A light-hearted interview with the founders of Hobo Hostel

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The Hobo Hostel in Dharamshala is altogether a different experience of staying in the lap of nature. We really loved every bit of the experience during our staycation. I fell in love with the place to such an extent that I decided to take a casual interview of Hobo Hostel’s founders so as to share their thoughts with all of you.

Why the name Hobo?
We chose the name Hobo because we are here to be a home for all the wanderers and travellers out there. We believe we all are travellers, including our team, which is every day taking care of our guests. Therefore we can provide the best home away from home experience.

What was the thought behind the location?
It was love at first sight! It’s away from the city but still close, so therefore easily accessible by any mode of transportation in a short time. We have a river in walking-distance called Manoni. Hobo is located on the foothills of the Himalayas and part of a small village named Tillu. So it has everything you can wish for a break, stay in peace with nature and get to know more about the locals and how daily life in a village in the mountains look like.

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How is it waking up in the Lap of Himalayas?
It’s just breathtaking and almost impossible to describe. There are so many amazing things happening, the fresh air with the river just next to our hostel, which you can listen to, many birds coming and visiting us in the garden. This all including the beautiful view of the mountains which are within walking distance of a couple of minutes.
Which are the Rush Seasons? How is the Rush?
The more rushed seasons are the summer months from April to June and then December. But we actually want to build up our hostel and activities, so people can come all over the year, e.g. for chilling and relaxing their mind from busy city life during Monsoon, or experience something new through visiting and trekking with us during winter.
When there is a rush, many different travellers from all over India and the world are visiting, therefore many different personalities and cultures are coming together. Some days it also can get late because of taking care of our guests and many good conversations and interchanges happen until late-night.

Have you ever had any Bad Experiences?
Once we had a guest from Finland which was vegan and by mistake our staff served her Chicken Thali. At first, no one realized, not even her, because she thought it was something from our Himachali Dal Baadi. But then she realized it is chicken at the same time with our staff. We immediately changed her meal and apologized. We learned our lesson and after that, we make sure to reconfirm before we serve anything to our guests.

How is the Food so awesome?
First of all, thank you and we are happy you enjoyed it! Most of our ingredients are organic, bought fresh from the markets or procured locally. We don’t use any flavour enhancers which gives the dishes it’s local and fresh taste.

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Who made all the Wall Art? We’d like to promote them on Instagram, if they have an account.
Our Wall Art was made by many different artists and volunteers over some time. Therefore we are not able to share any information.
Where does all the bonfire wood come from?
We collect branches, fallen off wood and cones in the forest next to our hostel whenever we go there for cleaning up left behind waste.

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How is the War against Plastic and Glass?
You are saying it right, it is a war that we all need to take seriously and help together. Everything, from a packet of chips to mineral water bottles, it’s not easy to recycle them. However, we at hobo recycle and divide our waste into 4 categories:
1) Soft Plastic: Wrappers, chips packets, etc. we collect and give to the Nishtha NGO every week, where they among others make bricks out of it.
2) Hard Plastic: Majorly mineral water bottles; First of all, we don’t sell mineral water bottles in our hostel. Instead, we collect old plastic bottles, clean them properly and whoever needs it can have it without an additional fee. We have a water filter, where our guests can get fresh water for free. Even if we lose money by doing this, keeping our environmental goals in mind, we don’t mind to give up on this. The unused hard plastic we give to the waste collectors for free, which they sell in the market.
3) Glass: we give to the waste collectors for selling
4) Food Waste: We use edible waste which is in good condition to feed the village animals. Otherwise, we compost it and use it after in our kitchen garden.
Unfortunately, no one takes broken-glass. For now, we are keeping it aside and looking for solutions. Maybe some upcycling ideas in our new cafe and rooftop, who knows? 🙂
The placesinpixel team did its bit…
Does not matter who threw the waste… We all can do our bit to keep such beautiful places clean
Do you promote any Cleaning Drives?
We don’t cooperate with a cleaning drive yet. Anyways sometimes we share posts of the Dhauladhar Cleaners on Instagram and Facebook.
What we do instead is to organize from time to time a cleaning drive with the young villagers to the forest, which is close to our hostel, to clean the left behind waste from tourists coming and camping or barbequing there.
In general, we follow some simple policies like leave nothing behind and take back whatever you brought to a place. If you see waste, especially plastic, please pick it up, even if it’s not yours. It doesn’t need to be all of it, but if everyone does a little bit and we all help together, we can make and keep our environment clean. Also when we take people for treks, we ask them to help us and pick up some pieces of waste and plastic along the way and give it to the staff back at the hostel, where we recycle it.
The super friendly people!

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