Austin was my first hostel experience. I didn’t study abroad in college and had never been to Europe. So when I told my family I was staying in a hostel they were all like “wtf.” They immediately proceeded to ask if I had seen the movie “Hostel.” So yeah, I was a little nervous, but I was definitely more excited. Luckily I was going with a friend of mine who studied abroad so she was a hostel pro.
The Firehouse Hostel
We found a place called The Firehouse Hostel that occupied an actual old fire station. It is one of the oldest buildings in Austin and was located in the perfect central spot so we could get to 6th Street, the Capitol and South Congress easily. One of the coolest parts was the hidden bar behind a sliding bookshelf just off the lobby. An actual sliding bookshelf! It was a speakeasy-type bar with happy hour specials on the weekdays.
Later, did the hostel pub crawl the first night and met a group of really cool Norwegians. We hung out with them a couple more times through the trip and exchanged numbers with them. They were on a road trip across the US and were making their way to California. We ended up hosting them a couple weeks later when they did finally make it to California.
The next day, we met a guy from Australia who I discovered had a mutual love of pop punk. We spent one night staying up until dawn listening to Something Corporate and talking about the shows we went to and the bands we’d never see.
Later, we were hanging out in the common room and met a group of guys who refused to go on the guys trip because of his girlfriend. They brought an 8×10 picture of him to take pictures with of all the cool stuff they were doing. We got all of the girls in the room to pose with the picture.
Officially, I was hooked on hostel life. I loved bumping into people in the hall that turned into drinking buddies in the night. I loved offering beers to people in the common area and that turning into drinking games with people from all over the world. So this was my first hostel experience but it was definitely not my last. And to my family’s satisfaction, I did not end up tortured by my hostel mates, or whatever happens in that movie. I happily refuse to watch it.
What was your first hostel experience?