My first experience staying at a hostel was in 2002 when a small time country girl arrived in the big city of London. I had a job lined up as an Au Pair in rural England but didn’t have to start straight away, I had time to explore.
I was excited checking into the Generator Hostel as I had heard so much about it and the place was pretty funky but when I go to my room I was not prepared for what it would be like. I was sharing a room with about 9 other people and most of them were men! The room was messy, there were towels, peoples belongings everywhere and the room stunk. That many men in a room well it just had to smell!!!
Not sure what I was expecting, maybe I was visualising it to be more like boarding school with same sex dorms and more space. I felt like I had done my time at boarding school so the next day I checked out and headed to a B & B but soon realised my budget couldn’t sustain it so I had no choice but to go back to the Generator.
I checked into a room with only 4 people and it was much cleaner and didn’t smell like the last room. I ventured to the bar which was the best thing I could have done as I met so many people and spent my time with site seeing and exploring London with my new friends.
After my first experience I spent many years staying in backpackers/hostels and there are some really amazing ones out there and some that are not so amazing! Staying in a backpackers is great if you are on your own as it gives you the opportunity to meet like minded people and if you don’t like sharing you usually can get a room on your own if you are prepared to pay a little extra.
You have to be prepared to get a disturbed sleep if you are not a deep sleeper as there is usually someone who snores (that is me!), turns on the light, shines a torch or people coming in and out all times of the night. I got used to all these things but what I never got used to was people packing up early in the morning and scrunching their plastic bags. That sound is so annoying first thing in the morning and I am not sure what some people do but I swear they have every item wrapped in a plastic bag!!
My backpacking days are long behind me but I have fond memories. Do you enjoy staying at a backpackers/hostel?
4 thoughts on “First time at a hostel”
Great memories! I’m a bit of a lone wolf myself, and I’ve found hostels to be irritatingly social! When I come home I want to be quiet, write or draw on my bed and sort out work, and not talk to anyone! But that being said, I still stay in hostels and I’ve managed to find a balance between being a completely alienated hermit and a social butterfly 🙂
I know what you mean, I like writing in my journal at the end of the day and it sometime it is hard to get peace and quiet!
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We have started staying in a few hostels as a family (2 adults and 3 kids!) and they are great… there are places you can go to be alone…. there are people to socialise with if you want to… there are activities for the kids… and the kids are exposed to a wide range of different nationalities…
All that being said, there can also be some dodgy people around too! My kids are 15, 12 and 9 so nearly old enough to know better!
Thanks for the great blog! I am reading all of them at the moment!
I have never stayed in a hostel with kids, I guess some hostels are more suited to having families. Enjoy your travels