Posted by Reception on November 26, 2011
It is a truth universally acknowledged that… a single traveler in possession of a handful of pesos (and surfboard) must be in want breathtaking sunsets (or perhaps more correctly worded… sunrises!), crashing waves, copiously flowing cocktails and a just a good time… And if this is indeed so, perhaps Punta del Diablo and more specifically El Diablo Tranquilo is for them!!
As I sit here greeting yet another influx of new guests, fresh faces and beaming smiles; I wonder what indeed attracted such individuals to what I can only describe to be a somewhat fascinating place, a “black hole”. I have recently found myself pondering such perplexing questions as to what draws people to this little ‘bubble’ of tranquility and what supernatural power it holds that seems to grasp people within it’s clutches and on some occasions even…. retain them?
Just ask one of our many friendly staff or charming guests how on earth they got here or came across this place, and more often than not you get the same response… I really don’t know!! It’s utterly bizarre, I feel that the follow image best sums it up in a nutshell:
It is just one of those sort of places & I would suggest that anyone who is as curious as I should come here to check it out!!
Posted by Reception on November 21, 2011
Nuestro hostal ofrece clases de inglés. No importa si vas a pasar unos dias con nosotros o piensas acompañarnos una temporada. ¿ Porqué no aprovechar la oportunidad de comenzar tus estudios o mejorar tus conocimientos de inglés con nuestra profesora nativa hablante? Ofrecemos múltiples oportunidades de practicar tus conocimientos con los huéspedes y empleados anglohablantes.
Para más información ponte en contacto con nosotros en esta dirección www. firstname.lastname@example.org ( Att. Gigi Austin)
Estaremos encantados de atenderte y resolver tus dudas. Gracias.
Posted by Reception on November 20, 2011
Our hostel is now offering Spanish and English classes to our guests. Whether you are just passing through or planning to stay a while, you are sure to make your travels in Latin America less frustrating and more fun speaking the native language. Prices are as follows:
1 per–$15 hr
2-4 per–$10 hr
5-7 per–$7 hr
For additional information or to sign up leave us a comment or send an email to email@example.com and in the subject line write: Atten: Gigi
Posted by Reception on May 15, 2011
Working in a hostel is the closest you will get to becoming a rockstar. Well maybe not a Roberty Plant or MarkyMark, but at least the equivalent to the lead dreadie in the local reggae band here in Punta Del Diablo. El Diablo Tranquilo Hostel is the venue that I took the TimmyGoodTimes roadshow to this summer and needless to say, I think I had sold-out shows every night. I couldn’t play an instrument (gave a go at the harmonica, “Amazing Grace” is under the belt) but the night shift position allowed me to be on stage behind the oak reception desk, conducting the mood of the mochileros with Tim’s Twilight DJ mix, all while keeping the enthralling cool and collective mystique of the “hostel receptionista.” In the vagabonding community, the hostel receptionist is a long sought after job because of it’s inherent answer to the always tickling, always itching question of “How can I sustainably travel and live in another country?” Sure, you live in paradise, everyone is on vacation, the mood is high even when the tide is low. However, there is another side of the hostel hero that tends to be overlooked. It is the plight that every bartender, scuba instructor, charter boat captain, and cruise ship server must learn to deal with; at what time does the vacation come to an end? What happens if the initial perks and pizazz of the “dream” job begin to fizzle out and the “dream” becomes just as normal as the “real world” job you left?
The receptionist position is not a job that I took for it’s financial benefits. I don’t have a 401k, sales quota achievement bonuses, or 2 weeks paid vacation. My salary is not monetized but rather exchanged for an opportunity of a lifetime to run free in a wonderland playground where I can throw the frisbee with a few Frenchies at the beach, play a romantic game of “tug of war” with a tough-to-crack- Ukrainian lass, or spin around on a merry-go-round of banter and worldly lessons with the Aussie five-year-strong-world-traveler. My stock options for future exponential growth are invested in the possible ventures and opportunities that I continue to incubate with the entrepreneurial minded guests I bounce ideas with across the globe. I won’t be making it rain anytime soon, but I might do a rain dance with the hippy indigie’s that check in to show off my sick shamanic shuffle for some street cred once in a while. You won’t see me wearing Versace, but I’ll show you how it’s done on the beach playing Bocci.
If I had a nickel for everytime I heard “So…how’d you start working here?”..I’d have about 10 dollars US. The nickel goes far down here in my Punta Del Diablo beach bubble not because of the exchange rate, but because each one of those questions leaves the guest eager to keep dropping their change into my slot-machine of stories to see what they can get out of my experience. Sometimes I talk about the mixed fruits of life that I’ve been able to sink my teeth into. A few I swallowed with pride, some I peeled just to admire, and most I had to spit right out.
There are obvious perks working in a hostel in a foreign land, at the beach, in summer time, and being a gringo. The most obvious reason is being able to be a cultural, worldly, and educated American ambassador of peace and Obama-ness…or something like that. You might become best buddies with a chilled-out Porteno guitarist or conjour some sappy summer love for a few weeks and you tell yourself “Man this is the life, I dont even need to travel the world…the world comes to me!” The late night clubs, watching back-to-back sunrises/sunsets and life rants send you flying high with gusts of gratitude you owe to the establishment that has allowed you to taste the sweet dulce de leche of hostel life. However, right when you are flying high during peak season, a change in the gulf stream occurs, you start becoming winded and slowly begin to spiral downward into a mountain pass of monotony.
A change begins occurring in the way you look at the guests along with your rock star persona; each week the conversations and “breaking free” lifestyle rants becoming more novel and cliché. The half/interested traveler might explain their love of the idea of traveling, one day escaping the wrath of his parents disapproval and with it, their societal microcosm of social pressures and expectations he is bouncing back and forth in. But alas, the short term traveler might really just be in love with the IDEA of the lifestyle. It will most likely take him a few more years and a big leap of faith to appease the pressure felt humming in his stomach to finally realize that there is a life made specifically just for him out there.
The turbines start stalling after you hear the same comment for the 1,000th time; “Ahh well I wish I could stay on vacation, but time to get back to the real world.” The real world…if I have to hear that branded, made-up, fabricated idea of “real world” one more time, I’m going to, well, probably just snicker and shrug like I normally do. However, after a while, this comment does begin to poke ya’ in the ribs. My snicker turns into an exasperated “Ugh”, leaves me a bit uncomfortable and inherently calls for some introspection on my part to dwell on this “real world” dilemma that is thrown around so loosely these days. I mean if you are returning back to the real world, what am I living in. If my life is a vacation, I guess that’s cool but, is that insinuating that I must one day in fact need to “return” to a “real” world? I feel pretty real during my days working here; I eat, I laugh, I work, I sleep. Then the question is, if my world is clearly “real” and they wish they could live my “real” life then why not be proactive and change your situation so your life is a“vacation.” Can anyone ever truly be working in the “real world” and on vacation? Yet before delving into these big questions, I explain the plentiful and realistic opportunities that are at these dreamer’s fingertips to follow their view of an alternative lifestyle, but I still get the melancholy shrug and, “Yeah, wish I could do that.”
My attitude becomes calloused from the onslaught of questions from the same semi-interested visitor who is more comfortable with saying their dreams are impossible because of some cop-out excuse. I have to bite both lips to keep from screaming, “Dude, quit and be about it.” I can feel the lever on my slot-machine begin to get a bit rusty from the sand-blasted shenanigans of the summer wind. Its getting harder and harder to keep spinning out stories and weaving wild and wander-lustful allegories to the eager listeners. I can see that my “real world” is starting to become more like the “real world” that others keep telling me about and my “vacation” might be coming towards an end.
But I think this is normal, and I think it’s ok.
Pants and sneaks now take place of trunks and Havaianas, and you know what, it feels really, really refreshing. It has been very fulfilling to experience the transformation from summer to winter, my old reception job to the business development side of the hostel, and the “hey everyone listen to me talker” to a more humble listener. I now realize that I can’t be annoyed or pull the too cool for school card with the freshly “on the road” dream gazer who is buzzing from the magic of the road and new found feeling of timelessness. The excitement recharges my batteries and reminds me that it is unfair to judge that privileged exchange student from Buenos Aires who has Kerouac qued up her in her Kindle, just because I have volleyed the “So what’s your story…” ball back and forth countless times. These are the exact same questions I used to ask every hostel receptionist, and if it wasn’t for their genuine , thought-out feedback, I wouldn’t have chosen this path either. Even though I might know where the top 40 conversation will inevitably go, my callouses begin to soften when I see the familiar sparkle in their eye; the secretive glimmer that whispers “I know something that you don’t know.” They know that they have no idea what they are doing, but know that it this is the most real they have felt for a long time.
Here I am now, with hoodie draped over half my face, feet wedged in between the couch cushions for warmth, and watching the contracted locals on horseback fill up the potholes and mini-ravines that have been left by the flash floods of Punta Del Diablo foreigners this past Summer. Just as my vacation has transitioned into a more repetitious “real job”, my playground has turned into a think tank. For the first time in years, I have committed to stay in one place for more than 12 months in order to focus on a few new projects, both personal and professional. I am, in one sense or another, returning to a “real world” of thought, while most will say I am still on “vacation.” This real world/dream job/vacation anomaly tends to throw people for loops, changes their points of reference, and poses many tough questions for an individual who is not too sure the society-imposed “real world” is what they want out of life. The real world should be thought of as the environment (not necesarrily the location) you live in where you are proactively committed to growing intellectually, spiritually, financially, and/or physically. In high-season summer, I would have to agree with most that I was on “vacation” from the “real world” paradigm because I had no focused intrinsic goals for the summer other than to sit back, sip on some mate, and stoke the embers in the parilla until the Asado was ready. However, as my reception job became more “real” and the fresh milk of the “vacation” began to spoil it gave me the opportunity to focus on how I could really combine a dream job, in a vacation atmosphere, making money and adding new skill sets in order to create my own, personalized Real World. By throwing myself out there and taking the initial dream job at the hostel, my “vacation” has now yielded a new opportunity for a bigger and better “dream job” to travel around S. America networking with other hostels in the “real world.”
My call to action is to think hard about your “real” job and if you are truly happy. Your “dream” job , whatever it might be, has the absolute potential of becoming a “real” job. It is vital to take a step outside the “real world” grind to sometimes discover that there are endless lifestyles and job opportunities waiting to be discovered through the new people, experiences, and ideas you will encounter out of the comfort zone of your daily real life. Your ideal job might one day become boring, where you feel like you are stuck in the mud of the road that you used to stamp your feet in freely, the road that led you to this initial dream job. At that point, it is time to reassess what you have learned and leverage the cliff notes of success you have attained into your next dream. This sounds cliché and easier said than done, of course, but believe that the craziest folk with the most obscure passions will make it work, leaving the wisher’s on the sidelines of the dreamer’s path to self-fulfillment. If you are cognizant of what you do well, then put yourself in a position where you can use those competencies to make your dream world a reality…and who knows it might just start with a vacation.
Posted by Reception on April 16, 2011
The first time I took a long board out on the salty coasts of Uruguay, I was definitely a beginning beginner.
I jumped up and down on the sand, every time falling short of me instructors expectations as he said, “Again, don’t drag your feet so much. Faster!” Then it was “Smoother!” or “Other side!” Oops, sorry.
I know first hand how brutalizing those first, few times on the water can be just for a few seconds on a wave—when you can catch them—standing, kneeling or laying. You take what you can get. Understandably, I chuckled when I came across this piece of starting out as a surfer but I think it accurately describes the experience and give a few pointers about how to toughen up, and start taking those waves yourself. Even if the title makes it sound easier than it is, the blog is worth a read.