You may be wondering, what is it like to live in a hostel?
Many people have asked me what it’s like to live in a hostel and I believe many potential travelers wonder as well, as they contemplate beginning their own free-spirit adventure.
Many people seem to have a negative perception of hostels, believing that they must be dirty-uncomfortable-hippie-dumps with cockroaches and smelly rooms. That’s what mother culture tells us, at least where I am from. Or, maybe you saw the horror film “Hostel” and think that people get killed and tortured in hostels. Maybe that’s true, I don’t know, but it hasn’t happened to me yet.
To put it simply, living in a hostel is like living in a college dorm. Except there’s housekeeping to clean up after you. How good!
This is a terrible picture of me that I took to document my realease/escape from the worst hostel ever in Kings Cross, Sydney. That dump is behind me on the right side of the picture. I booked 8 nights in advance because it was cheap and it looked okay online. But let me tell you, all hostels are not created equal. This was one of those “dirty-uncomfortable-hippie-dumps with cockroaches and smelly rooms.” Sorry for the ugly pic, but I thought you should see the effect of staying in a bad hostel.
P.S. To be fair, all the hostels in Kings Cross are dumps – you’ve been warned! Read reviews before booking!
At home I used to have a lot of luxuries such as a TV, couch, private bedroom with my favorite type of soft pillow, a down comforter and air conditioning (some hostels do have AC). Oh God, that was nice. But when you get off the plane after a 17 hour flight/ 24 hour journey in enconomy seating, all you’ll want is a soft horizontal surface to lay down – try looking around town in public places for that (it does not exist). You’ll be so tired from the journey that you will instantly love and appreciate your new hostel bed. Your basic needs are met and that’s all that matters.
There are good and bad hostels. Some with ensuite bathrooms and others with shared bathrooms. Some with aircon, pools, bars, free food, and nightly events. Some hostels even have private rooms like “real” hotels!
It’s not always as comfortable as “home” but it is a great experience. You can see the world on a low budget and your basic needs will be met. There’s always someone to hangout with and plenty of new people passing through. You will make memories with great people and get to know them well, and that’s what matters most.
If you’re considering staying in a hostel so that you can afford to see the world I encourage you to go do it. Jump! Take a leap and have the time of your life!