My first night in a hostel I was 19, in Guatemala, thinking I had no idea what I had gotten myself into, and that I really needed a drink. So much has changed over the last 4 years. From being scared and intimidated to getting excited whenever I browse through a new city’s list of hostels. Falling in love with hostel life can be all too easy with every move you make and hostel you experience. The key is learning how to adjust to the lifestyle and getting as much out of the experience as you can.
You now have a collection of people from every walk of life and country around the world conveniently living under the same roof as you, go mingle. The friends you make while travelling are like no other. You get to know everyone quickly and build a different kind of bond than you’d have with anyone back home. A hostel is only as good as the people who live there, the friendships they make and the memories they take with them.
Go on adventures and explore as much as you can.
Beaches, city centres, ruins, sand dunes, winery tours; whatever it may be in whichever country you’re in, do it. Pitching together to rent a vehicle and plan a day trip is an awesome way to get out and explore surrounding cities, without having to pay big dollars for tour companies.
Remember to take time for yourself.
Getting caught up in the hostel way of life is all too common but don’t let mundane tasks of home slip through the cracks. Keep your stuff organized, your bed sheets clean and don’t forget to throw in some form of exercise once in a blue moon. Keep up with hair cuts, maybe buy a new shade of nail polish and don’t let anyone give you crap about putting on mascara once in a while. It’s all about the little things in life when you’re sleeping on a bunk bed and living out of a backpack.
Indulge in your favorite pastimes from home.
Watch movies all day, read a whole book in one sitting, draw, paint, and play instruments. Whatever your vice may be make sure to take time for it. Plan huge meals together, especially over the holidays. Food and laughter can cure a lot of things and homesickness is no exception.
Know when it’s time for a change.
Backpackers can’t stay in one place forever. Goodbyes are the worst necessity of this lifestyle. Better to move on to create more memories then overstay your want to be in a city and forget everything you loved about it in the first place.