Yesterday I learnt that because of the movies ‘Eurotrip‘ and ‘Hostel‘ tourism in Slovakia declined by 75%. It is also because of those movies that I am presented with the cringe face every time I say I’m going backpacking alone and staying in hostels.
I know that until you’ve experienced travel this way, the idea of it doesn’t seem appealing at all. I guarantee you, whether you enjoy it or not, you’ll come away with an unforgettable experience!
I stayed in my first hostel solo at the age of 22. So I was quite a late bloomer to the backpacking world. But now after 6 years I’d say I’m a pretty seasoned traveller by this point! I remember starting out in the smallest rooms possible in female dorms only and by the end of it all I was booking mixed 18 bed rooms! So let me explain why we do it..
Hostels are the greatest method for meeting people who also love to travel. People from all over the world, open minded and in exactly the same boat as you. Most of the time people want to meet new people just as much as you do so it is so easy to make new friends. And if that’s not what you want to do, that’s okay too. All kinds of people stay in hostels and what I love is there is no expectation to do anything. If I want to go to bed early then that’s what I’ll do.
Last night I sat at the hostel bar surrounded by solo travellers. We talked about why we travel alone and how most people back home just don’t get it. We do it because when travelling solo you’re never alone. If you stay in hostels you’ll always meet people and you always end up doing things you could never have planned otherwise. Last night started with a few drinks as strangers and ended as friends enjoying the local takeaway at 4am after an eventful night!
Hostels can be truly awesome if you choose the right one. I’ve written my tips on how to make that choice including some of my favourite hostels and I will publish that on here over the next few weeks so stay tuned.
Hostels are also a lot more quirky and comfortable than you might think. I always feel safe, chilled and like I’m in my home away from home. Below are some pictures of your typical hostel and what to expect.
Not as scary as those movies make out right?
So take the plunge and try something new, you might just like it!
All photographs were taken by myself at Hostel Blues in Bratislava, Slovakia. I highly recommend this hostel for its great location, friendly staff, cheap bar, clean and comfortable rooms and great facilities!