Pack Your Impact in HI Point Reyes

21 August 2017

Part of modern-day travel involves being online – or does it? While you’re on the road, it’s important to be able to ditch the tech every now and then so you can truly Pack Your Impact, that is, travel mindfully to not only get the best experience, but to get a better understanding of people, places, and cultures too.

The Point Reyes National Seashore is an outdoor haven with hikes that lead to serene beaches and secret lakes, wildlife watching opportunities, and historical landmarks, while the hostel itself is a locally and internationally green-certified retreat for travelers. When you visit HI Point Reyes, the only non-camping accommodation available within the national park, you get an automatic digital detox because the hostel is unable to provide Wi-Fi and cell service.

And while your first instinct may be to balk at the idea of a phone-free zone, when you get here you’ll realize that it’s exactly what you need. Along with the default results of feeling less stressed and getting a better night’s sleep, staying off your electronic devices means that your entertainment comes from going out to explore and having conversations with the people around you.

Instead of scrolling through the newsfeed over breakfast, you’ll have a scenic view to stare at from the kitchen or outdoor patio; while you’re out at the beach or walking the small-town streets of Point Reyes Station, you can be truly present instead of thinking of the next Instagram-worthy moment; when you’re back at the hostel preparing a dinner of fresh local produce and famous bay oysters, you’re likely to strike up a conversation with another guest.

The hostel’s common room has become the site of spontaneous story-sharing sessions and impromptu dance parties in the absence of Wi-Fi as a distraction, and guests can participate in activities like morning beach yoga and full moon hikes to clear the mind of clutter. Whether your idea of a perfect escape to HI Point Reyes involves the rejuvenating action of hiking and biking, or days spent on the beach and indulging in the locavore culture, you can do it all like an immersed traveler, and not just a tourist. At the end of your visit, you’ll leave refreshed from truly connecting with your surroundings, and you can carry that sense of mindfulness and attention to your next destination.

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HI USA Tip: Take a look at these tips for things you can do before your trip to enhance the experience, and find out how you can lighten your travel footprint no matter where you’re traveling.