Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Volunteer Spotlight: Fred Locher

What's your involvement with the hostel?
I volunteer giving travel presentations as part of the Travel & Taste series with REI-Whole Foods. They only occur once a month, so I decided to get more involved and be a volunteer guide as well leading travelers to events around the city. It´s been a lot of fun so far! I enjoy trying to put together unique events that are not only interesting to me, but also to someone who is only in Chicago for a few days. I´ve been trying to keep the events more cultural with a small outing afterwards for those that want to continue the night on a more social level.

What initially motivated you to get involved at the hostel? And what do you enjoy about it now that you're doing it?

I initially attended a Taste & Travel event on Brazil at REI & Whole Foods. After the event I inquired about being a travel presenter volunteer for some of the countries I have visited. Also, I enjoy traveling and thought it would be a great way to continue to stay in touch with other travelers while meeting people from around the world. I am always curious as to what brings people to Chicago and I want them to have a good impression of our city. From my personal travel experience, I know that sometimes it can be tough meeting other travelers and I thought that by leading events I can help to make it easier for hostellers to meet each other. The events I have led so far have been a lot of fun and I think the travelers enjoy the uniqueness of them as they typically aren´t what you´d see in the guidebook. It has given them a different, more local perspective on the city. The visitors seem appreciative that someone would go out of their way to show them around, so that has been rewarding enough for me.

What is your own personal history with traveling and hostelling?
I took my first around the world trip in 2000 and fell in love with traveling and learning about other cultures. I haven´t looked back since. It´s mostly been in Europe and Central/South America that I´ve stayed at hostels or guest houses. I enjoy taking long trips and staying in hostels helps to keep the price down. In addition, it´s a great way to meet other travelers and learn about the places they´ve been or recommend. It´s an amazing network of global citizens.

Describe your ideal trip in just a couple of sentences.
My ideal trip is a bit off the main tourist path trying to get to a place before the mainstream travelers do. Culture is important for me as well as a bit of adventure. I am in a hostel now in Nicaragua as I write this and it has it all so far!

1 comment:

Best Hotel & Hostels said...

This place is one of the best to spend my Christmas vacation together with my family and children. Thanks for sharing this!

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