I’ve been reading about what to expect on my travels. Well hostels eh? I’m no stranger to those. I have stayed in a fair few in my time but I must admit for no longer than one night.
Do we think I may struggle with living in a series of them for months on end? Maybe you do. But I don’t think I will. I am 100% snob-free when it comes to hostel-living. I am well aware of how it works, how they won’t be 1 star (never mind 4 star), how I’ll have to share a room/kitchen with maybe up to 10 people and especially how it won’t be purdy. Because let’s face it people they are cheap for a reason.
Staying in one of those will allow you to clock up more stamps in your passport and memories in your mind, than staying a luxury hotel will. More money to spend on the more worthy things in life. But it will also mean that when you return to the luxury hotel style of holidays – boy will you appreciate the standard so much more. To be honest as much as I’d love to stay in a really swanky hotel like Malmaison in the UK or even the decadent Waldolf Astoria in NYC…I never choose to book them. I always pick the basic Travelodge types, as then, I will save so much more money, which will allow me to do/see more in the city I’m staying in.
Yes, I am going to embrace hostel living, warts and all. It won’t be so bad, right?
This does not mean I won’t miss my own bed. I know for a fact I will really, madly, truly, deeply miss my bed. I am one of the sleepiest people out there. In fact my friend used to joke I had narcolepsy, coz I was so sleepy (I don’t for the record).
But yes, I love my bed. I love naps, I love just lying on my bed after a hard day at work, I love making up a bed with clean, crisp sheets. My dad (a fellow sleepyhead) always taught me that if things get a little too stressful or tough, just go and have a lie down and you’ll feel much better when you wake up. I have always stood by this and usually found it to be very true. Oh and I like it nice and quiet.
I know, now you’re probably thinking ‘are you sure you’re going to embrace hostel-living?’, but I am because it becomes part and parcel of travelling.
I know my other hostel-roommates are going to do things that drive me bonkers – like SNORE or even worse, a bit of under the covers grunting (shudder!), but I am going to invest in every earplug, eyemask and sleeping tablet possible and make like a Girl Guide and ‘Be Prepared’. I realise this doesn’t mean the situation will be resolved and I will always get 8 hours sleep – God no – I just am prepared for all the nasty surprises. I will expect them.
My main concern however, is toilet sanitation. That is the thing which makes me shudder to my core. I have visions of that toilet scene in Trainspotting, *eeuuuurrrggh, brrrrrrr, shudder*. I know some places will be disgusting, maybe not quite THAT disgusting, but pretty bad. I really don’t look forward to seeing those, at all. But I have to just get on with it, there are often no other options, after all. And I learnt a few things along the way from going to festivals all those years: BABY WIPES. Genius.
They make amazing scented masks when heading into a less-than-rosy loo area. Just cover your face/nose as you go in and hey presto! It doesn’t make you feel half as grossed out, than if you went it sans-mask. You feel strangely comforted even by that lovely baby-talc deliciousness.
I also have a little itty-bitty fear of the spider situation in OZ. I’m planning on living/working there for a year – that is if the arachnids don’t send me running home sooner. Eeeeeeek. But it’s part and parcel of Oz life. I already expect a fair few sleepless nights because of this situation. What if one crawls on my face as I sleep? Or is under the toilet seat? Or is hiding in the shower-curtain and falls on me. Arrrrggghhh. I feel I may read more killer spider knowledge books, than guidebooks when it comes to it. Don’t worry, even if I see a spider on my trip and take photos, they will NEVER be included on here – I wouldn’t do that to you guys. I’ll just put myself through it, it’s okay, you don’t have to thank me.
So the motto for life-changing travel is to Be Prepared. You know the Scouts have got to be right about that! And I vow this year to make the most of living in a killer-spider-free country, with soft beds, my own space, comfort foods and my friends and family. And to absolutely prepare for the worst next year. Therefore no nasty surprises. Just nasty half-expected ones instead. 😉
Any nasty surprises you’d like to tell me about? I’d love to hear them (help me be more prepared, please? please?)