Happy #TravelTuesday everyone! I am so excited to present to you the Nomad Hostel! Incase this is the first time you’ve stumble upon my blog, I’ll let you know that I’m just a little but obsessed with the idea of buying a van, converting it into a home and driving it across the world (see 100 before 100). So I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out that a hostel was doing this (on a smaller scale of course). I caught up with Flecha from destinations hostels, he’s super passionate about this project and he told me all about it, his passion and love for sharing his country absolutely shines through when you meet him and speak to him. Along with having a hand in planning and organizing this amazing experience he is also one of the guides. You can read our interview below.
1. What is Nomad Hostel?
Nomad Hostel is a different approach to Hostels and travelling in the same country.
How many times do we feel that we are missing out on the true identity of a country for just staying in the main cities? How many uncomfortable bus hours do we loose on freeways when trying to see more than the capital of a country, missing out amazing stops and viewpoints? Eating sandwiches from breakfast leftovers? How often could we used a couple more hours just to see that sunset but we can’t because our train leaves at 6pm?
With Anywhere Destination Nomad Hostel the guest has wheels, accommodation, food and fun compacted into a convoy of Caravans, led by someone who knows the area and has the resources to provide you with a great experience.
Timetables and schedules will be flexible for the group to decide, food will be either in local characteristic restaurants or cooked in the Caravans. Wake up to the Sunrise in a beach after falling asleep under the stars and surf your way into having lunch. See the Sunset in the mountains and spend the night with the local elderly listening to old stories with a glass of Aguardente, after you had an amazing mom and pop meal in a little restaurant.
All of that while you keep on moving with a group of people, with all your (more than) basic comforts – Beds, Showers, WC, Kitchen, Wifi and a Tour Leader to make sure everything is at its best.
This is a new way of moving around without missing out on anything while you are on the go. At the same time, it provides a safe shelter and a warm meal when needed.
2. How did you come up with this idea?
Destination Hostels has always aimed to bring something new to the Hostels area and ADNH (a destination nomad hostel) comes with that spirit. That said, it’s hard to pinpoint when the idea first came to the table, but these things usually appear from different conversations or brainstorms.
We had the Caravans and we were renting them as a Rent-a-Car but we felt that there was something more that we could add to the experience. When trying to find what could be added it just comes from random ideas and “what if we did this…?” being thrown back and forth until a solid foundation builds up to structured concept is developed. Some things are even bad ideas from past situations that now fit perfect in this one…
João Teixeira (Destination Hostels CEO) first approach me with the project less than two months ago and from then on it has been all about trying different points of view and to take that blueprint to the terrain and see what works and what doesn’t. A small seed that keeps growing once it has found a bit of water, and that’s pretty much how it came to where it is now.
3. What does the itinerary look like? What experience can a guest expect from this?
We put up together a 5-day trip from Lisboa to Arrifana alongside the Costa Alentejana, and back. The idea is to follow National Roads down and up the coast, experiencing the beautiful landscape, taking us 3 days to arrive in Arrifana (where there’s our hostel Hi Arrifana Destination Hostel) and another 2 days to return to Lisboa.
On the way we will stop in surf spots like; Melides or Porto Côvo, amazing villages like; Vila Nova de Milfontes and Sines and so many other small hidden places that only someone that knows can take you there.
It’s about 500km total in Vintage Caravans that allows us to move in comfort, rest and eat where we please, leaving when we feel like it. Portugal has beaches and lakes and rivers, there’s mountain and woods and villages. And we will experience all of that.
All of this with a Tour Leader that is there not only to make sure the guests have the best time possible and to guide to the right places, but also to give some insight into traditions or local costumes. He’s there also to give context of the surroundings and even for information for basic survival skills and orientation.
However, we offer more.
That’s our basic package but we are open to plan something different if required. If you want to go to Aveiro or Beja or any other location, we’ll rearrange the traveling to better suit your needs and provide with a similar experience wherever the destination is, hence the name – Anywhere Destination Hostel.
At the same time, if any special event is ongoing, we will cover it! There’s, for instance, Boom Festival in Idanha-a-Nova, Queima das Fitas in Coimbra or even Tomatina in Valência, Spain, besides so many others, and we are ready to go there. Always in the same spirit of Road-Trip, taking our time to arrive so we can enjoy our way there.
A world of possibilities can be arranged and planned so traveling becomes more than going from point A to point B. Traveling will become the experience not the destination.
4. What basic needs are included?
As Caravans, all basic needs would be included in a very (again) basic approach. There’s showers, kitchen, toilets, running water and electricity, WIFI and music.
ADNH covers what we need to stay active, fresh and clean as well as some connection to the modern world, but the idea is to have just exactly the minimal needed so the natural and picturesque world takes place.
5. What is the impact or experience you are trying to create?
We are trying to provide a way to travel around the country without missing out all the magical hidden places in between the main areas.
We want to combine the friendly and eclectic environment of a hostel, with the comfort of renting a vehicle, plus accommodation and kitchen of a house, accumulated with a knowledgeable guide and access to typical places.
It doesn’t get much better than this.
6. What type of traveller would gain the most out of this experience?
A traveller that wants to get away from the main cities to experience more green and peace. This would be ideal for nature lovers, surfers, people that want to forget noise and find some rest amongst Gaea.
Anywhere Destination Nomad Hostel aims to show what the typical “Portuguese world” has best to offer outside of Lisboa, Porto and Lagos, so this is for someone that wants to take the time to go somewhere else off the beaten path.
7. What is your vision for nomad hostel? Where do you see this in 5 years?
My vision is to keep the simplicity of the model while allowing it to grow. I imagine a big group of Caravans going back and forth through the country, meeting every now and then, experiencing characteristic locations. To have several routes and destinations, giving the best of my country to whoever wants to have it.
Someone once told me that this looks like “Resident Evil, but without the Zombies” and I still believe that it’s the best way to create an image of what we aim; A convoy of people parking and camping wherever we want, taking advantage of what nature and locals have best to offer, having fun with each other and enriching themselves instead of being trapped for hours in bus or train missing out what’s outside the window.
8. What are a few key things travellers should keep in mind before booking with you?
Keep an open spirit and a Nomad energy. It’s the opposite of a cultural or cosmopolitan visit with the cosiness of the modern world; this is moving around with the wind and stopping when feeling hungry or because that village is calling with the bare minimal.
It’s for those with a loose schedule and an adventurous spirit – The tree huggers, night swimmers and mountain walkers. The ones that rather have a cricket to listen too instead of a club, and that take a shooting star over a museum. This is for someone whom is not afraid to get its feet dirty and hair messy, for those who move around with little and require nothing but simplicity to be happy.
9. Where can travellers go to learn more or book this experience?
Contact the usual platforms from Destination Hostels or Destination Tours, such as website, facebook or blog. Or even directly the Anywhere Destination Nomad Hostel via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on HostelWorld