So if you’ve traveled on a budget before you’ve probably used a hostel once or twice, or completely exclusively. Since my travel started when I was young I never had to worry about my accommodations, it was my parents responsibility. But times arrow marched forward and now I’m responsible for me. So when I started wanting to travel again this new word entered my vocabulary, Hostel. Now here I am, (only ever hearing this word once before in a scary movie title) trying to backpack Europe on a budget and figure out where I am going to lay my head. One of my best friends used to work in a hostel so she finally convinced me to try it and it changed everything.
My first stop in Europe was in Lisbon, Portugal. A beautiful city with stunning architecture and delicious food and gorgeous people. I landed mid-afternoon so I had to find my hostel before the night fall, which I learned later seems to be a bit late. I eventually found my hostel named appropriately Lost Inn Lisbon. I climbed the stairs and was greeted so warmly by the staff. They offered sangria which I got to try on my third night (it was amazing, total game changer for sangria) and I was showed to my shared room. The beds were the comfiest beds I’ve ever felt while traveling, the bunks were pretty private considering there were eight of us in a room, everything was so clean, the bathrooms were beautiful and roomy, which is weird to say but when traveling I suppose that’s one of the little things. I couldn’t believe how nice it was. They offered fantastic tours, and nightly in-hostel events like “Mama’s Soup” or Sangria. The free breakfast was so good and offered a pretty wide variety. Everything was so perfect! Lost Inn Lisbon set the standard for me in terms of hostels. Plus it made Lisbon a winner in my book. I didn’t expect anything out of Lisbon but when I left all I wanted was to go back.
Unfortunately…..there’s also hostels that are more on the hostile side. When I was in Barcelona, my hostel there was Casa Kessler and it was awful. Everyone was cramped, whether it was the bathrooms, the kitchen, the common room, or quarters. I got the dreaded top bunk and I didn’t have enough space in it to even sit up. My locker was teeny tiny so I used it only to hold my dirty laundry. The staff there was unapologetically rude. They couldn’t be bothered by anything, not even to check me in. I stood waiting for at least 30 minutes before the staff finished their discussion in front of me, to check me in. This made what I had hoped to be my favorite destination, awful. Even my fellow bunkmates were rude, and I can’t blame them. When we were piled on top of each other night after night with zero privacy, I’d be rude too. Also don’t get me wrong Barcelona is a stunning city with incredible history, and who could miss out on Gaudi’s architecture? Everyone should see Barcelona once, but boy was it tough for me to love it the same way as Lisbon.
My most recent hostel experience was in New Orleans, I stayed at Site 61. This was an interesting hostel because appearance wise and location wasn’t the best, it wasn’t as high tech as Lost Inn Lisbon, but the people were a million times more friendly then in Barcelona. So much so that staying in for a day was sometimes the best thing to do. I would grab my morning coffee and sit in the common room and chat with the staff as they would come by, some would sit down with me and we’d laugh at commercials and whatever else was on the tv. It’s that damn southern hospitality it’s somethings so incredible I have even thought of going back down to New Orleans to just visit them.
Where you lay your head matters. In some cases it can make or break a trip. Now obviously always check reviews before going and remember that there will always be things that are completely out of control i.e. snoring bunkmates, bad bunk placement, but the rest can always be avoided by checking the places reviews. Use your tools, google is your friend. But the important thing to do in hostels is socialize, everyone there has one thing in common, travel. Talk about it.
“You’re seeing someone now aren’t you?”, says this old, gay man with a southern drawl that you can see, is reading my palm. “Kind of, it’s nothing serious though.” Is my response, attempting to not give away any signs.
“Is it a woman?”
“No.” But I understand how he could mistake me for lesbian.
“Odd, I’m picking up an incredibly feminine energy, that usually only happens with lesbians, transexuals, or people that have daughters.” Okay sir, so your first bet was that I too, was gay? (not that it’s a bad thing, but in my love life the last thing I need is the male gender to think I’m not pitching to their team)
“So this gentleman, he has a daughter, young though. Both of them. He’s a young parent.” Well, yes and yes. But then again I’m not running around looking for DILF’s and sugar daddies.
“Well honey, I sense that since you’re a Taurus, and you like stability, this one will be the one, give it two to three years, y’all gon’ elope.” This was one of the things that started out right but ended so wrong.
I was just starting to see someone at the time, he has a daughter, and they are both young. Again I found myself in the pitfalls of modern dating, which for me is a song and dance that don’t quite go together. Without getting into a crazy amount of detail, this guy I was seeing was essentially, a loser. Not one ounce of ambition, not a glimmer of intelligence, and an alcohol bill that could make the vikings shudder. Were there good things about him? Of course, he was clever and funny, but that doesn’t pay the bills and it doesn’t keep me around, not since I discovered pandora plays stand-up comedy. So I, in typical Shannon fashion, ruined it and decided to stop all communication. Which is probably the best way to handle things, if not the most efficient.
Sadly they say technology has supposedly made it easier for people to date and learn about each other, swipe left for no and right for yes and up for hell yeah. So easy a monkey could figure it out, but everytime my hopeless romantic self jumps on these sites I find that it just lowers my faith in….well mostly in my generation, and men. The act of having to scan through all the eligible bachelors within a hundred mile radius, isn’t exhausting, it’s just something that really lowers one’s hopefulness in finding the right person because here they all are and they use the following words to describe themselves.
-6’5 because that apparently matters here
-Just checking this out.
And my personal favorite, a blank biography. Just one or two pictures of him, one usually in a suit and the other photo being an overly candid photo where he’s looking out onto a lake, or beach, or mountain.To the men that do this I must ask, why? What are you wistfully looking at in the distance? Who has that reeled in so far? Regardless, my dating life is like a broken revolving door, they come into my life, get stuck a little, and they go out as quickly as they came and I like it that way. It’s temporary companionship and for a couple of weeks, I wake up to a daily good morning text, I get treated to dinner and movies, and then just as it becomes a routine, I drop it. Onto something new, just the way I like it. So this is the first of many Things The Fortune Teller Was Wrong About. Let’s see how many other things go horribly wrong.
So this little category called TTFTWWA, (Things The Fortune Teller Was Wrong About) is going to be wholly, fully, and completely dedicated to one singular expierience that has had me analyze and re-analyze an excessive amount of my social interactions and personal choices. To give you a long story long, (see what I did there? I’m not good at short stories.)
Once upon a time I went soul searching, A.K.A avoiding my adult life in New Orleans, upon getting my tarot cards and palm read, I realized that there were a crazy amount of things this little, gay, seventy year old man was getting right. Was it my aura? Was I gullible? Was it part of a secret camera show that will become viral years down the road? Who knows? Maybe he does. But I don’t so I’m going to go ahead a write them as they go WRONG as things tend to go in real life.
To be fair, are there still things he got right? YES! But is it fun to write about right. No, it’s fun to write about wrong anf the misfortunes in life, but to his credit these were correct.
I was vegan and healthier than ever, at the time of the reading
I did just recently move and lost a lot of my possessions.
I was seeing a guy at the time of the reading who had a child.
My favorite vegetable is spinach.
And finally my dad and I have not really seen each other in six years. (Funerals were the only exception and they weren’t his)
So with this said I hope everyone who reads this enjoys it, and takes everything with a grain of salt. This is all meant to be funny, if you feel offended just hit the home button of your phone, or hit the big ol’ exit button located at the top of your screen.