I thought I would steer my blog a bit towards my global journey, so perhaps talk about my latest experience.
I recently got introduced to the youth hostels, became a member of 'Hostelling International' last year and have made good use of my membership ever since.
Until recently, whenever we travelled, we always stayed in hotels or motels that would suit our pockets but never did we think of youth hostels!
In dec-Jan, I went to UK to suss out the job market. Atul was in PNG, Ankita celebrating end of school in Australia and I was in dark and gloomy winter of UK trying to find out what is it like living in UK. So I was basically moving around, finding out about jobs vs cost of living. So this is where I got a chance to try out the Youth Hostel experience for the first time.
I was going for an interview to Cardiff, early this year in Jan. I was being given the accomodation for one night but since I did not want to take the chances of travelling in dark from Croydon to Cardiff and back, I decided to stay at YH in Cardiff. This was my first experience in a Youth Hostel, I was a bit skeptical about the whole thing but being adventurous I decided to give it a try. So I arrive Youth Hostel by the Heath Park, one of the best, I have visited so far.
For 17 GBP you get a clean bed and continental breakfast. The other facilities like shower, kitchen, TV lounge were all so spic and span, I could not believe it. And I met two lovely young women, one from Korea and another one from Spain and we soon got into some lovely conversations and exchanged views on places worth seeing, precautions one must take while travelling alone and finally exchanged emails too.
Then was the one in Bendigo (Victoria, Australia) where I felt it was a bit noisy and also not so clean.
The one in Ballarat (Victoria, Australia) is right on Soverign Hill, the view is beautiful and these are nice little appartments where you have about 16 beds in 4 rooms with a common kitchen and lounge/ dining area. This was good and I enjoyed being there.
The two that I find very practical are Melbourne YHA Metro and Sydney YHA Central. These are huge facilities with all kinds of options available and very close to all the facilities and right in the city centre. I met a lot of women from different parts of the world, Japan, UK, Australia, US, Korea etc. For some reason, I always bumped into a lot of Koreans throughout my YH experiences and they are lovely people to talk to.
What I liked about YHs is that its like a community, people generally exchange their travelling experiences, YHs also advise you on places once could visit with a small budget and the atomosphere is generally very cordial and lively.
I travelled a lot within the past six months for various reasons and so got to experience a range of YHs. I still remember my stay in YH Cardiff, the staff is friendly (I found Welsh are generally warm and friendly people), the facilities are good, just the whole package at YH Cardiff is terrific. I would not mind going there again and this time with my family, surely if we get another opportunity!
So yes, if you have not experienced youth hostels, I would say, you must. Just do a bit of research before you go because sometimes the experiences can be deifferent!