It’s been quite awhile since I’ve last written, but I have been so busy here. That’s actually a slight lie, I’m just a procrastinator. Last weekend I went to Rome, and I just came home today from Milan (I’m pretty sure I walked about 30 miles this weekend alone..). I will write about these two cities later (if I remember..), but to sum up my weekend: Milan was crazy busy. Basically, Milan was much more modernized, filled with businesses, had amazing shopping, and contained mass amounts of people. Not to mention the World Expo was going on. I had heard several times that Milan was nothing special, but I think I could easily live there. There was so much happening in that city, and I loved all of the energy and life in one place (more about Milan later). Besides for the fact that I still have a lot to learn about traveling, I feel the need to share my novice tips with the world.
What does every young traveler experience while traveling on a budget? Hostels.
Starting with the basics: A hostel is an establishment which provides inexpensive food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers, or travelers (thank you Google). You can stay in expensive hostels with a private room and breakfast provided, or you can totally cheap out and book the cheapest one you can find on Hostelworld. I usually do the latter, so if you’re looking to read about staying in a luxury hostel then this is not the place.
I have compiled a list of some observations I have made about my first experiences with staying in hostels:
- You will question if the girls sleeping below your bunk are even speaking a language, because it sounds like the strangest combination of sounds you have heard in your life. You will then hear two other languages being spoken at the same time and begin to wish you could understand someone. Luckily, it seems that most everyone knows basic English. This makes life much easier.
- You will lather yourself up with hand-sanitizer and wash your hands at every chance you get. The hostels I’ve been in have mostly been clean, but nobody wants to get sick while traveling.
- You will slightly wonder if that blanket put on your bed is washed every night, but tell yourself it has in order to fall asleep. Am I the only one who worries about this?!
- When it is 3 AM and someone is snoring so loudly that it feels like it’s shaking your bed, and you have to use every restraint in your body to not hit them with your pillow.
- On a more positive note, you will meet people from all around the world who are in that city for different reasons.
- I have never used an eye-mask or ear plugs before in my life until I stayed in hostels. I don’t consider myself a light-sleeper, but I need my sleep.
- I was very pleasantly surprised with the amount of general respect people have for other people. There’s always exceptions, but most people will try not to wake you up, or take a long 20 minute shower in your shared bathroom. I had no idea what to expect, but this was definitely a good surprise.
- You will being to realize you don’t actually need a TV, your own bathroom, your laptop, or lots of space after all. Even…wait for it…Wifi. Yes, you can live without Wifi. I do not enjoy it, but I can do it! Aren’t you proud of me mom?
- I’m happy to say that the hostels I’ve stayed in have all been in decent locations and have felt safe to me. As long as you lock up your valuables, you will be totally safe (this is a given). Everyone is just there to travel, not murder you.
- My only complaint is just people making noise. Obviously people come and go at different times, so this unavoidable. Noise isn’t a huge deal anyway when I think about how hostels are allowing me to see a new city (or eventually country) on a college budget.
Well, I hope I wasn’t too sassy in this post (since I’m still tired from all the running around in Milan)! Hostels aren’t the most fascinating subject to write about, but they were definitely something new to me. They are much more popular in Europe, so it is another bit of Italy I have had to adjust to.
All in all, I still feel incredibly blessed to be here and have the opportunity to travel, and if I have to deal with snoring and smelly bathrooms, then I will survive. 🙂