This month's Member Spotlight is for subscriber Josh Lomon, an avid traveler and hostel industry enthusiast. He began traveling at 24 after 3 years of a serious career in public relations, and thought he would go away for 1 year. In a story familiar to many of us, he ended up going for 7 which spanned more than 50 countries!
He's been back in the States for 1 year now, working at a very premium luxury property (over $1,000K per night) and though he is also enjoying that, he told us he misses working with the hostel experience. He managed a small one in New Zealand for a year, and loved it. He's now looking to either take over the management of a hostel, or potentially even buy his own. Read more about his journey below!
How long have you been working in the hostel industry?
My first hostel job was in the fall of 2011, so only for about 5 years, though I have been staying in hostels for over a decade.
What were you doing professionally before running hostels?
Planning special events and doing public relations for a non-profit organization in Washington DC, being the program director for a children's sleepaway summer camp in Maine, and teaching English in rural China.
What is the current dream?
To purchase and manage a small hostel, preferably in a developing country.
What inspired you to get involved in running hostels, and now return to it?
Throughout my experience staying in hostels in more than 50 countries, as well as running one of America's most exclusive, luxury, boutique hotel properties in New Orleans, I miss being abroad and the spirit of what a well-run hostel can be.
What do you see as your biggest challenge in starting a hostel?
Definitely cost. I am not looking to invest my entire life savings in 1 property, and would much prefer buying a hostel that is leased rather than actually purchasing the property also.
What resources have helped you the most to get the ball rolling?
Prior experience without a doubt.
What factors are most important to you for starting a hostel? Location, price, style, etc.
Price, and overall vibe. The best hostels are friendly, helpful, infused with locals, and most importantly- clean and safe.
What lessons from your current experience outside the hostel industry will carry over the most?
Public Relations really teaches you how to meet people where they are, and how to appeal to a wide variety of people from other backgrounds.
What is your favorite destination to visit in your own travels?
I have been most taken with Croatia, India & Vietnam.
How can the HostelManagement community best support you?
Just connecting interested parties together.
What advice can you offer to others who are in a similar position as you?
Be patient, and wait for the right one!
Josh, thanks for taking the time to speak with us and share your journey. I'm sure there are many other hostel dreamers out there who can resonate with where you're at. If you are interested in speaking with Josh further, he can be reached at [email protected].
HostelManagement is a community that thrives off the collaboration, sharing, and learning from thousands of members worldwide. The contributions made by members can be logistically helpful, thought provoking, and even inspiring. We are grateful to everyone who enriches the site with their experiences, and want to especially highlight those subscribers who are making their dreams happen. Do you know of a hostel or specific HostelManagement member who should be recognized? Send us their info! Email us here with names or ideas.