Guys, I am happy to report that after the initial shock wore off, like that fish that decided to walk, or like people born without wisdom teeth – I adapted to hostel life.
As my time in New Zealand hostels winds down, I’d like to take this time to reflect on the adaptations:
1. Carrying my food around. For this, I found it is very important to think broadly, but also efficiently – you don’t want to be lugging a ten pound bag of flour just because you crave cake. Essentials include: olive oil or some other cooking spread, salt or salt substitute (I got by with adding tobasco to everything), noodles (ramen, pasta, ravioli), something to go on noodles (pesto, cheese), eggs (more of an essential for me, most people got by with bread for breakfast), bread, peanut butter, tea, sugar, and UHT milk. “Optional” essentials include: anything fresh.
2. “Cooking” as opposed to Cooking – Nessa, I’m giving you a shout out for “tuna pasta pesto” and I’m equally at fault for “tomato sardines, non melted cheddar and ramen noodles”…Winner however probably goes to Kyle and the “Chicken Ham:55% meat” roll that got diced up into a “quesadilla”
3. Always having a handy supply of Ziploc bags
4. Wearing flip flops in all showers and bathrooms.
5. Carrying everything with you when you shower – learning how to balance a towel, clean clothes and dirty clothes on one hook (note to hostels: hooks are you friends)
6. Sleeping with ten people (not endorsed by the US Surgeon General).
7. Sleeping with ten people who’ve just had big meals and a lot to drink (not endorsed by anyone, but if you close your eyes, your nose and your ears, morning will come)
8. Wearing flip flops to go up and down the bunk beds- this is a recent discovery, but it has made my life so much better, my feet did not like the tiny metal rods that call themselves “ladder rungs”
I would like to give a special shout out to the Adventure Hostel in Queenstown, or what I call “one hostel to rule them all”.
The place was started by a man who had spent significant time in hostels and had put together a plan for making things better:
– hooks everywhere, power plugs by every bed, a kitchen that included oil and salt, and had eggs available for 50cents, bathrooms that were so clean, Alina forgot to bring her flip flops, and I almost left my shampoo behind because the shower was so homey, go-pros and bikes that could just be “borrowed” and a lounge with giant sofas and Netflix.
The place is so popular, you’re only allowed to stay there for a max of ten nights (I booked for four and ended up doing seven).
And now, after I’ve adapted, I can no longer look at hotel prices and think, “treat myself” now I look at hotel prices and think “treat myself to dinner instead”