Monday, May 24, 2010

Volunteer Spotlight

Adrienne Nothnagel, Chicago Cultural Ambassador!

What do you do at the hostel? What’s your motivation for doing it?I get to lead awesome travelers of all ages, races, and nationalities all over the city. Sometimes I'll show them something super touristy, and other times I will take them to something that is more of a city-local type of deal.

What motivates me is that I have been a traveler for a few years now, and I like to see and know the "real" culture of a place when I visit it. Thus, I try to do the same for the travelers. The touristy stuff is always spectacular and predictable (and usually crowded), but the off-the-path type of activities really show what "US citizens" are like on a day to day basis. I also am selfishly motivated because I'm relatively new to the city, and I like to learn more about experiences in the city and the history behind neighborhoods.

What has been your most interesting encounter with a traveler so far?
Hmm... There was a blues night when we had almost every continent represented. I remember there being one from Spain, Argentina, Japan, South Africa, Mexico, Denmark, Germany, Ukraine, etc... What was so awesome about it was that despite being from such different places, we all were in that same room, sharing beers and exchanging stories. I am always interested to know their reasons for travel, and it's awesome to compare how our societies and social systems work. I've met people here on business and I've met people here deciding to travel the world and doing it solo. Figuring out the root of the latter is always intriguing.

If you had no limits on money, what would be your dream for the hostel?
I would give all travelers a free wine, pizza, and chocolate tour of the city. What better way to know a city than through it's food? The tour would take the travelers to different neighborhoods to get a feel of what it is really like to live in Chicago, and they would be able to experience the Chicago deep dish pizza!

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