Traveling is expensive. Fortunately, that’s a half-truth. It’s expensive if you want it to be. A friend of mine wrote about how she flew from NYC to 12 different European destinations for under $660. Another problem we often face is being alone. I’ve been single all my life and have yet to travel with a dear friend somewhere for more than a day. Things get lonely on the road, especially when you’re a nomad globetrotter like me. I have friends all over the world, and in general always know someone I can stay with, or I would prefer couchsurfing. But then I met the beautiful institutions called hostels. Here are 5 reasons why hostels rule.
1. Hostels get the job done.
If you need a place to stay that is cost-efficient and convenient, this is your man. Sometimes you just need a place to lay your head. If you’re paranoid about security, there’s something called padlocks and lockers. You’ll be fine. Your fellow man is just as vulnerable as you are.
2. The World Comes to Hostels
Maybe you’ve never had a friend from Germany and have always wanted to have one. The easiest place to meet people from all over the world is in a hostel. Hotels are private places. You don’t go there to meet people, and the people there definitely aren’t there to meet you either. A “good morning” is as far as it gets.
3. Hostels Have the Insider’s Tips
Chances are, the people working at the hostel are young people our age that understand the traveler’s mentality of “cheap and good.” They know when you can enter a popular tourist destination for free, and how you can get the authentic paella you’ve been looking for!
4. Hostels Have Nightly Outings
When you’re in a new city and don’t know anyone you obviously can’t just tackle someone in the street and say, “HEY YOU WANNA BE FRIENDS WITH ME??” This is where hostels come in. It allows you to speed-meet a ton of people from completely different walks of life. Everyday will bring completely new people! Sometimes it’ll be pubcrawls, but other times they show you around the city and get a bite to eat. Either way, adventure is to be had.
5. Travel is about people.
The older I get, the more introverted I feel. I want and need my alone time but despite that sentiment and having been single my whole life, doing everything alone is pretty dry. Being alone is for being at home. When traveling to Sevilla from Granada, I ran into an Australian guy practicing guitar in the station. We quickly became friends and he showed me his hostel which did all of the above. I then went to Córdoba where I stayed in another hostel and met a whole rainbow of people. I met a percussionist, a guitar luthier, a French high school history teacher, a flamenco guitarist, a Pakistani guy working in the Peace Corp out in the Congo (not sure which one) and a whole bunch of other people from all over. I got along particularly well with a fellow Asian North-American from Vancouver. We found out we were going to Granada the same day and took the bus together. Once there, we hit up the walking tours and just hung out. As mentioned on earlier blog posts, I keep my connections and stay in touch. I was able to stay at a friend’s house in Granada’s Albayzin neighborhood.
Without hostels, my travels in Spain wouldn’t be nearly as great. They consistently directly or indirectly affected my travels. Without them the second vlog in this series wouldn’t have existed. So without further ado, here it is!
Was this not enough to convince you? I really believe we have nothing to fear. Don’t let fear stop you in your tracks. Share your experiences in hostels and couchsurfing below! I’d love to hear from you!