I worked at a backpacker hostel for 3 weeks in Koh Samui, Thailand. People from all over the world stayed at our hostel because of the party atmosphere it has. When hostels are run by young adults, you can expect two things: one, it’s not going to be very clean. Two, it will be very social with a party atmosphere.
My standard of living has lowered exponentially during the few weeks that I worked here. I am no longer bothered by sand in my bed, or the 50 empty water bottles scattered through the tiny room that eight staff are crammed into. Or that the bathrooms are never quite clean. Or that I had to find a mirror that no one was around just to look at my naked reflection for 20 seconds. All of that seems like minuscule details of unimportance when I remember that I lived for free on a beautiful island while making lifelong friends and creating amazing memories.
From the 3 weeks that I worked at Backpacker Social Experience this is what I learned:
- There’s no such thing as privacy
- Guys & girls share everything
- There is no filter & no detail you won’t hear about each other. This includes period talk, sex talk, personal beliefs talk, etc.
- You lose all sense of personal space
- You perfect the skill of changing in front of others
- But that never quite works out so you catch a few glimpses of things you could have lived without seeing
- You will learn a lot about fellow staffers very quickly
- Walking around the hostel with just a towel on is normal
- Shoes & bras are never required
- Showering in a semi-clean bathroom has become acceptable
- Bum guns are a great invention
- The staff becomes one big family
- You will go days without looking in the mirror
- Drugs are a topic of conversation quite often
- You drink, a lot
- All the bartenders know us
- You have a lot of time to sit, read, think & write
- You meet people from all around the world every day
- You expand your knowledge about life outside of your own
- You become empathetic for everyone around you
- If one person is having a bad day, we are all having a bad day with a mission to help them
- Motorbikes are the only source of transportation (yes, I know I should be wearing a helmet Mother)
- Everyone smokes cigarettes (except me)
- Backpacker hookup culture is real
- && it can get really messy
- I have mastered the art of being Switzerland
I’m saying it first, there should be a reality TV show on hostels. It was like living in a fraternity house, on a very small island where everyone knows everyone with new & attractive people coming & going daily. I look forward to working at many more hostels in the future. If you get a chance to travel I highly recommend working at one for at least two weeks.