Sober Hosteling

I started staying in hostels about eight years ago. I first heard about them when I was in my mid-twenties. I asked an older coworker if he knew of them and he told me they were rooms for college-age kids that travel. He said basically like a college dorm. I never stayed in a college dorm so I was intrigued.

My first trip to New York City was ten years ago. I was meeting a foreign boyfriend there. When he was shopping online for inexpensive hotels, I suggested we look at hostels. I pointed out some have private rooms if he was worried about sharing a room. They sounded inexpensive and fun. He said that hostels are for kids. We were too good for a hostel.

I was nervous when I first started to stay in hostels. A lot of Americans have negative opinions of them. What if my stuff gets stolen? Sharing a room with strangers? How do you know they are safe? There are no guarantees in life. “Dangerous things can happen in hotels and at home” is my answer.

I have stayed at many different hostels in different countries. Some are geared towards younger people. Some are party hotspots. I stayed at one in Christchurch, New Zealand that gave a free alcoholic drink for each night you stayed. One in Mendoza, Argentina had a unlimited wine tasting night. A lot have bars or a fridge in the common area for purchasing beer. But others have alcohol-free rules. Others are geared towards older, quieter crowds. I just need to try to avoid the frathouse-like hostels.

I originally was going to stay in for a few nights. I thought my friend would be joining and I told him I would cover the room costs if he covered petrol. But he couldn’t stay due to issues at home. Then when I got to the hotel, I discovered my reservation did not go through. I booked it from my mom’s house and her internet connection is spotty. They had rooms available but since I would be on my own, I opted to go to a hostel instead.

It was a quiet place. No beer for sale. There were bars nearby if I wanted to drink. And even though most of the guests were young, this was not a party place. I stayed up late reading in the common area and was surprised to find all my roommates in bed before midnight. On a Saturday night!

A difference between sober me and drinking me staying in a hostel:
-when I am assigned a top bunk, I am no longer worried about trying to climb the ladder drunk.
-if I come into the room late, it is now easier to avoid stumbling around.
-no more conspiring how I can sneak a beer to my room.
-no more getting upset cause I am hungover and roommates are packing. (I still got upset a guy seemed to be packing everything he owned in noisy, plastic bags at 6am.)
-hopefully I do not snore.

Mistake 194- My first time in a hostel was Chicago. The room was in a basement of a huge, old apartment building. I was there to party with a friend who would not let me stay at his place due to a bug problem. We were at bars until late. I remember stumbling in around 4am every night. My roommates were three French girls. They were there to sightsee. I even invited them out with me but they only had a few days and were not there to party.

I remember feeling so guilty about stumbling drunk every night. I fell over a few times trying to undress. Then I felt miserable when they were getting ready in the morning. I slept until 12pm or 1pm at least. Everyone told me that is just part of hostel life.

My friend I was visiting got mad at me on my second to last night. I do not know what happened. I was too drunk. He ignored my text messages and calls the next day. I spent my last night in Chicago with new aquaintances I met at a bar. To this day, I do not know what Drunk Me said or did but he and I stopped being friends.

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