When you’re traveling it can seem like the ‘real world’ is a million miles away. You’re in a new country, you’ve made new friends and maybe you’ve even become a new you. However, the things and skills you learn while you’re traveling can help you in real world situation when you go home – wherever and whenever that might be.
In a hostel, you are expected to clean up after yourself. As a sign in one hostel so eloquently put it “Your dishes are like your girlfriend – none of your friends should be doing yours”. No one wants to clean up after you and the sooner you learn that, the easier your travels will be. When you get home, whether it is to your parents house, a college dorm, a house with friends or a significant other, this habit will earn you brownie points, impress your folks or make your college friends love you!
Even if you are the most laid back person around, you are still going to meet people you just can’t get along with. There are always personality clashes when you put groups of people together and when you live in a hostel you have no choice but to get along and deal with it. No one wants the drama of an argument so you learn to suck it up and be civil. The same is true in life – you will always meet people who you don’t click with. These might be work colleagues, college students in your class or your spouse’s family – you don’t have the option to not see them so you need to figure out someway to get along. Having spent time in a hostel, this will be second nature and you’ll seem like the most charming person in the room.
3. Deep Sleeping
The world is not a quiet place all the time and there will be instances when you need to sleep but there are things going on around you. The best preparation for this is living or sleeping in a dorm room for any length of time. Someone is goes to bed early, but you’re a night owl, so you adjust. You may need to get up early but the drunk girls coming in at 2am don’t care. However your circadian clock is wired, you will learn to sleep through anything and everything – perfect for when you get home and need to sleep through those roadworks happening outside your flat, or you’re on a train from Adelaide to Darwin and the girl behind you won’t stop talking!
Speaking of coming in at 2am, there is nothing worse than being ‘that guy’ who woke everyone up coming in drunk and falling over your own shoes. Learning consideration for others is an important life skill to master and will hold you in good stead throughout your life, in almost every area. No one ever got annoyed at someone for being *too* considerate.
5. Culinary Skills
No one who has spent any time traveling ever had the money to eat out for all three meals. And even if you have the money, there are better things to spend it on (skydiving, bungy jumps, booze) than fancy food three times a day. So you learn to cook. You improvise, you make do and very slowly, you get the hang of it. Eventually, when you head home, you can impress everyone with the dulce de leche that Maritsa from Uruguay taught you how to make, or the homemade pizza dough that Carlos made every Thursday in that tiny hostel in Cairns.
No matter where you go on your travels, or what you do with your days, if you spend time in a hostel, you will pick up life skills that are invaluable for your journey through life, whether you plan to go back to a nine to five job in the city or travel the world forever.