Instead of starting to write about each of my stops from the timeline I posted the other day, I am going to jump ahead and write about my experience of living in Edinburgh – in a hostel.
That’s right, the whole time I lived in Edinburgh I lived in hostels. I had a ‘normal’ daily life, I worked full time (more than full time most weeks) – and I lived in a six bed dorm at Budget Backpackers on Cowgate Street (and other hostels from time to time).
When I clarify this, many people seem slightly surprised and utter things like “a hostel.. Why?” “I could never do that” .. Neither did I think that I could, but I did and that year was in many ways one of the best years of my life.
It was the first time I felt free.
I lived with some of my, at the time, best friends. Everything was near, I had everything I needed and I had no responsibilities – apart from paying my weekly rent of £ 50 every Friday, and show up at work. I felt safe, and I was happy. The simple life made me happier than I had ever before been.
In fact, after having resided in various hostels – not only in Edinburgh but around Europe – for more than a year, going home to my big, empty room where only I slept felt scary. It took me quite some time to get used to not have any bunk bed buddies. And now, although I am older than most people are when they move away from home, I find it slightly scary that I’ll be living alone in a one-bedroom apartment.
Perhaps I should mention that I did not sleep many hours during the months I lived in Hostels – for various reasons. Either I was up partying all night every night of every week, or I was just busy chatting away with some of my ‘flatmates’, and sometimes it was merely because one of the five other people I shared a 10 (approximately) square metres’ room with snored, ate junk food in the middle of the night or simply because my bunk -mates were having sex.
As bad as this may sound, I did love it (well, not the snoring or sex parts), at least until when I started craving alone-time. I had then been around a great amount of people twenty-four hours a day for ten months. I eventually went home to my Dad’s place and stayed there alone for two weeks – in complete silence. That was amazing. I felt as if I never wanted to socialize again and for years to come I did keep to myself most of the time. It was actually just recently that I began wanting to socialize a lot again, three years later.
In hostels, most people – I would want to write everyone but that is not entirely true as there are exceptions – are social, friendly and helpful. Therefore all the, more or less, three hundred people that I ‘lived with’ at Budget Backpackers became my friends. We became a sort of a ‘big, multi-national and multi-cultural family’. Of course you did not talk to everyone every day but you knew them. They were familiar and you were friends.