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Youth Hostels..little isles of somewhere else

Hangzhou, China4.22.2007I moved over to the Migrator Youth Hostel that is right at the side gate of Zhejiang University. I ate my breakfast there and could not help noticing how similar this hostel looks compared to all others. In fact, I think that all youth hostels look, smell, and sound the same. It is kind [...]

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Hangzhou, China
4.22.2007

I moved over to the Migrator Youth Hostel that is right at the side gate of Zhejiang University. I ate my breakfast there and could not help noticing how similar this hostel looks compared to all others. In fact, I think that all youth hostels look, smell, and sound the same. It is kind of a funny realization to come to at this point. It is as if they were designed by a sole architect of the international youth. Especially in Asia, it is sometimes really difficult to distinguish what country you are even in from their interiors. They just kind of make the middle state of being that is indicative of travel a little more blurred. I suppose they also offer a small degree of comfortless familiarity. But, all for all, I have no complaints as I really do enjoy sitting around their bright white insides….listening to the same conversations over and over again…..looking at the mild pensiveness that these places bring to almost everyone. Someone always moving everywhere. Trying to relax while far away from it.

Another funny thing about them is that they seem to be little islands of “somewhere else.” That is essentially what they are. They seem to be set up to inspire one to venture off into some unknown land of adventure……photos on the walls of mystic land of the indiginos….and all that….wait, I thought the place where the hostel was located would be adventuresome in and of itself. Wait!, I still gotta go elsewhere for my adventure????? How about I just keep going????

Well, that sounds alright. Old time notions of adventure is about the hardest thing to find if you are looking for it. But if your not it is always right before you. The 4×4 prepaid “adventure” tours (oh, I’m sorry, I mean expeditions) to once far flung locales are oftentimes not really for the adventurous. But just running through the outskirts of any city is enough to make your heart pump a little. True adventure is right in front of you always and forever. I suppose this is the great affair of travel.

hangzhou

Filed under: Accommodation, China, Travel Preparation

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3624 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York

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