By Shawn Tracht    Photos: Jeff Pfost and Jason Rath

International travelers for just $28 a night

The eyes seek new, to make the mind excited.  Culture, language, and barriers that create a challenge break the routine of everyday life.  Routine is like a plateau point for the mind.  It can be consistent and safe.  That being said, routine can also solidify states of being, which can lead to doldrums of thought, in which the mind and body begin to just roll through the motions until that constant motion is shattered!

International travel!  Dynamite set in the path of a routine beat!

The 2011 economy!  A road block set in the path of our bank accounts!

Routine in 2011!  Way overdue for some dynamite!

The dynamite:  A California hostel trip!  Where for $28 a night, you can travel the world!

There’s around sixteen hostels that are part of the Hosteling International (HI) group of hostels in California.  We decided to head north, a little past Santa Cruz to the Pigeon Point Hostel, which was a hostel filled with the colored sprinkles of the international community.

Surfing and staying at the Pigeon Point Hostel and Santa Cruz.

Frankie Soares hits the lip right in front of photographer Jeff Pfost.

About 27-miles north of Santa Cruz, at one of the prettiest hostel locales I’ve ever been, we struggled in French, at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel.  Just minutes away from Waddell Creek and still close enough to the spectacular point breaks of Santa Cruz, the cold bite of Nor-Cal air held precedence as double-overhead swell captured the attention of our new friend from France, “Sha-rarred…” as he pronounced it, or as we later figured out through his smooth, suave, velvet French accent, “Jared.”

Our New Friend Jared, from France, was so intrigued by surfing in Santa Cruz.

Jared, was one of our bunk mates, as there were six beds in our hostel room here, which is similar in most hostels.  The Pigeon Point Hostel was set on a rugged point, with a lighthouse taking stage.  So most of our conversations with Jared were spent outside, traversing the grounds, trying to make intelligible our cultural stories through the thunderous pounding of waves and Jared’s thick French accent.  Jared had recently moved to the states for a one-year job opportunity in Salt Lake City, Utah, which would allow him a home base in the states to travel the U.S.  Like Jang Myeong, from Korea, he was making weekend trips to hostels around the country.  On this trip, here, north of Santa Cruz, misty fog banks swayed to and fro along the high-tide line, just like Jared’s travels along our coast.  Mysticism and an alluring awe shot from Jared’s gaze and pierced the dense air with an excitement for life’s unknowing future that crept just a step ahead of his pace.  He was lost, and he welcomed it.  He was excited, and he was finding the questions that would soon lead him to a new realm of self-understanding amongst a great world of unknowing.

Shawn Tracht surfing in Santa Cruz on the Hostels and Hideouts trips.

Chad Jackson hitting a double overhead lip as if he thought if were only three-foot!

And so too, were we losing ourselves, innately, through his bewildered stare of benediction.  We had found what we had come for:  an escape from routine reality in an effort to fulfill the human need of a deeper understanding.

And this is what is so incredible about staying in hostels around the U.S.  They are filled with the international confetti of the world, and it’s staying guest hold the magic of one who is free (for a little while).   I found this out when I was nineteen and travelled solo through fifteen states, plotting my way from hostel to hostel, and it’s no different today.  Though the everyday routine of American life saunters on, the international community is there, like Waldo traversing our terrain.  In fact, there is probably a great little hostel in your town, and you didn’t even know it.  San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, both have great little hostels, and the Towers of Babel have shroud pieces of the world’s varied languages amongst them.

The journeys purpose was to excite the senses again, break from routine, and continue the path towards self actualization.  Obviously, money through a wrench into the orthodox surf trip of old–trekking the world.  However, with the ingenuity of mind, that allusive $4000 surf trip seemingly faded away like the Dow Jones Industrial of the early millennium as our new scheme had created ample thought for the mind.

All in all, in times where routine, and The Man, begin stealing your numbered days, pack up your car, bike, or hop a train, and with $28 a night, the world awaits you just a stones throw away from home, in a place where you will burst out of the sloughs of routine, and into the international mind of the world.

At night at the Pigeon Point Hostel through the lens of Jason Rath.

Website: Pigeon Point Hostel 
Directions and Phone Number:
210 Pigeon Point Road  Pescadero, CA 94060
(650) 879-0633

One Response to “Cheap Thrills Surf Travel: Pigeon Point Hostel”

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