Backpacking in my 30s; My Love Affair with Hostelworld

I’ve been a backpacker now since 2006, 13 years. From my early 20s into my mid-30s, and I show no sign of retiring the old bag yet, not by a long shot. A lot of you guys know my story, and how it all began. Single-mother family in Ireland, grew up on benefits, went on 2 holidays in my whole childhood, broke. Went to university in England, and the day I finished my degree in the summer of 2006 I flew to the USA one-way, and I never lived in the UK or Ireland since. 13 years around the planet, visiting every country in the world, making over $1m on my blog in 3 short, crazy years, starting my charity and building clinics and schools, buying a place in Bangkok, and now doing mad things like climbing the Seven Summits, and running across the Sahara desert or the North Pole!

Read on for a life-changing story from a hostel in Bangkok


I was a backpacker when I didn’t have 2 pennies to rub together, and am I backpacker still to this day. In my opinion, it’s the best way to travel. You really get to touch, to taste, to feel the destinations you make it too. Ever since I set off, when I literally owned nothing but my backpack, with a one-way ticket to Thailand, I created a profile on Hostelworld. I want to share with you a pretty cool story about how Hostelworld changed the landscape of my friendships and to this date, the crazy adventures I find myself on.


What is Hostelworld? You guys probably know it, in fact, you’ve probably used it! If not, it’s basically the home of hostel bookings. Pretty much every traveler I’ve met on the road uses it almost daily. It’s like all the famous hotel booking websites, and google for hostels, all mixed into one. You create a profile in 1 minute, then type in where you want to go, it lists all the hostels available to you in that area, ranked by past travelers. You can instantly choose what you want? Something more upscale with a private room and a pool (that’s me in my 30s!)? Or a super-cheap dorm room where you can save your pennies. Select your filters and away you go. It’s so easy, and it never lets you down.

Oh, and it was founded by a fellow Irish guy, even better! Here’s how a quick search on Bangkok looks. Simple, right?

A quick search of Bangkok, Thailand on Hostelworld….

Meeting Anthony from ManvsClock

A few years ago, in the middle of my journey to every country in the world, I was traveling around South East Asia. I had made it back to Thailand to catch up with my blog. I wanted a more upscale hostel to kick back for a couple of days, meet a few like-minded people, and avoid the huge crowds of Khao San Road. I jumped on Hostelworld and made a booking at The Yard Hostel in Bangkok.

I was downstairs in the communual area and before long I got talking to another guy who was also working on his laptop. To cut a long story short, he always traveled full-time, also made money online and also booked a nicer hostel to recharge from the madness of South East Asia. And so a bromance was born.

I could bore you with endless details of Anthony and my adventures over the last 5 years. But 30+ countries, 4 mountains, 6 marathons, and countless selfies later, we’re best buddies. Not only that, we’ve helped each other out countless times with work online. We still go on mad adventures to strange but beautiful corners of wonderful planet, and I’m sure it’ll still be that way in another 5/10/20 years. This time though, we can save even more money by getting a twin room, rather than those upscale private rooms. Cheers buddy!


Hostelworld wasn’t only easy to use, and cheap. It introduced me to people who have become part of my life. Anthony is just the tip of the iceberg. If you haven’t yet set up a profile, do it (it’s free). If you think you’re too old, don’t. My mum is 70 and she uses it. Hostels aren’t what people used to assume, they can range from super cheap to really high-end, have a look for yourself. Maybe you’ll meet some new people who allow you to climb mountains and get lost in Papua New Guinea. Stranger things have happened. Check out Hostelworld here. Good luck!

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