Talking about diversity!
Have you ever read a slogan and thought it describes the core of your existence perfectly? ‘United in Diversity’ was the slogan of Life Ball and could not have been a better match. Life Ball is an astounding charity project to help fight HIV and prejudices in society.
Throughout the years it had grown to be one of Vienna’s most renown annual events. Celebrating diversity and tolerance. We have been supporting this amazing event through a collaboration as accommodation sponsor since 2013.
Back then Chris was the manager of wombat’s THE BASE in Vienna and also volunteered at the Life Ball. Furthermore there was always a good crowd of wombat’s staff volunteering or just partying at the Life Ball. No wonder the idea of this collaboration was welcomed with open arms and actually felt like a thing we had to do anyway.
A core connection
A couple of month ago Gerry Kessler announced that this year would be the last Life Ball. It made us recap the last years and we asked ourselves why we actually never really saw this collaboration as a Marketing gig and didn’t brag about this sponsorship.
And there’s the loop back to the slogan. There’s not much of an obvious connection between a charity event with tickets from € 80.- and a hostel. Maybe apart from hostellers hardly ever missing out on a good party.
However, we are indeed united in diversity. Diversity is vital for an open society and it’s in the nature of a hostel. Without tolerance and people who embrace diversity, hostel life would just not be possible.
In a hostel you share pretty much everything with travellers from all around the world. No matter what their cultural background is, whom they love or what their lifestyle is. It’s unfiltered, random and beautiful.
We were lucky enough to share Vienna, our home town with an event like Life Ball. Nevertheless at wombat’s we celebrate diversity and tolerance wherever we can. There’s always a crowd of staff members, ex-staff members and friends of wombat’s who celebrate pride parades, like Regenbogenparade in Vienna, Christopher Street Day in Berlin, the pride in London and other wombat’s destinations.
A good bunch of our staff gets unbelievably excited about these events. It’s more than a LGBT+ thing. It’s about celebrating the freedom to be who you are and love who you love.
For us at wombat’s tolerance and diversity are just natural. That’s why we usually don’t make a lot of fuzz about mentioning it. But maybe we should actually stress our point of view more often?
LIFE BALL 2019
Interview with CHRIS (Head of Innovations & Project Management)
Beautiful slogan for the very last LIFE BALL, it has been a “Beacon of Hope”, an instrument for help during the last 27 years. It´s been so great to be a part of it. I´ve been working during 10 years, wombat´s has been a partner for 6 years. We gladly cooperated with the LIFE BALL this last years to help a beautiful cause.
The essence of LIFE BALL is THE FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, promoting diversity and tolerance, for people from all over the world, with no exceptions, from all beliefs, all sexualities. It´s been a pleasure and a big honour working with them on that cause.
UNITED IN DIVERSITY
That phrase brings everything back to the beginning, when LIFE BALL started bringing together people that were affected directly by the terrible illness of AIDS and brought them together with people who didn´t know, had no information, were not part of the gay community, did not have friends infected by AIDS and just spread the word about this awful disease, by now, AIDS is world ´known, we are on the best on defeating it, but it is very important we keep up this work, spreading information around the world. The disease is still not curable, just treatable.
I´m very proud that wombat´s CITY HOSTELS is a company where I feel very comfortable at, a place that promotes this year´s motto of the LIFE BALL, United in Diversity, on daily basis, because if you look at our staff or our guests, you really see diversity as a mainframe of the company.
Diversity; at wombat´s isn´t something you just talk about. It is something that we live, not something special, it´s what we do!
Everybody who stayed at wombat’s Vienna the Lounge shortly before Christmas will remember the little musical interlude at breakfast. At that time we had a very special guest: the children’s choir Dia.logos from Sibiu, Romania. During their concert tour in Upper Austria and Vienna they spent one night with us and surprised us with a little Romanian Christmas song in the morning. What a nice gesture, that sweetened the morning for the guests and the staff!
The children’s choir Dia.logos is from the Transylvanian city Sibiu, which is one of the most important cultural centres of Romania and was designated the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007. Dia.logos was founded 3 years ago by the priest Alexandru Ionită who supports projects for disadvantaged children living in great poverty on the outskirts of Sibiu. One of the projects he supports is the “Caravana Gypsy Jazz” Ensemble, consisting of seven ambitious musicians. At the same time the Caravana Gypsy Jazz is an education project that offers a perspective to young people from disadvantaged families, offering them music lessons by the members of the ensemble. The initiator of this project is Emanuel Mario Bebe from Bucharest, who also grew up in a children’s home and calls it his “soul project”.
With the help of wombat’s and that of many others, the children’s choir Dia.logos was able to realize this trip. The voluntary donations collected at the three benefit concerts can now be used mainly for the educational project of Alexandru Ionită, for disadvantaged children living in great poverty on the outskirts of Sibiu. The high sum of 1.000.- Euro will go into the music project with the group Caravana Gypsy Jazz.
As Teresa Leonhard, another supporter of the project said, it is beautiful to see how music is is able to build bridges. We are very happy being part of this great project and would love to welcome them again!
The #WombatsTraveller challenge for upcoming influencers
Here’s how it works
Three talented content creators are taking the #wombatsTraveller challenge and join experienced travel influencers from iAmbassador for a 4-day trip to two wombat’s destinations (Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, London and Munich) in June. Together, they will create content and share their travel experiences via their blogs and social media. The experienced bloggers will be there to mentor and provide tips on content creation, building an audience and social media marketing.
Based on their performance, a jury will then decide who will be the #wombatstraveller in 2019. The main factors which the jury will focus on include the style/quality of the content, diversity of media used and level of engagement.
Here are the teams, that are competing in the challenge:
- Dave from Man vs Globe, mentored by Michael from Time Travel Turtle
- Claire from Tales Of a Backpacker, mentored by Helene from Helene in Between
- Iulia from JuliaSomething, mentored by Kash aka Budget Traveller
Why do we do this?
By travellers for travellers is the credo of wombat’s hostels. Everyone at wombat’s shares the passion for travel. The same passion that is required to make traveling your profession and become an influencer.
We’re celebrating our 20th birthday with the grand opening of wombat’s VENICE Mestre next year. Therefore we’ll have special events in Berlin, Budapest, London, Munich and Vienna throughout our anniversary.
To honor this anniversary we decided to run a special challenge: the #wombatsTraveller 2019!
We give one young travel blogger chance to take your blog and/or social media presence to the next level on the basis of a paid internship as a brand ambassador for wombat’s between April and September 2019.
We love working with influencers and over the years we have learned a lot about the efforts and skills that stand behind a successful influencer.
We are extremely happy to partner up with iAmbassador for this project. It’s great to have them on board and rely on the expertise of a huge travel blogger network and many years of experience in the field.
Would you expect models in a hostel?
Well, if you’re a fan of the genre, you may answer this question with a simple, “what can you not expect in hostels?”, right? If you’ve visited enough hostels, you’re likely not easily surprised by anything. Still, most people don’t connect hostels to models or fashion. Reason enough for us to be proud of one of our longest lasting, continuous collaborations. For the seventh year now, we are an official model accommodation for the MQ Vienna Fashion Week.
What’s your favourite travel outfit?
The MQ Vienna Fashion Week and wombat’s CITY Hostels will take you to the fashion shows if you can answer this question with a photo or a video.
We gave away two MQVFW17 Special Guest Tickets, with access to the VIP Area including free accommodation at wombat’s CITY HOSTELS The Lounge and travel costs.
In addition we rewarded two local contributions with a Day Pass for two and 1st row reservations at the MQVFW17.
Meet Mariana, our winner and a real connoisseur of hostel and travel fashion:
Our local runner-ups, Leandra and Denise also enjoyed their visit to MQVFW17:
Stay tuned for next year!
We proudly announce the addition of a new wombat’s CITY Hostel to accompany our existing one in Munich.
As a privately owned company, we focus on projects that really suit us, projects that allow us to grow with them and excite us. Lately we’re getting more ambitious when it comes to expansion. Therefore we are very excited about this new hostel being part of a big development project just behind Ostbahnhof.
The whole new district is called Werksviertel. It is going to be a new cultural and lifestyle hub for Munich. It includes projects such as a new concert hall, various clubs and a climbing site.
Werksviertel has a lively history. It was once home to traditional companies such as, Optimol, Konen, Zündapp and Pfanni. On these grounds potato dumplings were produced, motorbikes put together, lubricants refined and clothing tailored.
These days the factories at the Ostbahnhof are no longer in use. Nevertheless, the area has retained its busy, industrial factory vibe. Developers and architects want to keep the special feel by creating a dramatic contrast between the historic structures and the modern buildings. Located just next to the public transport hub Ostbahnhof, the new urban district will also be superbly connected.
“The project area is being treated not as a blank canvas, but as a process. With the arrival of the new, the old must also be preserved. The upgrading of the area is characterised by quality and pragmatism. At the same time, the east of Munich will experience a new injection of dynamism and modernity,” stresses the brand ‘Werksviertel’ on their website.
Another goal of the project is to fit together some of life’s most important aspects: home, leisure, work and travel. Around 1,200 new homes are planned for 3,000 citizens. Long-term plans see the creation of up to 7,000 new jobs.
The grounds of the former Pfanni factory, now owned by OTEC GmbH & Co.KG form the epicenter of the project. After Pfanni closed the factory in 1996, the area was home to projects such as ‘Kunstpark Ost’ and ‘Kultfabrik’ until the end of 2015. Besides the flagship project, a new concert hall, plans for this area include the new wombat’s CITY Hostel, several restaurants, entertainment venues and event locations.
Werner Eckart, Proprietor and Managing Director of OTEC GmbH & Co.KG says, “with the Werksviertel development, we are drawing on the history of the site. This will create a distinctive district with a strong character.”
Located directly in the heart of the Werksviertel, we will open our hostel with 500 beds in 2020. It will form part of the tallest building called WERK 4.
The architects of Steidle Architekten plan WERK 4 to be somewhat of a landmark.
Our new hostel will share this space with a serviced appartements provider and a climbing site. If you are a climbing enthusiast, you will find the climbing site with 900 sqm boulder facilities and 1200 sqm of climbing space in- and outdoors just next door.
Steidle Architekten mention on their website, “the current activities and uses are to be gradually cultivated, condensed and updated, while new developments are being launched in parallel.”
The new wombat’s will feature all the amenities common to our standard with the highlights of a womBar, that is open to the public and open air common areas.
Read more on http://www.steidle-architekten.de and http://www.werksviertel.de/en
Isn’t it great to work at a hostel? All the crazy shit you experience and the funny stories, but yet again there’s so much stuff you can’t share with people outside the hostel bubble.
Good news! wombat’s brings the bubble together for the 5th International Hostel Staff Meeting.
If you can make it for the 25th until 27th November.
wombat’s Budapest will be hosting this event and supplies a limited number of free beds available only for hostel staff.
If you work at a hostel or run one yourself, feel free to send an e-mail from your hostel account over to events[at]wombats.eu and we’ll do our best to squeeze you in.
It is going to be a beautiful opportunity to network and share the stories and experiences of hostelling.
Obviously this will turn into a crazy party weekend at some point, but we’ll try to let it appear as professional as possible.
Our lovely staff at wombat’s Budapest already arranged a walking tour, a Hungarian cooking session, a pub crawl and some other specials.
You’re definitely going to enjoy Budapest to the fullest, join us!
What would a Hostel be without the fellow travelers coming in from all over the world and sharing their stories? One that really had a lot to tell was Keith Wright, a legend amongst Backpackers. Keith held the spirit of backpacking high. Based in Australia he traveled to and in Europe several times. Over a decade he kept coming back and loved to stay with wombat’s CITY HOSTELS. With over 90 years of age he was still taking Busabout tours and staying in Hostels. Several articles were published about his story, for example in the Telegraph, where he was described as the “World’s Oldest Backpacker“.
He was such a modest traveler, when he booked his last stay with wombat’s in Vienna (He was 95 years old back then!), Keith was asking if it was possible to reserve a lower bunk for him as he ultimately has difficulties climbing the top bunk.
As we all loved this legendary, outgoing and sociable fellow the mail we recently received hit us hard. Keith has passed away on 29 December at the age of 97, after a short battle with cancer.
Despite his age he was part of the young wombat’s family and we never thought seriously about the time he won’t be able to come again.
During all those years of staying with us as the world’s oldest backpacker, which he probably was already 10 years ago :), he made our places more colorful and brighter.
It was an honor for all of us to not only be the host of Keith during all those years but also building up a very valuable relationship.
We are more than thankful that we could provide Keith a warm and honest home during his trips to Europe.
It is our hope that he will take our great respect and honor with him to his last adventure trip !
Travel on, mate!!!
As a native English speaker, I was confident arriving in London that even though I’d never been there, I’d be able to figure out the train system. I was right, it is very straightforward and also has a smart phone app to help you figure out which trains to take where! The new wombat’s hostel in London is located very close to public transport making it super easy to find.
After getting off the tube at Tower Hill station, I noticed the magnificent medieval building right in front of me. What a great first impression. It was the Tower of London, a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. Upon arrival at wombat’s (about 10 minutes by foot from the station), I instantly felt at home. They have such an inviting lobby, with chairs and cushions, outlets everywhere, a luggage room, and smiling staff.
At reception I was given a booklet with a map of London and an incredibly helpful list of recommendations for sights, shopping, eating and drinking around town. After settling in, however, I headed down to have a drink at the womBar in the basement. WOW. This is by FAR the coolest hostel bar I have ever been to! The brick archways and unique decor give the bar a very cool, kitschy feel that I really enjoyed. The kitchen is also connected and is huge and fully stocked with cookware. I had my first pint of proper English Ale and started chatting with the other travelers, who were also having a great time.
As for the location, not only is wombat’s London close to a tube station, but it is also in the East part of London, which has a really cool bar scene. It’s outside of the Financial District, so in my opinion, more compatible with backpackers’ style. The bars here also stay open later than most, which is a bonus! This is also where all the Jack the Ripper tours start, because the East is where the murders took place.
There are several other free walking tours (with expected tip at the end) and countless tours that cost around 10 pounds. I highly recommend the Free Jack the Ripper tour as well as the Free Royal Tour which meets at The Churchill statue in Parliament Square.
If you are looking to see, eat, or drink something specific, the wombat’s staff are the best people to ask and have never steered me wrong. I have no doubt this new womBaby will become one of the most popular hostels in London in no time!w
Take your virtual tour through wombat’s CITY HOSTEL Budapest here: