Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Even HI Staff Have the Travel Bug!

Working at a hostel, everyone has the travel bug. Hostelling International Chicago's staff members often take their vacation times and put them to good use. One staff member, Kimberly Turner, just returned from vacation. Naturally we were curious to see how her trip went and we wanted to share with you!

HI: What do you do here and how long have you been working at the hostel?
I am the assistant general manager. And I have been here a little over 4 years. 4 years and 3 months.

HI: So you recently went on vacation in Italy. Where were you in Italy?
We went to Rome, spent one night in the Cinque Terre, two nights in Siena, two in Tuscany in the countryside outside Florence.

HI: How long were you there for?
We left of the 7th. So, 10 days.

HI: What did you do as you were traveling?
We basically saw the sights. The Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum and we spent time just wandering around the cities. Eating a lot of good food and good wine (laughing). That about sums it up! Nothing too exciting.

HI: Sounds great! What was your favorite part?
My favorite part would have to be…(pauses thinking) I loved the Sistine Chapel. And the Coliseum, I loved them both. But the Sistine Chapel was my favorite. It was even more amazing than I pictured it to be. We went at night and had an audio tour. It was very helpful and so beautiful at night. It was incredible.

HI: If you had to recommend one thing that a person had to see in Italy what would it be?
I would say the Coliseum is an absolute must. Just because there is nothing else like it. The third station of the cross is there if you are religious; or event if you are not it is still cool to see. It is also cool to look back to that point in history. There is so much history there! ½ million people died in sick and twisted games. It is disturbing but part of history. The Coliseum is also really easy to get to! Its right off of the train stop. You get off and the Coliseum is right there!

HI: Wow!
Yeah it was really neat. It was like watching free entertainment for them. I learned so much! There was free food and free wine. And most of the animals, tigers, giraffes, and stuff, are from Africa. But only 20% of them made the trip from Africa!

HI: Wow, sounds like there was a lot of information there!
Yeah we had a 45 minute tour with a guide. There was so much I never even thought about. It was well worth the paid tour. I was thinking of just going in and walking around and looking at the signs, but it was so much more fascinating with the guide.

HI: So after your travels in Italy, trying to get back to the United States in light of the Volcano, were you affected?
No we weren’t! We were so lucky! Our flight was Saturday morning and we had been watching the news a lot to make sure we were still on. But there were still people traveling in Italy and Spain. So we made it out. The airports were busy but I expected it to be more hectic. When we landed in New York, JFK is normally such an insiane place already but it wasn’t bad at all. There were cots lined up for stranded travelers, but it wasn’t bad. It was much busier in Chicago.

HI: That is so great! I’m so glad you made it back and didn’t have problems.
Yeah we were so lucky! It was such a blessing that our flights were on time!

HI: Well, thank you very much for talking with me! Have a good rest of the day and welcome back!
No problem! Thanks!

1 comment:

Ted said...

I would have to agree with Kim. The Colosseum was my favorite site in Italy. It's too bad the Italians mined a bunch of it for stone. :(

Cinque Terre is also a must see!