$15 a Night Seems Sketchy | My First Solo Hostel Experience London

Updated: Jul 25, 2020


/ˈhɒst(ə)l/ noun an establishment which provides inexpensive food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers, or travelers.

synonyms: cheap hotel


Okay to preface, I've been spoiled. While I was working in college recruiting I became accustomed to nice hotels. After two years of intense travel around the Western US, I was a proud Hilton gold member and lived for the cushy king size beds and free continental breakfasts.

Honestly, I was scared to stay in a hostel by myself. I had to call Rasmus a few times for pep talks on my way to London, and had to talk myself out of caving and just staying in a Hilton on my points. There is definitely something intimidating about sleeping in a room full of strangers.

I got to the Generator Hostel in London on a Saturday around 3 pm, there was club music playing and lights sparkling from the bar. There was a line of people trying to check-in. I was surprised by all of the activities that were offered on the main floor: full bar/cafe, pool tables, games etc.

When I opened the door to my room I saw six bunk beds and I found the bed I was assigned to, #1 on the top bunk. Before I could even take it in, this Chinese girl started talking to me. She wanted to know where I was from, what I was doing and if I could give her dating advice. She was convinced that the guy working the front desk was interested in her. She was very confused that I was engaged and without my fiancé, which I explained was completely normal where I'm from. She was overly nice, and talked to me for 15 minutes while I changed and raced around the room to do my hair and find an outfit to go exploring. She followed me out the front door as I left for the subway, couldn't catch the hint that she wasn't invited to dinner with me and some friends I was meeting up with. But eventually she got it and I left alone. When I returned later that night she continued to follow me around the hostel, which became annoying, but at least I was never lonely! All weekend I kept having to explain to her that I liked to adventure by myself. LOL.

Overall, living with other people can be a little stressful. People stumble in the room late at night, it's loud and the beds aren't the most comfortable. But for $15 a night, I would do it again. Everyone I met was interesting. I met some Canadian women on a photography tour, a Spanish cook looking for an apartment, a woman from Paris job hunting and a Lebanese mama getting away from her kids for the weekend.