Experienced backpackers know that real hostels are nothing like that * insert movie that will never be spoken. * Okay, maybe some hostels can be on the sketchy side – you’re certainly not paying to stay at the Ritz.
Hostels attract all sorts of people. They’re cheap, centrally located, and filled with like-minded travelers who are out to see the world. Here are the 10 you’ll surely meet somewhere along the way.
One – The Partier
Starting strong, this traveler makes their presence known very quickly. They usually travel light, as it doesn’t take much to have a good time. If they choose to accessorize, it’s always with something simple like a faded bandana that smells faintly of cigarette smoke and tequila. When you think about it, you’re not really sure if you’ve ever seen them without a drink in their hands – which is something you find quite impressive rather than judgmental.
Two – The Newbie
It’s their first time at a hostel and it shows. If you can’t tell that they’re nervous, they’ll tell you in these exact words: “this is my first time staying at a hostel.” They’ll inevitably comment about the bunk beds or how the communal shower isn’t what they expected. You’ll just nod and say, “in America, university students use communal facilities for an entire year . . . sometimes even longer” and they’ll gasp or gag – either makes the point, really.
Three – The Veteran
This person is comfortable anywhere and everywhere. Their backpack is as big as they are and decorated with patches from over 13 countries. Their travel stint has been going on for at least a constant 3 or 4 months by the time you guys cross paths – an amount that both sound amazing and, at the same time, absolutely daunting.
The Veteran can be anyone and everyone: the girl who went to Paris and never left, the English teacher who’s riding out the last days of their visa . . . though, when it comes to guys, the longer the beard, the higher the status.
Four – The Mole
Does this person bring extra sheets or ask for them at the front desk?
That’s the only question that will be running through your mind the moment you walk in to find that your bottom bunkmate has draped every blanket imaginable through the bars, shutting out the world and leaving you no place to dry your towel. They burrow themselves in so deep that you’re never really sure if they’re there until you’ve already made eye contact and, after an awkward shuffle, you climb up to your bed to lay there contemplating life.
Five – The Grenade
Clothes. Clothes everywhere.
When you wake up in the morning, this person is gone but the insides of their backpack seems to have exploded overnight. Their toothbrush is on their pillow and there’s one rogue shoe that somehow ended up under your bag. If they even use their locker, it has been left wide open and seems ransacked, even though you just saw them walk out of the room like twenty seconds ago.
Six – The Phantom
Does this person even exist? You see their backpack, their clothes, their damp towel hanging off the side of the bed – but you never see them. They slink in and out at odd hours with no interaction to anyone in the room. Like, you’re not expecting to become BFFs, but a simple hello would be nice. It’s even stranger when they’re your bunkmate.
Seven – The Walking Axe Commercial
Axe might not be as popular as it was a few years ago, but the concept still applies: an overzealous dude with too much body spray at their disposal. The more of them in one room, the stronger the attack will be. It comes swooping down, so sudden there’s nothing you can do to prepare yourself. The smell is intoxicating – and not in a good way. As you head out to explore, you know you’re going to have to sleep with the sheets over your mouth as a makeshift gas mask later that night.
Eight – The Missed Connection
This person would almost definitely be your new friend if only your travel plans matched up. Either you’re just coming in and they’re going (or vise versa) but your connection is almost instantaneous and suddenly you’re sharing their Belgium chocolate or swapping crazy travel stories. Sometimes you have enough time to exchange Instagram URLS, sometimes you don’t, but every now and then you’ll think about those great conversations and wonder how they’re doing, wherever they are.
Nine – The GF/BF
Not your gf/bf, just to clear that up. This gf/bf is traveling without the presence of their SO and maybe has been for some time. Perhaps they’re on a backpacking adventure with their sibling or even braving it solo for a bit but, for some reason, this former lovebird is without their mate. Usually their relationship status comes up pretty early in the conversation, which is fine. It’s great that you have an SO. Just don’t call them with your longingly lustful phone calls during lights out that start out with “hey baby.”
Ten – The Future Best Friend
You’ll never know how you’re going to meet this person – in your dorm, at the hostel bar, on the day you check in, that one time you get stuck outside with only a towel . . . whatever way it is, you’ll never see it coming. And then suddenly you’re exploring the Colosseum together, hitting those hopping discothèques, or strolling under the moon looking for late night (or early morning shhhhh) fish and chips. One small conversation over a pint becomes the base of your entirely wonderful experience in a strange city. When you meet up again – let it be a few months or even years later – it’ll be like nothing has changed.