Ah hostels…. If I had a dollar for every nasty comment made to me from everyone regarding my hostel stays, I’d be able to fund my travel – for life!
Hostels are not the smelly places you see in horror movies set in the 1970’s. The hostels of today are beautiful flowers blooming across the world!
In saying this, I’ve stayed in my fair share of both! I was once six meters underground in the outback where a girl was in tripping balls on acid. She was seeing fire-breathing dragons and well… screaming like a banshee. There were three of us down there – and we knew that no one can hear you scream when you’re six meters under limestone in the outback. It was like out of a movie and we had no where else to go, so MacGyvered the shit out of one of this places to stay safe. Seriously – it’s a true story.
…And then I’ve stayed in amazing places like The Pod in Edinburgh, The Nest in Salthill, Galway and the YHA in Port Lincoln, South Australia. It was once a squash court and now a high class hostel that offers cage diving with great white sharks!n (Definitely do it!)
When I stay at hostels like this, I want to praise their efforts because I think a lot of people forget that hostel guests are people, too. Yes, you will get the occasional drunken travellers but then, there’s us… the hikers, cyclists and adventurers. We don’t like to get on the piss because hangovers suck and we gotta get up the next day and explore. We want rest days and good wifi so we can share about our experiences. We are no-frills and like to use the kitchen to cook meals and we know that our bunk mates are good people, too! We want creativity and comfort but we also love the hostel way of life because of the social aspect and like minded people we meet along the way!
I’ve had the most interesting bunkmates. In Belfast, I met a psychologist taking his sister on world trips of a lifetime. In Edinburgh, I met a lawyer from Australia that happen to be the nephew of my local fruit and veg shop owner! Over the years, I’ve also met countless PhD’s that were hostelling for a range of reasons. The most memorable was a 65+ biologist from Canada who was in Adelaide for a conference – we had great science chats and I once an incredible discussion in Dublin where my PhD bunkmate explained how local architecture influenced rock and roll music. How cool is that?!
My point is, amazing people stay in hostels and for all different reasons and I’m so glad that hostels are really transforming into shiny little gems. As a solo female traveller, I feel safer in a hostel plus I enjoy the human interaction. People who go to hostels are real people, too – we just think hostels are neat!
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!