Not everyone knows it, but my life as a traveler is relatively new. Like many other fellow travelers, I do not come from a family of explorers. Actually, it’s pretty much the other way around. Long story short, I began to travel because my boss told me to.

Believe it or not, it was a rainy day in London… I was there because my company decided to pay for my studies but not for my accommodation – try to picture that. In those days, one British pound was worth one Brazilian Real so you can imagine how frustrated I was. The solution to my accommodation problem came calling in the form of a hostel, and it would be my first experience in one. I managed to ask for a hostel that travelers back then used to call ‘Hosteler ID’. And I remembered being a bit disappointed when I first entered into a shared dorm. Who doesn’t, right?

Credit: Worldpackers

Yeah, my first time in a shared dorm was probably not like this one…

 

One year later, with a bit more money in my back pocket (but still relatively poor), my girlfriend and I finally decided that it was time for us to embark on our first Backpacking adventure. Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru would be explored by two ‘ virgin travelers’. First lesson learned: just because a hostel is well known in an area doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good place to stay. I almost gave up on my backpacker life just because I hadn’t checked something simple like a review.

Fortunately, my second hostel experience was way more relaxed and one of fond memories. It’s what I think about every time I wonder how I became so addicted to traveling. You know that old myth about the ‘Tower of Babel’? I’m almost sure that the dude who created it took his inspiration from a hostel environment. People from all over the world, ages and beliefs mixed in one shared space, all thrilled about the idea of traveling. What a great idea, man! No wonder hostels became such an important part of my life. From South Africa to Tunisia, Morocco to Malaysia, Italy to Egypt, there was always a hostel ready to welcome us. Even if you are planning to visit or live in a conservative or more traditional country, hostels there will offer you a friendly and open-minded atmosphere.

Credit: Pedro Green

Some hostels are simply your family abroad…

 

Some of hostels I like to refer to as “your family reunion abroad”, everybody cooking together, eating together, and even washing the dishes together – except that guy who cannot live without his tuna can. You really feel those people care about you because they are willing to share with you whatever they can to help you out; from food to band aids. Many of them were there traveling and living as volunteers just because they loved that unique environment of collaboration (the kind of thing Worldpackers around the world are doing). Who wouldn’t love to live in a place like that for a while?

One thing is for sure; my favorite hostel experience of all was the first time I took my daughter Amélie along with me. She’s was just two years old back them when we were visiting Australia (That’s right, her first hostel experience was in the land of Kangaroos, G’days and BBQ’s!). I know what you’re thinking, we must be crazy parents taking a 2 year old with us but think again!  Many hostels offer private rooms where kids can sleep peacefully so we always consider that. And guess who became the Star of the hostel? That’s right – our very own Amélie!

Credit: Quatro Cantos do Mundo

Our beautiful Amélie back them. Probably the youngest (and cutest) traveler in the world

 

Travelers would come up to us and ask about her all the time. They would also try chatting to her in that famous ‘baby voice’ everyone uses (you know, that annoying voice people use when also ‘chatting’ to dogs). Anyway Did Amélie have a good time? Well, she played the owner’s guitar, broke a 5.000 peace puzzle and managed to sneak herself inside every room of the hostel. It would  be an understatement to say it was one of the best places my daughter had been to.  Third lesson learned: no matter how old you are, you can be a traveler with no regrets.

Safe travels Worldpackers,

Eder, Fabi and Amélie.

 

With you guys want to keep tracking the steps of one the world’s most adventurer family, check out Quatro Cantos do Mundo and let yourselves be inspired 🙂

 

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