Hostel Interviews

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Olivier Leutke

Olivier enjoys a cold one in Randolphs Bar, back in late 2002.
  1. Current Age?

  2. Nationality

  3. Where do you live now?
    Geneva, Switzerland

  4. Occupation

  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?
    Sometimes a hostel, sometimes a hotel or B&B, etc

  6. Where have you hosteled?
    Asia, Australia, Canada

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

  8. Why or why not?
    Experience, meet people (when travelling alone), price is also a factor but not really essential.

  9. Out of all your experiences hosteling, what was your:
    • Best Moment
      Talking to people you've just met for hours, with interesting discussions, while drinking a can or two of beer.

    • Worst Moment
      Being disappointed by the place, whether it be because it doesn't meet at all the description or because the people there where not "right".

    • Biggest Hurdle, Obstacle or Difficulty?
      Small, crowded, dirty rooms/showers.

    • Biggest surprise?
      Convenience, places are really down to earth and easy going, you usually meet people who are looking for the same as you do - but hey, this is not really a surprise...

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

  11. Why or why not?
    It's good to book the first hostel of a trip in advance, the one you go to when you've just spent 10 hours in a plane. You don't want to look around for ages and you don't want to have bad surprises (bad place, dirty, occupied, etc.). Research (Internet, Lonely Planet, Guide du Routard, etc.) helps a lot. Once you're in the country you want to visit and chill out, and depending on the time you have, you usually find cool places by asking others; plus you want a bit of adventure and not be tied to a schedule. Holidays and travelling should always be easygoing and relaxing!

  12. Who is the most memorable person you met in a hostel and why?
    Guess it was the guy who quit his job to go on a world surfing tour with his girlfriend. He had a lot of interesting stories to tell. But then again, it might have been that very attractive Dutch girl... but I met her on a tour, not in a hostel... :-)

  13. Why do you stay in hostels, as opposed to other types of accommodation?
    See answer above. But I do stay also in hotels (once in a while, a lttle bit of either luxury or total privacy is very appreciated). On business trips hotels are also more convenient.

  14. Is there a hostel you'd recommend to other travelers? If so, what is it and where?
    Ocean Beach Backpackers, Cottesloe, Perth, Australia

  15. What is the biggest myth people have about hostels and hosteling?
    Negative: chaos, filth, lack of privacy, common dirty showers, lack of security.
    Positive: to meet interesting people, to share stories and experiences, to be free, to forget everyday work/life.

  16. Why do you like to travel?
    See the positives above. I think we have only a very limited time on this planet and we all need to work for our living (most do anyway). But this blue planet of ours, despite of a lot of shit going on all the time, has a lot to offer and there is a lot to see! So we have to get out there to experience it all, to live it. I really think that if everybody could/would travel and meet different cultures and people, to understand them, we would live in a more peaceful place!

  17. What is your advice for other travelers wanting to stay in hostels?
    Get information on the web, but mostly ask other travellers you meet (word of mouth is probably the best advice), but just go, be open-minded, open eyes and ears, and have fun. It is an experience.