Why We Hitchhiked 6,000km Across Europe to Set Up Podstel

So 12 countries, 110 days, 113 hitchhikes and 5,600km later we’ve landed in Podstel’s new home, Leipzig. Many would probably think we’ve been frolicking around Europe meeting lots of people and having tonnes of fun but there was much more intention to the trip than just that.

We’ve been asked this a few times since we set off so we thought maybe it’s time to bash out a written explanation. Of course we love to travel so any excuse to get on the road is a good one but there is more to it than that, we promise.

These we’re our main focuses and exactly we what we achieved:

1. Spreading the Podstel word

Travelling is all about the people you meet. We meet new people every single day – the guy who gave us a hitch, the girl who hosted us, the people in our dorm, the couple who came up to us on the street or the group at the event we attended.

Positive Word of Mouth is the most powerful form of advertising and always will be. And let me tell you, very few have escaped without being told about our project. Our wardrobe consists of Podstel t shirts, jumpers, hoodies, hats – you name it we’ve Podsteled it. Even our puppet friends, Bert and Ernie sport the gear. We carry stickers, business cards and the passion in our hearts to reach out and spread the word.

2. We practice what we preach

We believe in the power of travel and that it is one of the greatest platforms for personal growth. It creates time and opportunity for reflection and exploration of one’s self. With this, new passions can be born or old ones revisited. Podstel promotes the idea of pursuing passions while travelling and wants to create a hub where this is actively encouraged. On the road to Leipzig we focused on our passion – the creation of Podstel while adventuring across Europe – proving that travel and the pursuit of passions can come hand in hand.

3. Gaining experience

Collectively we’ve already got a lot of hostel experience both as the guest and the worker but there is always more to learn. On the road to Leipzig, we volunteered in 4 hostels to gain even more experience, knowledge and ideas. We believe from all our hospitality and hostel experiences that we can create a very successful hostel here in Leipzig.

4. Nurturing the team

We’re a Team of 4 who all caught the travel bug pretty hard. But what if the ‘travel bug’ is not an infliction which needs to be shaken, as the connotation suggests, but instead a passion that needs to be shared, we ask?

So, what started out with a dreaming Dan is now a group of us working towards creating a hostel which encourages the exchange and pursuit of passions. We’ve come a long way so far but developing something completely new means working out structures, roles and dynamics. Travelling together means spending every single day together – figuring out who works best where when and how. We were establishing our team.

5. Scout out future locations

The first Podstel was meant to be in Berlin, but we stumbled upon Leipzig, felt a good vibe and decided that it would be more of a fitting location. There’s lots of rational logic behind that decision too, but you see, our future vision does not stop at one hostel. We want to create a revolutionary network of small, community based hostels across Europe. After a fantastic trip, we’ve already got a few places in mind for future expansion (no spoilers yet) but we are also keeping our eyes peeled for cities we think would be ideal Podstel spots in the years to come.

6. Fun

Last but certainly not least – never underestimate the importance of having fun. Life is short and the world is big. We are young, free and travel makes us happy. The happier we are the better we can serve society and the more we can bring to Podstel.

So here you go, it might look like we’re on one long holiday but rest assured the road to Leipzig meant a lot to us. There’s a lot of behind the scenes kind of stuff going on and we’ll have some exciting developments for you in the next few months.

Until then, happy travelling people. See you in Leipzig!

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