I have now been on the road for over two months and the time has flown by. As I was lying in my bed at the YMCA in Basel, I was thinking about how easy it has been and that hostelling is really not that bad.
Sure, you have to shower with your flip flops, I haven’t conditioned my hair in over two months, the same three shirts are getting worn over and over, my Ipod playlists are getting really tired and you are on permanent “red alert” that someone may be stealing your stuff but it has been quite easy to settle into a routine.
I have mastered the art of packing my backpack and hand-washing my clothes in the bathroom sink, have learnt never to trust the hostels “helpful” directions about how to get there from the train station, instead relying on google maps and I generally get a decent night’s sleep. All in all, it’s been easier than I thought it would be.
That was until my third night in Basel. I way staying in a 5-bed female dorm but there were only three occupants, myself, a Korean girl (in her 20s) and a British woman (in her 50s). Many people will tell you that it’s best to get a female only dorm because although boys are far more social and it’s easier to make friends, boys will snore more. I have shared with many boys and no one has snored. The British lady, however, was a foghorn. I’ve never heard anything like it. Usually when someone snores it’s for a short burst and then it stops, but not her. She kept going like the Energiser bunny and I did not sleep the entire night (even with earplugs). In the morning, the Korean girl looked at me and said “Me so tired, no sleep at all, she so loud” and I couldn’t agree more.
Which got me thinking, you really do meet all kinds of people in hostels. Some people you just click with instantly and others, well, it’s a little harder. I’ve met Nazi sympathizers, nude Brazilian and Dutch girls who are perfectly comfortable to have a conversation with you whilst they’re stark naked, college kids who can’t wait to get back home “because Costco pizza is so much nicer than the pizza in Italy”, travelers who are impressively multi-lingual and others who constantly complain that “no one speaks English”. However, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.