As we prepared to leave Auckland, packing our luggage into the van in a seemingly impossible game of Tetris, the Alpine Living team bantered amongst ourselves. We joked that we wanted our hotel in Christchurch to grant us three wishes. We wanted: air conditioning, a working refrigerator and free Wi-Fi. Not necessarily in that order.
In fact, it seemed likely that as a team of writers, designers and photographers, we would forgo most anything for free Wi-Fi.
Since Alpine Living travels on a budget, we’d found a hostel that, while lacking these three things, put us right in the heart of Auckland and allowed us the space to conduct budget meetings, cook breakfast before early morning interviews and, most of all, forced us to get to know one another.
Despite the fact that we hit our heads countless times climbing off the bunk beds, budget meetings required us to shout over the sound of other guest’s lively ping pong games and the shower heads sprayed around collarbone height on the guys, the choice to stay in a hostel at the start of our adventure brought us closer than we could’ve imagined. After all, it’s hard to be shy around someone who has seen you sweating since the moment you stepped off the plane.
Our hotel in Christchurch has, in fact, granted us our wishes. We not only have air conditioning, a working refrigerator and glorious free Wi-Fi, but we also have plush carpets, floral curtains and showers with breathing room.
None of that really matters. What makes traveling with the Alpine Living team isn’t the accommodations, it’s the last minute dinner plans with the whole group, the conversations on the van rides back from an interview and piling into our editor’s room as soon as we get to the hotel because we genuinely enjoy each others company.
Alpine Living is about working together to go out and explore a new place. It’s about creating a product that encourages our readers to do the same. You can’t do that from within the walls of a fancy hotel.