Hostel Novice No Longer

Written by
Toni Tomba

Hostel Novice No Longer

Written by
Toni Tomba

Hostel Novice No Longer

Written by
Toni Tomba

Last year was the year of the Unexpected for me.  

There are experiences that I have had that left me speechless and confused. Of them, I feel as though I set them in motion. Here's what I mean.
This year I set out to travel to visit friends, explore their city, and experience new things. From the end of May through the end of June, I was away from home doing precisely that. I visited Canada for the first time ever. I'll gladly share that trip another time. From Canada, I spent about two to three days at home before leaving for the entire month of June. It was exhilarating!

Side note: It may not sound like a big deal to you, but for me, it meant everything. I'm usually the one to turn down opportunities like this because of fear. I know I didn't leave the country, but being away from home for that long after college was another significant milestone.

After being home for two or three days, I flew out to Chicago to hang out with two of my good friends. Before traveling to Chicago, I struggled with whether or not I wanted to go after finding out that neither of them could host me in their homes (for legitimate reasons, of course)! I was perfectly fine with staying in a hotel, but didn't wanna spend the "hotel money," you know what I mean?

So, I researched other temporary living situations and learned about hostels! (Yes, I just learned about hostels, don't judge me!) The price for the number of days I needed was astounding. Not gonna lie, I was a little anxious. At this point, I know I sound like a scaredy-cat after my last blog post!  Anyway, as I was researching hostels and heavily considering my only budget-friendly option, I was depending on every review written. I started with the ratings, then read the reviews, and looked at every picture available. I checked the map to see what would be in the surrounding area. I eventually started to grow comfortable with the idea.

Don't get it twisted, though! I was still skeptical about what I could experience. Nevertheless, I did it. I stayed in a hostel for about 5-7 days. I hung out with my friends who took me around the city of Chicago, fed me well, and gave me a tour of their current lifestyle. To witness their growth from a distance and experience, the result in real-time touched my soul.

Living in the hostel for a few days opened up my eyes to a whole new world of travel! I loved it! I would choose a hostel after doing some quality research over a hotel any day!

I met and made new friends with about 15 to 20 people that I now connect with via social media. We would go out to eat, explore the city, and watch TV movies during our stay. Would you believe that I even went out on a date the day before coming back home to Rhode Island?

Well, I did. It was a different, yet such a refreshing experience that I will never forget. My first time in Chicago was definitely one to remember! I cannot wait to see what other great cities have in store.