As the year comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to do a round-up of some of my encounters with room mates in hostels during my solo travels. In all my years of travelling alone, I’ve usually opted to stay at hostels in hopes of making my trip less lonely and diverse. While most of my hostel stays have been useful in making friends on my solo trips, there have also been those that left me with an otherwise opinion. Hostel stay has always been very interesting but experiencing these kinds of room mates do make me question myself sometimes.
The Messy One: This is pretty easy to spot when they take up most of the room floor while you are trying to walk around. I actually don’t really mind too much mess in the room but I do have my limits too, of course. Taking up the whole floor space with all your belongings is one of my limits. It’s not just inconsiderate to take up all the floor space but it is also a hazard as I may end up stepping on some of the items lying around too.
The Fake Friend: I actually wrote about this before here. When travelling alone, I tend to make an effort to be a bit more outgoing. I think it’s the worse experience ever when you are already getting out of your comfort zone and yet some people are not sincere enough to be honest with you. If you are staying in a hostel, please do not do this to any of your room mates. Just staying in a private room with your friends would be better.
The Drunk One: This was a common experience in New Zealand when some of my hostel room mates liked to party till late, especially in Queenstown. Although my room mates were really nice, getting woken up at 3am to them returning after their night out can be quite disruptive sometimes. So, I learnt to plug my ears with music and sleep through the noise. At least, I didn’t have to deal with any vomit in the room, of which I am eternally grateful for.
The Last Minute Packer: There’s nothing louder than the sound of plastic in a room of sleeping dorm mates. So when you are trying to pack in the darkness with all your plastic bags rustling in your bags, it’s worse than trying to deal with drunk room mates. I always avoid packing in the early morning even if I don’t have any plastic bags but there’s always those who have no sense or qualms about packing all these at 5 in the morning – even though they had plenty of time to pack the night before.
The Snoozer: Staying in hostels is my choice when travelling alone but sometimes it can also be hard to adjust to strangers in the room. Snoozing alarms repeatedly means that you face the wrath of other sleeping mates so it’s best to be careful with your alarms in the morning. I once got woken up by a persistent alarm that was left in a locker which was turned off only when the owner returned to the room. There was definitely no returning back to sleep after that long continuous alarm.
The Snorer: Honestly, I’m a bit more tolerant towards those who snore because I’ve done the same on a few occasions. There are times when my room mate was really tired after a long day of travel or have a blocked nose. Instead, I’ve learnt to plug my ears instead and force myself to ignore the noise. I think my noise tolerance has improved from all my hostel stays.
The Night Talkers: Again, there’s always the exceptional few who tend to be a bit more inconsiderate of those in the same room as them. I’ve encountered some who choose to continue talking all night long with friends despite the late hour and it can interrupt your sleep, especially if you have an early start the next day. Fortunately, I’ve gotten used to noise so I would plug in my ears and still head to sleep. I usually have no problem with falling asleep but I do get woken up easily if there’s too much noise.
The Suspicious One: This experience was a mystery to me. In all my years of staying in hostels, she was the first and only time I encountered such a room mate. She was so suspicious of everyone in the room that she was hostile with me when I tried to initiate a conversation with her. She brought her purse with her everywhere she went in the hostel and refused to mingle with anyone in the room. Since I was travelling alone, I thought that it was really strange that she was so hostile since she was alone too but I guess, not everyone wants to be sociable despite staying in hostels.
The Cuddlers: One experience I’ve encountered with mixed dorm rooms is that you get couples staying in the same room. I’ve nothing against couples staying in the same room but there are those who like to share the same bed. Good for them but not so comfortable for those who are alone when they start getting handsy, if you get what I mean…
The Aggressive One: The worst and scariest experience ever when I was travelling alone was during a hostel stay in New Zealand. One of my room mates were being very confrontational and picked a fight with someone else in the room. Being in the same room as someone who wanted to fight was a frightening situation to deal with, especially at midnight. Fortunately, he got thrown out instead when we brought it up to the hostel manager. I was glad to see him out of the room as I was definitely not comfortable sleeping in the same room with him after that incident.
Overall, my stay in hostels were usually not as eventful. Travelling alone, staying in a hostel has allowed me to meet with different kinds of people. Staying in a hostel is part of a solo experience, I feel. Unfortunately, a hostel stay can either enhance and make your solo travel memorable or it can also spoil your solo experience. Writing about these experiences here is not meant to sound pushy or complaining. Rather, it’s meant to highlight the different kinds of people you would meet so as to prepare yourself if you have yet to encounter them personally. Feel free to learn from my experiences here! 🙂
Have you ever encountered any similar experience travelling? Please do share! 🙂