Give up Your Job, Transfer Overseas, and Open a Hostel: The Hangtime Story

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It’s crossed each traveler’s thoughts.

It’s the traditional “backpacker dream” to maneuver to a faraway land, open up a hostel, and escape the “regular life” routine.  I’ve thought of it quite a bit myself, and I do suppose it is a enterprise enterprise that I’ll finally discover myself doing.

So after I found that this Australian backpacker adopted his desires, moved to Sri Lanka, and efficiently opened up his personal hostel — I couldn’t wait to interview him concerning the expertise.

I’ve gotta say that I had a stable time whereas staying at The Hangtime Hostel.  If you happen to’re planning a visit to Sri Lanka, then a go to to the south coast is an absolute should, and I can’t suggest this place extra.


They’ve acquired every day yoga classes, surfboard leases, comfy amenities, fast wi-fi, an incredible rooftop restaurant, weekly occasions, and rather more.

Take a look at the interview beneath!  It’s an ideal and inspirational story!

So for starters, Are you able to inform us a bit about your self?

I’m Niall, a 28 12 months outdated male who grew up in Sydney, Australia. I studied Property Economics at college which gave me an ideal likelihood to journey, as you’re basically solely finding out 50% of the 12 months.

I moved to Sri Lanka with my girlfriend Maggi about 1.5 years in the past with a dream to open a hostel.


When was your first go to to Sri Lanka?  Is that while you realized that you may reside right here and open your personal enterprise?  

My first go to to Sri Lanka was with Maggi in 2013. It had solely been 4 years for the reason that Civil Warfare had ended and the nation had actually opened as much as tourism. Our first impressions was this was a stupendous place with smiley and pleasant folks. The seashores have been near the most effective we had ever seen and there was little or no improvement at that stage. It was a super place to open a hostel because of the laid again seashore life-style alongside the Coast and there have been solely a few hostels which meant we didn’t get the chance to fulfill as many different travellers as we had hoped. 

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We thought it may very well be an ideal place to open a hostel, nevertheless we weren’t positive about laws and so forth that we would wish to leap by.


Now, Let’s Talk about Hangtime — How lengthy was the planning course of for you?

Hangtime was just about developed like each different traveller who desires of opening a hostel. When travelling there may be at all times the identical dialog, ‘how good wouldn’t it be to drop your different life and open a hostel on the seashore’. So the primary ideas have been on a giant journey in 2010 when my mate Jayden and I travelled by Central and South America and stayed at some superior hostels. Actual life commenced in 2011, as I began a full time workplace job and inside a 12 months I knew this wasn’t what I wished for the remainder of my life. 

2012 and 2013 Maggi and I began a scrap guide for desires within the hostel, stealing different peoples cool concepts from world wide. In 2014 we grew to become just a little extra technological and acquired Pinterest which made issues fairly straightforward. Mid 2014 we determined that we might head over to Sri Lanka in March 2015 for a vacation with the intention to remain on and look to open a spot.

Within the first 3 months we checked out about 200 properties and there was at all times one thing mistaken. The highway was too shut, the land was too costly, the land had a cometary on it, the land was not truly this particular person’s to promote, the land actually was not on the market. At this stage a third celebration ‘Nik’ got here on board to the enterprise which was nice to have one other shoulder to cry on every time the land wasn’t ‘proper’.

We had a dream of shopping for some land in a small tropical rainforest close to a seashore and we ended up straight reverse the most effective study to surf seashore in Sri Lanka, in a bigger 4 bed room concrete constructing. Issues modified.

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When did Hangtime formally open?

Hangtime formally opened on December fifth 2015 at 6.14am. Maggi, Nik and I went to a Buddhist horoscope man and he advised us the precise time and date to get good luck. We had the Buddhist Ceremony and that day we began taking friends.

What have been a very powerful components for you when occupied with your imaginative and prescient in opening up Hangtime?

Browsing and Yoga have been an enormous issue to include and ensuring the hostel made you are feeling such as you have been in Sri Lanka. This included artworks, regionally constructed furnishings, pure coconut leaf roof, recycled fishing nets and outdated Sri Lankan boats for beds.


Do you ever provide free lodging & meals in trade for backpackers seeking to keep in Sri Lanka?  

Not keen to reply this query as ‘volunteering’ in Sri Lanka is towards rules.

What’s the worst expertise you’ve had with backpackers up to now?  

One Russian restaurant visitor was barely bitten by our disabled pet and she or he known as the following day saying she had ‘rabies’. Fortunately we had all the best injections and certifications which confirmed ‘Tiny’ was not contaminated with any virus. It was just a little scary on the time although.

How many individuals are concerned within the Hangtime Hostel mission?  Are you the sole-owner?  

There are 3 owners- Maggi, Nik and I. All of us are actually good mates, so it’s enjoyable to work with one another.


What would you say has been the toughest half about opening up your personal hostel?

The Sri Lankan tradition may be very completely different and typically it has been tough with different native lodges. We try to do our greatest for the local people to alleviate these points. We supply all of our merchandise for the restaurant regionally, we’ve got 9 native staff, we use native drivers, native tour guides and ship our friends to eat native made delicacies (once they aren’t consuming in our Western fashion restaurant). We are also offering English books to the native college and have simply contributed funds for the floods.


What have been the toughest obstacles to beat when it got here to opening a enterprise overseas in Sri Lanka?

– Totally different Tradition and completely different means of enterprise to most Western international locations
– Troublesome to search out info on overseas funding
– Localism
– Discovering a superb Lawyer
– ‘Clear Land’- It’s not simply so simple as discovering the land and agreeing phrases. Historic searches must be made and many individuals in a household could have to log off on the land. Some seashore entrance properties additionally misplaced their deeds within the tsunami, so usually rulings must be made within the courtroom system.

Do you see quite a lot of development coming within the Hangtime Hostel model?  Perhaps including extra places extra time in Sri Lanka? 

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In the mean time, this one is sufficient work nevertheless there are various alternatives all over the place in Sri Lanka. We might beloved to do different tasks at some stage.  

Final however not least — do you will have any recommendation for fellow vacationers who’ve dreamed about doing one thing comparable?

If you’re younger, simply do it and have a crack. What’s the worst factor that may occur; We are able to all return dwelling and get into our jobs we have been in prior. Not less than we will say, we gave it a go.


Fairly Wonderful, Yeah?

Thanks for the interview Niall.  Was an absolute pleasure.

Observe Hangtime:  Fb |  Instagram |  YouTube

Congratulations to Niall, Maggi, and Nik for doing a sucha improbable job with Hangtime Hostel.  I had an superior 4 night time keep, and it’s actually nice to see folks observe their desires and have it work out so nicely.

I’ll undoubtedly be again for extra browsing and yoga my subsequent go to to Sri Lanka.

Observe my adventures Round The World on FbInstagram, Twitter 

& Add Me On Snapchat: — JonesATW

Tags: Hangtime Hostel, Sri Lanka, Weligama, The place to remain in Weligama