When I share with people that I often stay in youth hostels when I travel, they say, I thought those were for 18-26-year-olds. Well not anymore. They now attract people from 18-80 years of age, and it doesn’t matter if you’re single, you’re sporting your spouse or you brought your family

When my children graduated from high school, I took each of them on a trip. I wanted them to be educated on the joys of traveling on a budget hos(styling) it. My daughter and I stayed on 42nd Street in New York City for less than $45 per night. My son and I stayed at a hostel in downtown Chicago for around $30 per night. But hostels do not only offer an inexpensive place to stay. They also offer exotic experiences.

Over the years, I have stayed in a teepee on Vancouver Island, Canada, a chuck wagon on Vashon Island, Washington, a Ship in Stockholm, Sweden, The Big Tent in Heidelberg, Germany and a bungalow in Bali just to name a few. The prices range from as little as $5.00 per night to $50.00 or more per night depending on what part of the world you are traveling to and if you are willing to share a room and a bathroom or if you would like your privacy.

Hostels also provide cultural entertainment as you will meet people from all over the world and if you allow yourself the opportunity to connect with others in conversation you can experience an adventure of a lifetime.

The key is to be flexible.  The best adventures I ever had is when I didn’t plan anything.  I got up the day of, met someone during breakfast, shared ideas of places to visit and we said yes to sharing a ride or exploring a destination together. I recently experienced a kick scooter tour through Singapore.  When you are traveling alone its fun to have the opportunity to share your experience with others.

My most recent Youth Hostel episode granted me a trip to Art in Paradise a 3 D museum in Chiang Mai with an Australian chap named Darryn. I said yes to an adventure and the two of us set off on foot site seeing our way to the museum.  The trip to the museum gave us the opportunity to take some great pictures for each other.





The next day I joined a group of four random guests from the hostel all from different parts of the world and we hired a driver for an all day excursion. All six of us squeezed inside a 4×4 extended cab pickup truck and away we went on a 4.5 hour drive to see the White Buddhist temple, visited the Chiang Rai Mai Hill Tribes in Chiang Rai and we took a boat ride down the Mekong River to the Golden Triangle where the waters of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos merge . We later docked the boat to shop the village markets in Laos.  It turned out to be an adventure of a lifetime


The White Temple


Chiang Rai Hill tribe


Boat ride on Mekong River


Infused Cobra venom whiskey for sale in the Laos Market

I highly recommend checking into a hostel and if you are one of those people who tend to plan your trips, try something different and say yes to exploring life on a whim. You too just might have a novel experience you will never forget.






The Gift of Change

Emilia and I are on our way to visit her friend Uti one more time before I leave. We had discussed the night before about taking my motorbike, and we are now ready to depart, and she is trying to change my mind. Emilia wants to take her car, but the traffic is heavy. I say to her it’s only a 20-minute ride on my bike, but it will be an hour ride in your car, I could tell she was apprehensive about riding the bike as she stammers, Uti’s house is far, it’s 5 miles.

Emilia shares with me, “before I left my house this morning, I said to God, I maybe die today.” I looked at her as if modeling for Monet and screamed; you actually put that in the air? We cannot go for a ride with that energy looming over our heads like “Pig Pen’s” fog. You pray five times a day and have invested far more than I. Can you borrow from your investment and stop putting that dark energy in the air, I bargained?

She says Trina; I am so hot. I said, Emilia, I understand you are wearing four layers of clothes. She says to me I don’t want anyone to see my legs. I said, trust me, no will find them. She is wearing a hijab, a long sleeve shirt, a skirt, tights and toe socks. I am wearing a T-shirt and thin pants, and I am dying of heat. I am worried she is going to lose consciousness on the back of my bike, and I will loose my precious cargo.


Emilia will admit that fears sometimes get the best of her. I don’t know why she conceded to challenge her fear at this moment, but she did, and we mounted my steed and off we went.

Five minutes into the ride I ask Emilia are you ok back there. She leans forward and shouts hey if you get tired I will drive. We both are laughing now. I said, are you having fun? She shouts, Trina; I feel so free, and I am enjoying my adventure with you.

We arrived at Uti’s house safe and sound. Emilia runs to the front door, and we are greeted by Uti and her family. Emilia is jumping up and down like she won the lottery. She looks at me and says they cannot believe we came on a bike.

When it is time for us to head back home, I hear thunder and lightning. I said we will have to wait. She looks at me with a smile and says I don’t care it will be fun, and it’s our last adventure. I have now discovered the reason behind why she conceded to ride.

I told her how much I respected her willingness to exercise her courage and ride the bike. I asked her if she will continue to ride a bike after I am gone and she said, maybe Trina, you have changed me. I looked at her and said we have changed each other, my friend, “you have opened my heart to a culture different than my own.”