Hostel world

Well that was a bad idea. I went through my bank activity to see how much money I’ve spent on this trip and it’s not pretty. I’ve tried to be frugal — hostels instead of hotels, mostly cheap meals (with an occasional splurge), and discounted tickets whenever possible — but I haven’t kept a budget. Going through all my expenses kind of bummed me out a little bit, but I have to refocus on the idea that I’m having a hell of a journey.

Hostel life has proved to be a nice surprise for the most part. The exception would be Italians, who are freaking loud, both while sleeping and while awake. I hate to be culturally insensitive and single out a certain nationality, but it’s tough not to when the stereotype keeps reaffirming itself at every opportunity. Thankfully, I brought earplugs, so it’s been a minor nuisance.

I’ve never done the hostel thing before. In Asia you do guest houses, and previous trips to Europe have been so short that it was all hotels. I think what surprises me about hostels is how comfortable I’ve felt. Normally I like my privacy, but I find that by traveling solo, I have my privacy out in the streets or on the train. And it helps that everyone I’ve had any extensive conversation with has been very cool. Travelers are interesting people anyway, but I didn’t expect to meet so many expats like myself. Most of these have been Americans, and we all seem to share the same feeling of alienation from a country that doesn’t feel quite right anymore. (but that’s another post altogether)

The Czech hostels have been particularly interesting. I’ve stayed in three places in CZ — Olomouc, Prague, and now Cesky Krumlov. The hostels I’ve stayed at are all connected in a kind of network. So I’ve been going off of word of mouth in my selection. They’ve all been fantastic because they’re small and personal, with hosts who treat you almost like a guest. This has resulted in an added component: At each hostel I’ve been to in CZ, there are semi-permanent residents. People have come, liked the vibe, and stayed, almost as a member of the family.

When you consider it, it’s not a bad life. New faces and new experiences come passing through so you’re always having interesting conversations. You have a kitchen and a bed. And the money makes sense — maybe 500 or 600 USD per month. That’s a great opportunity to stop real life for a while and do some work or figure out the next chapter. I can see why they choose the Czech Republic. It would be an amazing place to stop the real world for a while.


2 Responses to “Hostel world”

  1. How have you enjoyed the rail travel? I found the Czech landscape to be very similar to the U.S. midwest. Of course it helps to speak the language so you know when to get off.

  2. Knowing when to get off has been a bit dodgy, but no missed stops so far.

    I love rail travel. I don’t like the compartments as much cause they get stuffy. I prefer the regular open seating. Yeah, it’s funny, cruising through southern CZ today, the landscape made me think of middle America.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: