I had my first hostel experience! I was waiting to travel again with Vanessa, my daughter, since she did hostels in Europe. I felt like this was something foreign to me and I was a little bit right and a whole lot wrong.
In reality, growing up in a large family, not poor just not well-off, gave me the skills to handle sharing space, putting up with noise at all hours and dealing with a minimalist approach to life. You have what you need, but little else.
That’s pretty much what life was in Nina’s Place, a very cute but bare essentials hostel in Monteverde, Costa Rica. I talked Vanessa into bunk beds, not remembering what that was like. She took the top bunk, because there was no way I’d be climbing up and down all night. I took the lower.
There wasn’t even a chair in our walk-in-closet-turned-hostel-room, so things like tying my shoes had to be done on the bench outside, or I’d be a hunchback by now. We laughed every time Van had to climb up because there wasn’t a ladder and the bed was already a rickety mess. I told her I was fully expecting to die in the middle of the night from a bed collapse. I did hit my head frequently.
On the plus side, we got to meet several really nice people! Met Morgan – a firefighter from Merced – and Jalen, a burgeoning writer and artist (you go boy!) Then there were the three lovely girls from England – I loved listening to them talk! I’m an admitted anglophile. Basically, it was young people from everywhere bonding around the tiny kitchen table, listening to music (much of it from the 70s!) You truly have a sense of community and I was amazed at how willing the younger crowd was to spend time talking to an old broad like me.
Also we were grateful for our own bathroom and after seeing how many of the hostels in Monteverde were way off the beaten path, glad that our hike into town was a short one. AND the view from the back porch was amazing; looking out over the treetops and plush green everywhere.
The staff was very friendly as well and helped us out when I got really sick the day we were supposed to go zip-lining and arranged to cancel our reservations. Actually, I was sick basically the entire time – actually tossing my cookies at the beginning of the coffee plantation tour and struggling to stay in the game on the other three days. Never did figure out what was wrong.
Anyway, this was an experience I’ll never forget and now I feel comfortable doing a hostel on my own, but I’ll be very careful to check it out a little better before committing to a bunkbed again! I chalk this one up on the plus side overall!