One thing we’ve learned about hostelling is that there’s always a chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the different kinds of people that you meet. Folks from all walks of life tend to flock to hostels, where they can share stories and experiences with people who they may not have met in ordinary life.
At HI USA, we believe in the power of travel to open minds and the power of community service to open hearts. Above all, we believe that these experiences should be rewarding – not costly. That's why, for the sixth consecutive year, we are offering groups across the country free overnight stays at HI USA hostels in January and February 2016 through our Great Hostel Give Back (GHGB) program.
What is GHGB?
At HI USA, we firmly believe that travel has the power to transform. Meeting new friends from other cultures, participating in the customs of an unfamiliar country or city, and integrating ourselves into the local community are irreplaceable experiences, and ones that help us to better understand the world around us. And the most rewarding travel experiences of all are those that allow us to affect the communities we visit just as positively as they do us.
On September 21, HI-USA and guests from across the world joined together to promote tolerance, understanding, and world peace.
It sounds like a lofty goal, sure, but it's one that the United Nations encourages people to spend at least one day each year working towards. Since 1981, the United Nations has recognized an International Day of Peace; in 2001, the UN established September 21 as an official annual day of global non-violence and ceasefire.
There are a number of things I find myself feeling grateful for this morning: my body's unprecedented cooperation with actually getting out of bed when the alarm went off, despite the heavy darkness outside my bedroom window; the clear passage to the counter at my favorite coffee shop, free from its usual crowds in the still-fuzzy first light of day; and the perfectly timed arrival of the 49 bus, which takes me from the Mission, the San Francisco neighborhood I call home, to Fort Mason, the little national pa