TO: Ken Smith
I greatly enjoyed your Turnagain Times article about the new Girdwood Alaska Backbacker Inn. I am almost 68 and had the opportunity to stay there the past two days and enjoy the charming town of Girdwood, Alaska.
Single seniors today are also travelers and learning about the world and hosteling as a way of travel. I have been a member of Hosteling International (HI) since 1986 and over the years stayed at hostels in the U.S., Thailand, Nepal, throughout Latin America, Canada, and Europe. The real joy of hosteling is meeting people from many places, learning about their lives and cultures, getting ideas about which direction to go next and sharing the same with fellow hostelers. Hostels provide a safe, clean, and friendly environment plus a kitchen to cook and enjoy meals together. Sharing dorms with people of the same sex encourages a comfortable, respectful travel style.
Hosteling International (HI), a non-profit organization, was founded 100 years ago; the beautiful new Girdwood hostel is a perfect example of a hostel well managed by enthusiastic and committed managers, Amy and Brandon. They add creative environmental awareness as well as plans for art and music workshops. They taught me about worm composting, aquaponics, and other environmental practices.
I hope your article will bring more awareness to travelers of all ages and backgrounds. Hosteling is no longer just for the young – it is for people of all ages who are interested in learning about our beautiful world and all its people.
Jeanne Devine, a long-term HI member from Tempe, Arizona