Occupation
    Writer & Editor @ BootsnAll

  5. When it comes to travel accommodation (but leaving out crashing with friends, family or people you meet on the road), how often do you stay in hostels?
    pretty much all the time

  6. Where have you hosteled?
    Europe, USA

  7. Would you stay in a hostel again on future trips?

  8. Why or why not?
    Hostels always have an interesting mix of people, from the staff to the guests. It's fun meeting new folks, making friends, going out for a drink; you never know who you'll meet or how long your interactions will last. Plus the saving $ rocks, because I'd rather be spending my dosh at the pub or cafe or day trip, than just on where I lay my head at night.

  9. Out of all your experiences hosteling, what was your:
    • Best Moment
      Arriving in Clifden, Ireland and meeting Richard, proprietor at the Brookside Hostel - nice guy, and very welcoming.

    • Worst Moment
      Arriving in Scotland on my first international trip, being told I was being dropped at a hostel - and having no idea what in blazes a hostel was.

    • Biggest Hurdle, Obstacle or Difficulty?
      Dropping my American paranoia about my stuff getting ripped off in the dorm.

    • Biggest surprise?
      How much fun it was to stay in these wee places, once I chilled out and got into it.

  10. Do you ever book any of your hostel accommodation in advance?

  11. Why or why not?
    Sometimes I want to see what happens when I get there, or walk around town and see where different places are. Sometimes, say if I'm going to a larger city, I prefer to book in advance to be sure I have a bed when I get there.

  12. Who is the most memorable person you met in a hostel and why?
    Again, Richard. I was staying in Galway at the time, and needed a few days somewhere else. I called Brookside to check availability, and this gleeful Irish voice answers the phone. He says yes, there are beds; I told him I'd get in on the 7pm bus. He said, "Okay, Antony. We'll see you then. Connemara is nice - we'll take care of you." So true. The next morning he told me where to get "a good Irish breakfast in ya", then he made me a personalized map for a walking tour I was to take around Clifden and the countryside.

  13. Why do you stay in hostels, as opposed to other types of accommodation?
    I mainly care about having a bed and a place to keep my stuff - so I'm not fussed about spending hundreds of dollars (or even tens of dollars) on accom. Hostels also have given me the best chance to meet more travelers and keep more serendipity & spontaneity injected into my trip.

  14. Is there a hostel you'd recommend to other travelers? If so, what is it and where?
    Green Tortoise, Seattle, USA

  15. What is the biggest myth people have about hostels and hosteling?
    That they're crappy dirty places full of thieves. Most people are honest - as travelers, you're in more or less the same situation - and hostels are (generally) kept up well and are quite comfy.

  16. Why do you like to travel?
    Because it helps me learn about myself and the world around me, and because I just can't stand not to travel.

  17. What is your advice for other travelers wanting to stay in hostels?
    Try to interact with the other people there. Bring some fruit or a bottle of wine to share, or see if there are some people who want to see the city sights together the next day. Just try to be open to meeting the travelers around you - you're already in like company, and great things can happen from that.