Travel fanatic opens doors to hip new hostel in the heart of East Austin: CultureMap

Travel fanatic opens doors to hip new hostel in the heart of East Austin: CultureMap Austin – October 2015.

The story of Matt Kepnes’ life is the stuff dreams are made of. From world traveler to co-owner of a beautiful new Austin hostel, Kepnes had no idea how his life journey would unfold.

Growing up in Boston, his family didn’t travel much. Kepnes was 23 when he took his first trip overseas — after which he settled into the life of a typical college graduate. He got a job with the standard American “two weeks a year” of vacation time.

For his first vacation, Kepnes went to Costa Rica. That trip sparked a passion for travel, and he was hooked. However, he was now on the corporate America grind, and didn’t know how to get out or travel longer. But in 2005, he went on another vacation to Thailand that changed his life. In Chiang Mai, he met five backpackers who were living life on the road, very inexpensively, and Kepnes realized that one didn’t need to be rich to travel: that, in fact, long-term travel was often far less expensive than the two-week vacations, and he could find ways of making money on the road.

Read the full story at


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