Hostel Interviews

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Jessica Shen

  1. Current Age?

  2. Nationality

  3. Where do you live now?
    Beijing, China

  4. Occupation
    Fellowship Trainee

  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?
    Asia, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, USA

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

  8. Why or why not?
    Coz hostel lounges offer the best place to chill out, mingle with fellow mates and exchange info.

  9. Out of all your experiences hosteling, what was your:
    • Best Moment
      Skiers and snowboarders sitting around the fireplace (in the hostel lounge of course), drinking and having a good time talking about our day on the slopes – Skiwi Hostel (Mt Hutt - New Zealand).

    • Worst Moment
      Saga YHA Hostel in Beijing China: no atmosphere, rude staff.

    • Biggest Hurdle, Obstacle or Difficulty?
      Information on hostels, such as availability of rooms/rates not timely updated on web.

    • Biggest surprise?
      Arriving at a hostel to find it a cool and friendly all-in-one resting point, providing fellow hostelites with value-for-money services, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and most importantly, a fun memory.

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

  11. Why or why not?
    1. Hostels run out of rooms/beds especially during peak travel seasons
    2. Helps reduce hassle in planning for long trips
    3. Saves time from running around in a foreign land (esp at nite)
    Why not:
    1. When in the mood to be adventurous
    2. Recommended/preferred hostels are not contactable over internet (which is the cheapest and easiest way to communicate)
    3. High booking fee

  12. Who is the most memorable person you met in a hostel and why?
    Too many (lost count) – very helpful, incredibly warm and very very funny lot.

  13. Why do you stay in hostels, as opposed to other types of accommodation?
    Hostels are where the independent, adventure-seeking, fun-loving, young-at-heart and quick-thinking travellers congregate to help one another look for off-beaten tracks and share valuable experiences with!

  14. What is the biggest myth people have about hostels and hosteling?
    That they're places where poor teenagers look/stay to get wasted and frivolous sex (though with discretion, this can become quite an attraction for the hostel!).

  15. Why do you like to travel?
    My birth country is my home, the country where I work in is my office, and the world is my playground!

  16. What is your advice for other travelers wanting to stay in hostels?
    Be open, smile and say hello. Things will be much better from there.