So this comes close to the heels of me treading carefully in the new found space of “traveler” and thus a hostel dweller. While Tblisi was the first place I had a true hostel experience, Istanbul was a close successor.
The conveniently located hostel in Istanbul brimmed with positive vibes and an overall ambience of laid back ness . I temporarily abandoned my humble abode ( read bed in a mixed dorm) and went to imbibe the captivating Cappadocia. More of it in my next blog.
On my return at an unearthly hour of the night, I was politely requested by the hostel staff to move to another room. I followed the instructions to the 5 bed mixed dorm and quietly opened the screeching door. I was welcomed by darkness (it was 3 am and people were in deep slumber). It took me few seconds to adjust my eyes to the blue light coming from one of the windows. As soon as i gained a better vision , i caught a glimpse of a “leg” abnormally dangling from the bed. I still thank my stars for not screaming my lungs out.
I surpressed an involuntary shock induced shriek , much to the relief of my dorm mates . Being woken up by the sound of a frightened scream does not sound sexy ( pun intended) 😉 I tunnelled my vision as much as I can and raced (yeah.. right! ) to the empty bed in the room. I dared not look at the limb again and enveloped myself in the blanket , silently cursing myself for being “adventurous” and choosing a hostel instead of a private room. Due to my heightened exhaustion after the travel from Cappadocia I thankfully slipped into sleep in no time.
When I woke up in the morning , I saw the bearded and well built guy in the adjacent bed making use of the prosthetic limb which caused me a mini heart attack the previous night . Phew !! I told the ludicrous story to my Austrian fellow traveler and we shared a hearty laugh over it .
Interestingly , this freak incident made me re- realise and respect more the specially abled people and their passion for travel. It also induced me to broaden my horizons and be ready to welcome and accept every one with a passion for travel .
So , my preparation for the hostel dwelling will be more of mental , instead of the practical steps of carry ing your own towel , multi charger , tooth brush , etc. ( Not implying that the practical tips are unnecessary.) Choosing to live in a closed area with strangers while on “vacation” could be a big leap out of comfort zones for a lot of us . I have had friends who almost squirm at the idea of sharing space with unknown people. While staying in hostels is not everyone’s cup of tea , some enjoy it nevertheless (guilty). The new or amateur hostellers might find below mentioned points helpful.
PS – These suggestions are only to mentally prepare you for what or not to expect –
- Before trying a hostel , make sure you have your calf muscles strengthened as a lot of beautiful hostels do not have elevators .
- Try to travel light as this might help in navigating in location centric set ups eg cave hostels in Turkey.
- Be ready to embrace and accept different behaviours and cultures . It is an often over repeated sentence however being open to behaviour of complete stranger sleeping 4 feet above you is highly imperative.
- Read about hostel vacation, experiences and expectations of travellers . A lot of hostel users are seasoned travellers and have been on the road for a considerable length of time. Reading about them would give you an idea of what’s in store.
- Hostel life does not always mean incessant late night parties and it does not necessarily translate into finding “travel buddies”. There might be times when you are left to your own company (which I bet is amazing), so get your favourite books , music , podcast , etc. ready.
I hope this would help you to ditch the touristy hotels and try to authenticity , warmth and spirit of hostels
More on Cappadocia , coming soon 🙂