I can now officially add “working at a hostel” to my resumé!
I had no idea what to expect when my boss, Joram, picked me up from the train station on my first day back in January. Three months later, I can tell you this is one of the best experiences of my life.
Although I’m sure other hostel workers aren’t as fortunate as I am with my Stone family, there’s still plenty of reasons why everyone should work at a hostel at least once.
1. You meet the most interesting people while you’re at work.
Every hostel comes with a substantial amount of fascinating people. Whether these characters are my fellow co-workers, guests who stay for a night, guests who stay for a few weeks, or Andrew (who sort of lives there), the memories I have with these people are memories I’ll cherish forever.
When I first arrived in January, there was a man named Peter staying at the hostel. Every single day you could find Peter sitting in the common room, rolling cigarettes and playing a game on his iPad. Peter always had the best stories to share, and I often found myself slacking on the job from talking with him for 30 minutes about his time spent in the Arizona dessert.
Peter left the hostel suddenly, without much of a reason, but I hope I run into him again soon.
Andrew is another one of my favorite guests. Actually, he is my favorite guest.
Andrew is from Long Island, NY, but often prides himself on not having a New York accent. He can talk to you for hours about anything from spirituality to food, but you can’t be surprised if he realizes he has to be somewhere in the middle of your conversation and leaves without explanation.
I have so many great memories with Andrew it’s actually hard to pick just one, so I won’t even try.
He’s quirky, hilarious, smart and unpredictable most days, but that’s what makes him Andrew.
2. The hours are pretty flexible, giving you an ample amount of time to travel.
Each week I’m only required to work approximately 20 hours. Those 20 hours include two reception shifts and one cleaning shift.
That gives you four full days a week to travel!
Although I am also going to school part-time, it usually works out for me to have a few days off in a row. Because of this, I’ve been able to go on trips to Wales, England, Germany and Belgium. Plus I still have trips planned to Ireland and Croatia!
3. It’s the easiest job you could ever have.
I don’t think I’ll ever have another job that requires me to hangout with guests on the job, take them to the best places around town, or just always make sure I’m having a good time.
Of course there’s the real work, such as checking guests into their rooms, answering e-mails, and making sure the place is always tidy, but the fun times make up for all of that.
Most of my coworkers and I actually choose to hangout at the hostel while we’re not working, because you always have someone to talk to or hangout with.
4. The bosses are some of the best in the world.
Okay, so while I can’t guarantee that every hostel will have exceptional bosses, I have to brag about mine for a minute.
I know I’m speaking for all of my coworkers when I say this, but we truly do have some of the best bosses in the world.
Joram, Sharon and Wim are all great in their own way. They all care about the hostel and the business so much, which you can easily tell by all of the time and effort that has been put into making Stone the great hostel it is today.
Plus, they give all of us workers free food and rent in exchange for showing up three days a week! Who could hate that?
5. You never know what to expect, which always keeps things interesting.
There have been days that I showed up, did my job, and left without anything too exciting happening. Those days are rare.
Most of my shifts are so different, my weeks go by faster than I thought possible.
One shift, I could be singing along to the Spice Girls with my coworkers and guests while cooking a huge dinner, and on another shift I could end the night by taking a few Irish guests to all of my favorite spots in Utrecht!
You never know what kind of day you’ll have when you show up to work, but I can guarantee you that 99% of the time, it will be a day you won’t forget.
I’m so happy I took the chance on working in a business I had never even considered before. My entire experience at Stone has inspired me to never stop traveling, always stay in hostels, and take chances (even when they’re kind of scary).
Have you ever worked in a hostel? Or considered it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!