Friday 1st September, was my first experience staying in a hostel. I arrived to the hostel I had booked. Explained to the girl on reception that this was my first time staying in a hostel. My first time travelling alone.
She just said I’d be fine and carried on with booking me in. There were people singing and playing instruments in the communal area as I walked through to the stairs. It sounded and looked like a laugh.
She gave me my key (an electronic bracelet type thing), my sheets and sent me up the stairs. I was to choose any bed that was free, which obviously just happened to be the top bunk! Not great when you’re 5”1 and there’s only one step up. That was a work out in itself.
(PS. I wish that my hostel looked the photo. Unfortunately, it didn’t.)
All of a sudden, the door beeped and in came a stocky blonde guy. He said “Hey, I’m Doug”, and got dressed. Said ‘have a good night’ and then left. I don’t know why, but from the second I got in that room, I felt uncomfortable. People came and went. I met 4 out of the 5 other people sharing my room. One guy was from China, and the other I can’t remember. The Chinese guy was sleeping in the bunk below me. And as silly as it sounds, I felt guilty for trying to climb down whilst he was trying to sleep. So I didn’t. Pathetic, I know. But I stayed up on my bunk for the rest of the night.
I won’t lie. I got very little sleep.
It became obvious at about 1:30am that the person I hadn’t met in the room was a girl. She came in and out of the room 9 times between 1:30-3:30am. Someone’s phone rang 4 times. They didn’t answer nor did they put it on silent. It was a long night. I did not want to be there. My silent alarm on my Fitbit was set to wake me up at 7:30am, I just wanted to get up, dressed and out to explore.
My alarm went off. And I thought, screw it, I don’t care if I wake someone up. But, I did manage to make it down the bunk without waking anybody up.
Only to find at the bottom, someone had clearly been through my suitcase. It was open and not in the organised, folded state that I had left it in. I was pretty disappointed.
I couldn’t change it. So what was the point on dwelling on it? Luckily, I had locked my prized possessions in the cabinet under the bed. My entire suitcase wouldn’t fit, so I decided to take my money, passport; anything worth something and lock it in there. Thank god that I did! So I snuck out, closed the door as quietly as I possibly could and went for a shower. Got dressed and snuck back in. Quickly packing my bag and heading to the front desk, it was a different girl, but she was lovely.
I told her what had happened. She was mortified. But I said, not to worry, just wanted to hold my bag here and come back for it a bit later. She offered me another room and was extremely apologetic. Unfortunately, I knew that if I wanted to enjoy the rest of my trip, I needed to find a better solution. For my own sanity. So I asked my Dad to have a look for hotels in the area. (What would I do without him?!) Somewhere near Sagrada Família would be ideal, as I knew I had to be there by 3pm. I ended up stay at Hotel Sagrada Família which was just two blocks away from the famous attraction, and lovely!
I do not blame the hostel in any way, shape or form.
It’s one of the reasons I haven’t named the hostel. If I’m honest, I can’t imagine I’d stay in a hostel again but that’s just because of my personal preference.
I really wanted to try it purely because everyone that has done it before had told me so many cool stories. How they’d met so many new friends etc. But whether it was just that particular hostel or the whole experience, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll try one again in a few years. But no time soon.
That’s not to say, if you haven’t done it yourself, that you shouldn’t try! Please do. Just because it wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be for you. I’m the type of person that is pretty groggy if I don’t get enough sleep. I like comfy beds, and when I’m only holiday I like people to make my bed for me.
By doing things for the first time, you start to work out pretty quickly what you do and don’t like. I think in this instance, I do not like hostels. I would much rather save a little longer and enjoy a holiday in a hotel. It’s just my personal preference.
I was determined, that what had happened, wasn’t going to ruin my trip! So Dad booked me in to a hotel for the remainder of my trip and I set off on my first day out in Barcelona.
Have you stayed in a hostel? What was your experience? I’d love to hear about it!