There are some of us who are lucky enough to experience a hostel life in schools or college days. They know what hostel culture is all about. But then there are some of us who never get a chance to witness hostel lifestyle. I belong to the second class. For people like us, we have the concept of backpacker hostels. Here are some of the reasons why everyone should opt for backpacker hostels over hotels during their travels.
1. Easy on the pocket:
The price of dormitories range from Rs. 349 to Rs. 500. You have a choice to stay in either an eight bed dorm or a six bed dormitory. Forget dorms man. Who wants to sleep when there’s so much happening around inside the hostel. Let’s come back to this part later. Since we are discussing easy on the pocket, let me also tell you that there’s provision of decent Wifi (on every hostel) and complimentary breakfast in most of the hostels.
Scenes at the Le Pension Hostel, Jaipur
2. So much to learn:
Scenes at the Zostel, Pushkar
As soon as I reached my hostel at Jaipur, which is Le Pension Backpackers Hostel located in the Shyam Nagar area, I met my neighbor Mr. Husain Jafar. Now Husain is a manager at Ola Cabs staying in Le Pension for the last few months. He came here for a day and Le Pension has become his home ever since. Here’s what he had to say:
”Staying here in this Hostel allows me to meet people from different parts of the world without even traveling. Now how cool is that. I get to meet people from countries which I can’t pronounce and places on the map which I didn’t even know exist before. Since I get to meet a variety of artists including photographers, sketch artists and backpackers, my own passion for photography ignited. I had stopped doing all these things after working for sometime. But meeting such people has re kindled my hobbies and interests.”
Now apart from managing operations of Ola for the entire Rajasthan, Mr. Husain is an amazing photographer. Sitting with him over tea, I always got to learn a trick or two about photography. He was the one who taught me what 3D Photography is all about. But he had the following regret.
”Every morning when I wake up, while my greatest concern is about the next meeting or finishing a power point presentation, it feels sad that everyone else except mine’s concern is how to reach Amer Fort. It really hurts”
hahaha. Can’t help on this one sir :p
3) Stories to tell to your grandkids:
Scenes at the Zostel, Jaipur
Jan 11, 2016
I walked inside the Zostel property at Pushkar. This was going to be mysecond Zostel experience after the one in Jaisalmer. While the one at Jaisalmer was empty, thishostel was more lively on the day I went. As soon as I opened the door of my dorm,I could see girly stuffs lying here and there. And then I realized there were 3 girlsin the dorm and I was the only guy over there. ”Welcome to mixed dorm:p” I was about to enter the washroom which wasn’t locked. As soon as I entered, there was a girl from Australia, combing her hair. “Sorry, I said and walked out.” This was not on thecards man, I thought. Just as I was about to walk away, she says “No, you can come in.”
”No no it’s alright. I will come later :p “
How on Earth do I explain to her that I wanted to pee, and it’s not okay for me with someone else inside the bathroom :p
4)Books, Fitness and Exercise
Scenes at the Backpacker Panda, Udaipur
For the first few days I was busy with sight seeing and exploring. One fine day I realized, traveling isn’t just about roaming. It should be full of life. Be it the Zostel properties at Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Pushkar. The Backpacker Panda at Udaipur or Le Pension at Jaipur, all these hostels provided ample space to read, exercise and meditate. All these hostels came with a terrace where you could go out and introspect.
“At times you all you need is to understand yourself in order to understand this World.”
I wouldn’t say that I did these things on a daily basis, but the days when I exercised on the roof-top were the best mornings for me!
”Meet Srijal. Srijal dreams of waking up every morning with the rising sun and devote some time to Yoga. meditation and push-ups to keep himself happy and fit. But he just dreams. He does wake up and does all these on 2 out of 11 days. Don’t be like Srijal. Be yourself
5) Booze, Shisha and Stuff:
Scenes at the Zostel, Jaisalmer
What do you need in life when you are tired to the fullest after a day full of exploration ?
The company of people who are ready to share their experiences with you. Stories, stories and some more
Jan 8, 2016 :
After witnessing the most beautiful sunset of our lives, Harry and I took a bottle of Kingfisher and reached back our dorm at Zostel Jodhpur. We sat outside on the chairs just outside the living room and forgot about all the miseries in life. “Can we join you guys” we heard from the girls. One was from the states and the other girl was from the land of Kangaroos. Now the kind of conversations which take place when you are with people from different countries who all are high on Kingfisher is something else. You tell them a thing or too about India. They will patiently listen to you. In turn they would happily discuss their culture and norms with you.
6) Endless Masala Chai:
Mornings like this @Le Pension, Jaipur
”Instead of my mom, Santanu from Le Pension would wake me up every single day in the following manner. – Sir, tea”
When you are away from home and there are people to take care of your needs, you realize you are amongst the happiest persons on this planet. The masala chae of Rajasthan is of next level. They use the finest set of spices to prepare the ‘Masala’ and the resultant is thateven a non-tea person would become “Chahedi” ( One who is high on Tea. Also the one for whom tea works like Redbull )
7) Friends, Groups and Some More:
There was real fun ahead @Zostel Pushkar!
Every day I would wake up thinking about what is going to be today’s plan. And 10 minuteslater you will end up spending your day with random set of people from around the world. At the end of the day, you are not only friends with them on social media, but in real life.
Hostel Culture is crazy. There are some people who were my friends on facebook but I had never seen them in real life. Now backpacking allowed me to meet some of my facebook friends in real life. On the contrary there are other set of people from around the world whom I first met personally through these backpacker hostels and later we would become friends for life and stayed in touch on major social networks.
8) Unforgettable Experiences :
Travel Talk @Zostel Jaipur
We all love the color of the sky during sunset. But when we come across something when all you can see is sand, mountains and Kites!! We went in 2 tuktuks into the unknown roads of Pushkar. We passed through rustic villages of Pushkar. It was so much fun for all of us to sit on one of those tuktuks. The daily activity costed us 300 each which included a beer, cost of the tuktuk, bonfire at the desert / mountains and lots of stories to share. As we moved further into the outskirts of the city, we parked our tuktuks to dance our hearts out. All this was made possible by Zostel Pushkar.
“It was the Zostel Jaisalmer in the city of gold which showed us how magnificent and royal could things get.
It was the Le Pension backpackers where there was ‘home’ written on each of its walls.
It was the Zostel Jodhpur where we learned about the art of sharing stories.
It was the Zostel Pushkar where we understood the meaning of the word ‘Peace’.
It was the Backpacker Panda at Udaipur where we attained ‘Moksha’ at a really economical price
Le Pension, Jaipur became my home for 11 days!!!
Don’t be a tourist, be a traveler
Don’t over spend on luxuries, spend on experiences
Do what you love and love what you do <3