The family

As you travel between Vancouver, Kelowna, Banff & the new Venice Beach you may see these friendly faces popping around our backpacker hostels. We pride ourselves on providing the most fun & enjoyable hostelling experience, and as travelers ourselves, we understand what is important. Many of our management team have dedicated their lives to traveling, exploring new corners of the world, meeting fellow like-minded adventurers & bringing that energy back into the Samesun hostels in Canada. The amazing experiences you get when heading outside your comfort zone and visiting places you’d never been before are shared between our staff and our guests. It’s all for the love of traveling! We get it!

If you’re interested in what it takes to run a hostel and who the crazy cats are….  introducing the Samesun team!

Samesun hostels Canada CEO, Craig Kelly, with canine friend.

Craig Kelley

lives Kelowna, BC

Position: Head Cheese of Samesun Nation

What is your best traveling experience? I’ve been to 36 countries and love them all. Top 3 are Australia (people), Ireland (people), and Greece (beach/food/weather/landscape). The U.S. is good too, so much diversity.

What do you love about hostels? I love that everyone in a hostel is chill. At least almost always. If you’re a wanker in a hostel, you’re a lonely wanker.

What do you never travel without? My Smartphone, but also a willingness to shut myself off from my ‘normal life’ stimuli (ie email, Facebook,etc) and focus on being in the moment of where I am traveling. I think more of today’s travelers need to do that – it’s sad to walk through our hostels on a beautiful sunny day and see dozens of people going from wifi zone to wifi zone so they can constantly chat with people back home instead of going out and exploring outside of their comfort zone.

Samesun Vancouver Canada hostels manager, Pete, loves to travel..

Pete Edwards

from Victoria, Canada

Position: I’m generally just kept around for my sport talking abilities, but I’m also found loitering around the Vancouver location. As long as I have a clipboard, I look busy.

What is your best traveling experience? I was in Dar Es Salaam and was convinced that everyone at the ferry port to Zanzibar was trying to rip me off, which they probably were. I ended up booking the cheapest boat possible. Turned out to be a freight ship and took 8 hours instead of 2 to get to the island. But I got to mingle with the locals and watch a soccer game on a fuzzy TV on the boat. One of the locals asked where I was from and I said Vancouver. They all started whispering and pointing at me. Turns out the teams playing were the national team of Tanzania and the Vancouver Whitecaps. So I was the white guy on the boat cheering against the team everyone else was cheering for. The game ended 0-0 but it broke the ice with me and the boat for the rest of the day. There are worse places to be than a slow boat in the Indian Ocean.

What do you love about hostels? That it’s normal to be instant best friends over a beer with the person you just met in your dorm. Travel is the common denominator.

What do you never travel without? The will and desire to get outside of your comfort zone.

Samesun hostels Canada graphic designer, Leni, at the beach.

Leni Koen

from Belgium, via Australia & greedy holder of 3 passports

Position: Creative Director

What is your best traveling experience? Planning a solo backpacking adventure from Vancouver to Peru along the West Coast – and finding myself still in Vancouver five & a half years later. Thanks to Samesun and Moose Travel for finding me my new home! Travel is life!

What do you love about hostels? The buzz of so many different energies makes it always an exciting place.

What do you never travel without? A smile. Whether you smile with your mouth, your eyes or have it inside your heart, it is the universal language that brings people together all over the world. My smile gets bigger when there are hiking boots and volcanoes involved – so I usually pack some hiking boots too.

Vancouver hostels Canada and Beaver Bar manager, Tim.

Tim Charter

from St. Albert, Alberta

Position: Vice President & GM Samesun Vancouver

What is your best traveling experience? We (4 people) charted a sail boat to get us from Roatan, Honduras to Caye Caulker, Belize. Seems extravagant, but believe it or not it was less than half the flight and only a few bucks more than a ferry & a 15 hour bus ride, plus it was ALL-INCLUSIVE: big score! 1st night on the boat we had 15 foot swells and for a 40 foot catamaran that’s pretty big. My wife, my friends, and even the 1st mate were all sea sick. Luckly for me I wasn’t, so the Captain and I ate everyone’s lobster dinners and killed a bottle of rum. It was very pirate of us. The next 3 days were smooth sailing and everyone was feeling fine. The crystal blue waters were amazing and the scenery was breath taking. We stopped at 2 islands on the way, Utila and the island of Half Moon Caye. Utila, was interesting… great diving spots, but with let’s just say quirky people, Half Moon Caye was a national park home to the red footed boobies; amazing birds! On the final day we were cruising at 10 knots and soaking in the sun on the trampoline, when a pod of dolphins joined us for a while. Pretty amazing to see them wide and free, just playing in the waves. What an amazing trip!!

What do you never travel without? My wife.

Sara is the manager at the Samesun Venice Beach hostel in California, USA.

Sara Booth

from Vancouver, BC

Position: Venice Beach GM

What is your best traveling experience? Arriving in Brussels for Belgian Independence Day, unknowingly. Finding everything closed except a butcher and a liquor store, my two sisters and I set off on the self-guided walking tour in the history of the city. Fueled by absinthe and salami, we acquired an entourage; some locals, some tourists, all kindred. Everybody added their knowledge (not all true, but creative) into the tour, and we marched around the quite city for hours. And one point there was a baby goat, which was possibly the best part. 

What do love about hostels? The unlimited adventures, friendships & possibilities that happen when travelers get together in hostels.

What do you never travel without? Music and no excessive luggage.

Jade manages the Beaver Bar in our Vancouver hostel.

Jade Lee

from Melbourne

Position: Beaver Bar Manager Vancouver

What is your best traveling experience? Nothing too outrageous. Some things I loved are: getting lost in the narrow maze-like streets of Seville, hanging out with the ‘gators on the bayou in Louisianna, Sipping limoncello amongst the lemon groves in Amalfi, Standing in the room where Elvis, Jerry Lee and Johnny Cash jammed together so many years ago at Sun Studio in Memphis, riding a bike through the hills of Tuscany….and there are sooooooo many more!

What do you love about hostels? That you can form lifelong friendships with new people over a beer and not even realize it’s happening.

What do you never travel without? My iPhone and waaaaaaaaay too many clothes

Samesun hostels Canada Banff Manager is Hananh.

Hannah Woods

from Sydney, Australia

Position: Banff GM & Beaver Bar Manager

What is your best traveling experience? When I road tripped from Perth to Sydney with my big brother after I had just turned 18. It took us a bit over a week and we got to see some pretty quirky small Aussie towns. There were nights of sleeping in the car (which is interesting when you’re both extremely tall!) and there were definitely a few long drives that were filled with Spanish lesson CD’s. This is the trip that started it all for me! It was also the trip I stayed at my very first hostel :)

What do you love about hostels? The endless shenanigans that can be had and the best of friends that can be made.

What do you never travel without? a camera