Deidre Mathis, a 31-year old African-American woman and a self-proclaimed avid traveler, used her love for wanderlust as an inspiration to build her own hostel in Houston, Texas. Now a successful entrepreneur, she is the author of a budget travel book and the owner of WanderStay Hotels, the first Black-owned hostel of its kind in the U.S.

Growing up in Florida, which is considered a vacation place with beautiful beaches and good weather, she said she wasn’t really interested in going to different destinations before. Until a study abroad program at Florida A&M University sent her to the Dominican Republic and she told herself, “I need this all the time.”

Since then, she has traveled to over 37 countries on all 7 continents and learned a lot of things. She shared those in a book she wrote entitled Wanderlust: For the Young, Broke Professional where she talks about tips on how to save money, manage time to prioritize travel, and plan your dream trip.

Moreover, one of the best things she said she discovered through traveling alone is how hostels build instant connections and cultural diversity. It has inspired her to build her own hostel in the most diverse and fourth largest city in the U.S. which is Houston, Texas.

Hostels, different from hotels, are popular types of establishments that provide inexpensive food and lodging for backpackers, students, and other types of travelers with limited budgets. Some hostels offer travelers their own private rooms, but many hostels operate as dormitories whereas travelers can rent a bed and space in a large room with others. There are currently more than 50,000 hostels around the world.

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