Windows of opportunities

Now that I’ve had some time to get used to the structure and schedule of how things work around here, I can start turning my attention to other things on my mind: making the most of the opportunities and resources presented to me. Networking, idea sharing, knowledge leeching: I’m a supporter of all of the above. And the more I’ve allowed myself to absorb, the more I crave. Opportunity is like pixie dust to me, and knowledge is figurative gold.

Lately I’ve been bothering Geoff and Rob about how they got their idea to start a hostel, open up a restaurant, open up a second restaurant, what they like, what they don’t like, and all of the responsibilities that go along with it. Being a part of the staff that runs the hostel is also valuable information, because it allows me to see one way of how to structure a team of people and get chores done that need to be done to keep the hostel afloat, from the different “departments” i.e. cleaning services, admin, receptionist, inventory, etc. Additionally, I’ve had some really nice conversations with different guests. One guest in particular was talking to me about possibly getting into the hostel business himself. He told me about a website that serves as a platform for potential business partners, hostel owners, investors, etc. It got me thinking about the difference between starting a hostel from the bottom up, or from the top down, as in buying an already established company, which would essentially just be a change of ownership and management.

I’ve also been talking with my coworkers. Carla, a Chilean woman who works with me, is a biochemist in “real” life, and Raul, a Peruvian man who also works with me, has worked for the FBI doing cyber security and stuff regarding social media. From the type of work we do here, to the way they act, to how they talk, I wouldn’t have guessed any of this. Raul even talked about how he worked at one hostel, and the guy cleaning the bathrooms or something was a highly respected lawyer. You never know WHO you’re working with, or WHO is staying at your hostel! The scenarios and ideas that pop into my head about people’s lives are one of the things that keeps my mind racing while my body is cleaning the kitchen stove for the 3 millionth time.

Azzurra dreams of being a hostel manager one day and Geoff wants to keep expanding the restaurant business. Zelli previously worked as an economist for 11 years, and then left everything to work as a photographer on a Disney cruise, and is now the manager of this hostel. I met one guest who kind of has a side gig of learning circus tricks?! She was kind of an oddball. A Danish girl that recently left works as a journalist. And Victor just got out of the Peace Corps! There’s a girl that just graduated with a linguistics degree, which is what Sem is majoring in, and I’ve met one person who is into politics as well. Two British guys left a few nights ago, one just finished med school, the other works as a financial auditor. We have a few Brazilians and Argentines that show up, and it makes me wonder who they are in real life. What career do you have that allows you to take a trip to Europe from one of the poorest countries in the world? So many people, so many stories, so many lives, so many things to learn! My head is hurting trying to push past the small talk and get to the interesting parts of these travelers.

There are so many things I can do with my life, so many ways of doing life, that I’m just getting excited about all the combinations and specialties I can pick up. Of course I can be a financial auditor by day and a tight rope walker by night who owns six dogs, all with Croatian names.

So now my head is hurting from keeping up with the lives of our guests, and keeping up with my own thoughts trying to file all of this information away. Like a computer on organizational overdrive!

These posts will probably continue to be relatively drafty in comparison to the well thought out ones from when school was in session, but that’s ok. A rough sketch is better than a pristine article, because there are things to be done in real life and thoughts that can get filed away for another time. Life is running away from me and I’m trying to find a balance between taking it all in, and internally processing it simultaneously. But here’s a few photos to keep you preoccupied with life outside of my brain 🙂

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