Hiking

Hostel tips for backpackers: Hostel personalities

hostel personalities

Spring is coming.

I’m probably in the minority here, but I’m not ready for winter to leave us yet. One more monster storm that gives me a week’s worth of excuses to stay holed up inside, binge-watching Netflix and not shaving, would be perfect. Ready or not, Spring is on its way. Which means we need to lock in this season’s travel plans.

I think Monica and I have a pretty good system once we’ve picked a location. Whether we’re heading someplace exotic that requires updated vaccination records, or returning to a familiar haunt, we split up the chores. This means booking flights, checking for those can’t-miss activities that require reservations, arranging ground transportation if necessary, and finding the right lodging. Of these, lodging is usually the sticking point.

For several years, one of us had unreasonably strict criteria for what constituted suitable accommodations: room with a locking door, bed, and private shower; nearby restaurants (or better still, room service!); and no uninvited bugs, rodents, or reptiles.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail and staying in dozens (hundreds?) of hostels, relaxed my standards. Aside from the bugs, I don’t really need all those extra bells and whistles anymore. (If it weren’t for my “tree-hugger” tendencies, I’d be waging all-out war to eradicate these nasty nuisances.)

 

Our next big trip will put my newfound flexibility to the test. We’re going to hike the Camino de Santiago through France and Spain. Together! This means staying in hostels, and churches, and if experience is any indicator, even stranger’s homes. It’s gonna be awesome.

I’m not sure what the hostel conditions will be like. I’ve stayed in hostels that compare favorably with 5-star stays in Zurich and Las Vegas (sounds like an exaggeration, but it really isn’t). However, I’ve also endured hostels that were little more than corrugated sheds with no ventilation and moldy remains in corners that even mice avoided. I suspect we’ll be staying at hostels that fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, but I know better than to generalize about hostel conditions.

I’m probably putting my foot in my mouth (again), but while I know not to generalize about hostel conditions, I have a good idea about the types of hostel patrons we’ll meet. Without the locked doors and private bathrooms, we’re going to be surrounded by new people. This could mean forging new connections with amazing people… or avoiding awkward encounters that make for funny stories (much, much later).

 

Hostel Personalities (not to be confused with “hostile” personalities)

 

Strong Silent Type

Strong Silent type

Surrounded by an impenetrable and invisible wall, these hikers are deep in their own world. Whether working through personal issues, homesickness, mentally preparing for the next leg of their journey, or falling squarely into the INJT end of the spectrum, these hikers are tough nuts to crack. But if you do… WOW.

 

The Student

The Student

Armed with all the latest gadgets and gizmos they’ve read about in preparation for their first big hike, these hikers still have a world of questions. “How do you like your pack? I LOVE mine. It got it at REI for…” often substitutes for hello. They are blessed with limitless energy and enthusiasm, which will hopefully get them to the right end of the learning curve before the burden of their overloaded packs takes the thrill out of their hike.

 

The Mum

The Mum

Mums are often surrounded by small packs of Students. They’ve been there, been back, and been there again. Now they want to share their wisdom with others. Like any good parent, they can sometimes get a bit intrusive: “You really should think about stretching before you hike in the morning” but their advice, solicited or not, is usually worth listening to.

 

The Musician

The Musician

I wish I could tell you how quickly the mood at a hostel changes when a hiker pulls out a guitar and starts riffing. Especially when it’s something classy like Shaggy or Rhianna. These are things you just have to experience for yourself.

 

The Partier

The Partier

You thought you’d escaped these people when you graduated college. Nope. Hostels are a great place to let off some steam. No work in the morning. No parents (except the Mum’s, who can easily drink you under the table). No bedtime. No worries.

 

“For Real” Crazy

For Real Crazy

Let’s face it. Most hikers that take weeks (months) to walk strange paths, stay at strange places, and eat strange things to have enough fuel to get through grueling hikes, are… not normal. However, a very small percentage seen at or around hostels take atypical behavior to the extreme. This has never been an issue for me, which means I’m probably the “for real” crazy one. However, in the unlikely event you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, walk away (preferably with a friend or two), and let the hostel managers know what’s going on. They have more experience handling these unusual situations and can get more help if necessary. Besides, you’re here to have a great time.

 

Tried and True Backpackers

Tried and True Backpacker

One of the reasons I enjoy staying in hostels so much is because the bulk of a hostel’s patrons are Tried and True Backpackers. They are experienced, but still have more to learn. They don’t shy away from a good time, but won’t get so carried away that they lose sight of their reasons for trekking in the first place. They are ready to form new and lasting friendships, but also respect the value of quality alone time.

 

I’m sure I’ve left out a few Hostel archetypes. Even now, two more come to mind, like the Permanent resident (the guy that planned to take a day or two for rest at a hostel, then suddenly it’s a year later, he’s got a job in town and a running tab at the bar), and the Spiritual Guide (hostel guests searching for the meaning of life through travel. Usually recognized by flowing, colorful clothing, vegan lifestyle, and a fondness for emphasizing the profundity of their epiphanies with the word “Dude.”)

 

Have I missed any other Hostel Personalities?

 

hostel personalities

I never know quite what to expect when it comes to hostel quality. My “bed” may be a plywood slab, and the “shower” may be a garden hose dangling over a tree limb out back. Or I could be pampered by an altruistic family of hostel owners with an addiction to caring for their guests. However, what makes staying at hostels so memorable and rewarding is the chance to meet an amazing, diverse array of people, and to connect in a way that just isn’t possible if I were locked away in a hotel room.

 

Hostel introduce us to amazing, diverse array of hostel personalities that isn’t possible while hiding in a hotel room.

141 Comments

  • Reply The Hook March 4, 2017 at 8:40 am

    This is MUST READ blogging…

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 9:39 am

      I don’t think I’d go THAT far, but I would say that staying at a hostel a few times is one of those MUST-DO experiences. If nothing else, makes for great stories… and interesting bedfellows.

    • Reply desertcurmudgeon March 8, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Emilio Estevez, of all people, wrote and directed a little independent film (starring his dad) called “The Way” about a father who recently lost his son deciding to hike the Camino de Santiago. It was surprisingly good. I agree that uninvited bugs, rodents and reptiles can put a damper on an otherwise beautiful excursion, so be sure to leave the proprietors a list of the bugs, rodents and reptiles that you did invite.

      • Reply Gabriel March 8, 2017 at 6:01 pm

        Yup, the Way was a pretty good movie, and I hear it’s not that unrealistic (unlike many other trekking-related movies like “walk in the Woods” and “Wild”)

        Thanks so much for joining here at (Almost) Unsalvageable and for leaving your mark. Hope you settle in for a bumpy ride…we’re just getting started!

  • Reply Writing to Freedom March 4, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Your upcoming adventure sounds fun, excepting the moldy stuff in the corner. I love your digital art and personalities. I’m probably a mix of newbie, silent, old timer, crazy, and spiritual guide! XD I’ve never stayed in a hostel and not sure I want to. I got spoiled traveling with my VW camper as my portable home/shell/ retreat. I’ll need a new plan if I ever start traveling again. 🙂

    Happy adventures Gabe!

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Thanks Brad! There were times I was glad I pack out a 14 day prescription of Cipro to treat any unexpected cases of Legionaires or Staph (although I’m lucky to have avoided any food, water, community borne illnesses…so far)

      Mobile home travel sounds awesome too. Have never tried, but you can easily cover a lot of ground. Don’t know if I could talk Monica into it, but it would be fun to tour a big section of the states in a vintage VW bus.

      If we do, I’ll definitely look you up first to get some pointers.

      • Reply Writing to Freedom March 4, 2017 at 10:12 am

        I admire you and others who can let go and enjoy more types of travel. The VW travels were the best trips of my life for sure. It was a perfect way to get out in nature, but have my safe, easy cocoon for sleeping & cooking.

        • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 10:28 am

          Yes! Many of the flexibilities of a tent, with far more comfort. I’m sure the VW made for a perfect home away from home.

          • Writing to Freedom March 4, 2017 at 10:50 am

            But you can’t get to some places in a van. Especially in National Parks, then you must park in crowded, noisy campgrounds. 🙁

  • Reply Liesbet March 4, 2017 at 8:55 am

    So which category do you fit into, Gabe? I’d like to believe I would be the “tried and true backpacker”, but after years of traveling like that, I think I would prefer a bit more privacy at night. I like the hostel atmosphere and the chance of meeting people, thought, so a healthy mix might be the solution. Another category might be the “know it all” who usually has a bigger mouth than guts or experience. 🙂 Your trip to Spain sounds great. Another epic hike! It’s nice you both share the same passions.

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 9:57 am

      hehehe you know, I’m pretty sure I’ve drifted through all of these hiker archetypes at one time or another. But, like you, I’m hoping to be one of those “tried and true” travelers.

      And I absolutely hear you with the need to have some personal space. I’ve noticed a trend in many hostels to offer a choice between the REALLY cheap bunks or private rooms (at rates that are still more reasonable than hotels), so there are plenty of chances to live the best of both worlds.

      The Camino will be awesome. Not nearly as physically challenging as the Appalachian Trail or the Colorado Trail, but I’m willing to trade the elevation changes for wine lunches, and the chance to share the experience with Monica!

  • Reply the incurable dreamer March 4, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Gabe, I am so excited for you both! My friend hiked the Camino de Santiago trail last year, and she said it was profoundly spiritual. She recommended I hike it one day as well, so it is on my list of things to do when I eventually take the leap and begin my travel journey. After listening to her stories, I know she too has encountered some the of characters you describe in this post (‘partier guy’ FOR SURE), but she also happened to bump into Mitt Romney of all people. You have to be ready to meet anyone, at any time I suppose! I am a magnet for the absurd, so I am fully prepared for ‘For Real Bat Shit Crazy’ when I eventually do head out on my adventure. HA! I can’t wait to read about your adventures along the way! Great post as always and a great way for me to kick off a Saturday morning!

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Thanks Tanya! The Camino should be a blast. Especially since I get to practice being the Mum this time (instead of the For Real Bat Shit Crazy one 😉 )

  • Reply Buffy Devane March 4, 2017 at 9:26 am

    As ever, Gabe, you show yourself as an acute observer of humankind. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 10:16 am

      hehehe I don’t know about that. But what I lack in qualitative perception I make up for in volume exposure. (I’m telling myself this is a fancy way of saying I’m a slow study when it comes to people, but I usually pick up on general patterns after enough exposure).

      • Reply Buffy Devane March 4, 2017 at 10:20 am

        I think there’s a lot to be said for the steady, measured approach when it comes to people… some of us [i.e. me] just stagger around, constantly changing our minds about those certain people we can’t figure out. 😉
        The other thing is I’ve found to trust my gut instincts more with people, though… for years I just didn’t listen to them!

        • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 10:38 am

          One of the things I enjoy about you so much Buffy (aside from your poetic prose and honest plunges into the others hidden depths) is that your comments trigger even more interesting thoughts.

          I could spend all day exploring the means throughout which we try to connect, and understand others, but I’d better stop before I turn this into a whole new post 😉

          Thanks again Buffy!

          • Buffy Devane March 4, 2017 at 3:20 pm

            Gosh, that is praise indeed… you are a gentleman, Gabe, and no mistake. 🙂
            Haha well if it DOES become a post, then I know it will be an excellent one and I’ll look forward to reading it.
            Take it easy, mon ami. 🙂

          • Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 3:23 pm

            Vă mulțumesc foarte mult prietenul meu (this counts as an extra Romanian lesson for today 😉 )

          • Buffy Devane March 4, 2017 at 3:30 pm

            Haha, you are most welcome. 🙂
            [I would’ve tried to translate my reply into Romanian with the computer, but I would have doubtless ended up looking rather foolish. 😉 ]

          • Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 3:34 pm

            yup -Google translate isn’t much help with Romanian yet 😉 (But this was: Thank you my friend)

          • Buffy Devane March 4, 2017 at 3:38 pm

            Haha from the times in my 20s trying abysmally to become sophisticated and multi-lingual with the help of Google I ended up with nonsensical phrases usually involving French, Spanish and Italian words all at once… it amused my real polyglot friends, though. 😀

            And yes: you are indeed most welcome. 🙂

  • Reply usathroughoureyes March 4, 2017 at 9:49 am

    You are right Gabriel about winter, lol. Just kidding, winter is beautiful its just it gets a little long after 4 months and there is another one to go. Wow, hiking Camino de Santiago through France and Spain. What an exciting journey this will be. We’re willing to tag along if you need us to carry any packs, lol. We can’t wait to hear about the hostels over there. We’ve read about em but never tried one.

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 10:27 am

      I’m getting more and more excited about our next trip every day. This will be the first time Monica has joined me on a “long” hike (it’s only going to take about 60 days, even after allowing for detours and play days). One of the other great things about this trip is that we won’t have to carry as much gear as a typical hiker does, so “sherpa duty” will be incredibly light. And I’m sure there is plenty of room on the Camino for a few more!

      • Reply usathroughoureyes March 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

        LOL. I guess you saw right through my attempt to tag along with you and Monica. Who knows maybe one of these times we’ll do it, lol.

  • Reply Mick Canning March 4, 2017 at 10:22 am

    I’ve not hiked the Camino, but have friends who have. By all accounts, it’s awesome. Have a great one! And, yes, I think I’ve met most of those hostel types, including one or two very, very weird ones. But, well, makes it more fun. And on another note, I can happily send you over some of our winter if you’d like it…I’m more than happy to get rid of it.

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Sweet Mick! I may be bugging you for some of the insider tips in the coming weeks.

      And yes… I’ll be happy to take as much winter as you send can send our way. It’s t-shirt weather here in Romania.

      • Reply Mick Canning March 4, 2017 at 10:41 am

        I’ll just get a box and pack some up…

  • Reply Bel March 4, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Lol! I’ve never tried a hostel. I’m not that brave and perhaps, a little bit antisocial. You should put me in the “me against the world” category with lots of social angst. This trip will be an amazing time for you and Monica. I’m excited to read about it- hiking in 2 countries – meeting new people…it will be quite an adventure.

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      I absolutely relate Bel. Normally I’m an avowed introvert, but something about hiking, and the hiking culture, allows me to relax a bit and meet new people.
      (If I had to guess, I’d say the showers optional, no shaving, and the-grungier-the-better culture removes the pressure. There’s no need to impress others)

      And yup… I sure hope it’ll be the inspiring, and amazing duo-adventure I hope it will be.

      • Reply Bel March 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm

        I guess the tendency is to be more comfortable when you’re doing what you love and since that’s hiking for you(one of many, obviously) – it releases your inner extrovert! ?

        • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 1:40 pm

          Bel! That has the makings of an awesome catch phrase. (Bear with me while I share my imagination’s equivalent of a burp)

          I’m thinking about variants on the “Release the Kraken” except, instead of a Greek God (or demigod), we’ll have to imagine a scrawny, balding, middle-aged guy wearing pink sunglasses, who stands up defiantly to squeak towards a largely oblivious audience (who are all busy on their smart phones). “Release your inner extrovert!”

          Even my imagination can’t conjure up a happy ending to this scene, but the image is goofy enough, I thought you’d appreciate it…

          • Bel March 4, 2017 at 1:50 pm

            Okay, I found your response hilarious! Your description made me think of how “awkwardly unsalvageable” that scene would be (in an awww shucks kind of way) . Let me share one similar experience…I play volleyball and for some reason when I’m on the court and there’s music playing – I dance well enough. However, this made my teammates think I’d do just as well on a dance floor and they dragged me to one = epic failure! I danced like a fish out of water. Nowadays, they just take me to places where dancing is prohibited – like the library ?

          • Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 1:52 pm

            hehehe you should see my “white boy shuffle.” It’s “to-die-for” 😉

  • Reply Sheri @trail2peaktheadventurouspath March 4, 2017 at 11:56 am

    You are a creative soul, inside & out. I so thoroughly enjoy your writing & sketches. So you’ve forgotten yourself! The creative type… the one writing in a journal/sketching in a pocketbook/pulling out the watercolour set.

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks so much Sheri! And actually your right, I’ve met quite a few Creative types at hostels, whether writing, sketching, painting, and God Bless ’em -COOKING, these creative types really do deserve mention.

  • Reply dave ply March 4, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    The only real hosteling I’ve done was back in 1980, spending a couple months traveling around western Europe. Probably some parts same, some parts different than doing a hiking trail. In either case I’m sure that meeting all the different types is almost as interesting as the locality you went to see in the first place. Some times they can even turn into long term friends.

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      This is so true. In fact, every one of the people in the featured image is a (very) rough approximation of a real person I met at a hostel. Every one of them has since become a “long-term” friend.

  • Reply YellowCable March 4, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Hiking also gives you opportunities to meet different people. Interesting.

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      So very true. And I believe hiking brings out the most interesting in us as well.

  • Reply rugby843 March 4, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    I love this post! I have to admit I’m in the no bugs, warm water group and I love room service, but a meal in a hostel meeting other people also beckons. Have a wonderful time!

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Ahhh yes! Warm water. Gives me shivers just remembering the frigid (outdoor) cold water showers.

      However, water conservation is rarely an issue in these cases 😉

      • Reply rugby843 March 4, 2017 at 3:58 pm

        when camping we wood use a huge tree-like pump for showers, cold

  • Reply S. Hansen March 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Pretty sure I’d be the strong silent type at the moment. I’d love to go travelling but anxiety is really holding me back. One day I’m going to kick anxiety in the face, run away screaming freedom and promptly trip over a pebble. But I’ll still count it as a victory, and my first task will be planning a trip round the globe.

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      I hear you. It’s probably hard to believe based on the endless rambling I do here, but I’ve spent more than my share and the (not-so) strong, and silent type.

      • Reply S. Hansen March 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm

        Good to know that you’ve powered through and gotten out there.

        • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 3:57 pm

          Yup. If I can get out there, I’m sure you can too. (when the time is right of course)

          And if not… there is an entire universe of possibilities just under your hair.

  • Reply Dimi Jani March 4, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this!! I’d love to go to one of these hiking hostels at some point in my life but for now I’d have to experience it through your experiences, keep sharing! Can’t wait to hear about your next hike sounds thrilling x

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks Dimi and will do!

  • Reply sandyjwhite March 4, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Wow…this is thoroughly enjoyable reading! You must understand, Gabe, that I am the polar opposite of you. I have absolutely no sense of adventure, preferring the predictable to the unknown. I admire your free spirit and flexibility. I will just need to go along for the vicarious ride. I look forward to posts about your upcoming hike.

    • Reply Gabriel March 4, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      Sure Sandy, there is a lot to be said for having more control over our lives and surroundings. To be honest, I have to force myself into these adventures as often as I can, otherwise I slip into “funks” that are difficult to recover from.

      In the meantime, we’re happy to share as much as we can through sketches and the blog!

      • Reply sandyjwhite March 4, 2017 at 8:09 pm

        I’m glad your travels help to keep you on an even keel.

  • Reply Marc and Ann March 4, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    What an incredible article as it brings a smile to my face. I’m sure all of us have a face in mind when we read your descriptions and we all think we’re that cool guy that loves adventure but has more to learn. I never realized that when traveling one could stay at a church in Spain. So many different people to see there. I’m getting excited for you.

    • Reply Gabriel March 5, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      hehehe so true! You caught me. Can’t tell you how many times I caught myself thinking I finally figured things out, and the world was ready to be exposed to my greatness;) Fortunately, when I lose sight of my humility, I have a subconscious means of restoring my internal balance, usually in the form of doing something stupid in front of large groups of people.

      But, as you so aptly mention in your most recent post, taking risks is an essential component of the happy person’s mindset!

      • Reply Marc and Ann March 5, 2017 at 5:34 pm

        So true Gabe! “taking risks is an essential component of the happy person’s mindset!” I forgot to mention that the artwork was an awesome addition to this last post. It’s better than photos in that it allows the imagination to fill in the gaps. Keep it up!

  • Reply masgautsen March 5, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Found your blogg at the blog party and I must say I really enjoyed this post. You are spot on with some many things here! You almost had me spraying my morning coffee on my screen from laughing.

    • Reply Gabriel March 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Ha! Thanks awesome! Thanks so much for stopping by, and once I get a few minutes to settle in, I’m looking forward to exploring your end of the blogosphere as well.

      I can already tell your good people!

  • Reply broadsideblog March 5, 2017 at 4:47 am

    I’ve stayed in hostels many times — Vancouver, Baltimore, Ottawa (it’s a former jail!), even Las Vegas (you can only get in with a non U.S. passport.) That hostel was in such a sketchy part of town the cabbies would say “Really?” when I gave them the address. It was in a former motel and was fine.

    I’ll be in Europe this summer and might do a few of them again.

    I tend to not be very social in hostels. I just want a safe, clean cheap place to stay.

    Have a great time on the Camino — we’re having lunch today w friends who’ve done part of it.

    • Reply Gabriel March 5, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      I had no idea there were hostels in Vegas. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to visit Vegas without staying in the center of the Strip (the Bellagio and I have a deeply personal, if one-sided, relationship), but the novelty sounds appealing.

      I hope you have a great time in Europe this summer, perhaps, if we’re within easy flying/training distance, we can get together for a coffee and a chat. Would love to connect with a fellow blogger, particularly one with your acumen.

      Thanks for stopping back by Caitlin!

      • Reply broadsideblog March 5, 2017 at 3:23 pm

        I know, right? I was there a few times, each time for work to promote my books, and had NO $$$$$ for a fancy hotel. Ironically, on my last visit there (Sept. 2009 or 2010) I stayed at the Bellagio (someone paid) and it was glorious!

        That would be fun! I have to look at a map. The closest I will be to you, for the moment, is Budapest, June 22-26 or so. After that, possibly Croatia…then on to London.

        • Reply Gabriel March 5, 2017 at 4:37 pm

          I remember mention of Budapest (if only because Budapest and I don’t get along). However, if serendipity aligns our independent plans, who knows… maybe it might be time to give Budapest another try.

          Regardless, I hope you have a great trip!

          • broadsideblog March 5, 2017 at 4:50 pm

            Thanks. I’m ready to flee the endless insanity of current US politics, that’s for sure.

            We had lunch today in NYC w 2 dear friends heading off (like you) to do another part of the Camino — they’re starting in Porto, Portugal and going into Spain.

          • Gabriel March 5, 2017 at 4:59 pm

            So interesting! My wife and I have met so many other couples that are following the Portugal-Spain route this year, I’m beginning to suspect it’s something about me that’s scaring them away from the France-Spain route.

            I think it has something to do with my “superpower”: I am one of the few people I’ve met that still smells like sunshine and orange peels after a showerless week of vigorous activity, which tends to intimidate the other mortals.

            But I hear the Portugal-Spain route is gorgeous (and a bit shorter). Hope your friends have an excellent walk!

          • broadsideblog March 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm

            They did a section in France already and loved it.

  • Reply thenuttybookblogger March 5, 2017 at 5:46 am

    Bravo! You were smart and packed Cipro! That is strong stuff. I love natural remedies if I can help it but so far I am on Clairitan D-24 hr, citroplefram, and sleeping pills. When I moved to Ohio the dr wont’ give me xanx to sleep so Now this leads me online to get it. To me when you pay a doctor he should give what you are use to taking nothing new. The new did not work, I am an insomniac.

    • Reply Gabriel March 5, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Sorry to hear you’re having difficulty sleeping. If you ever have a REALLY difficult time, you can always peruse some of my old posts. Guaranteed to knock you out 😉

      • Reply thenuttybookblogger March 6, 2017 at 9:25 am

        lol I will read your older posts for sure, today our basement flooded the sumpump went out…UGH

        • Reply Gabriel March 6, 2017 at 4:37 pm

          Ha! Sorry to hear about that. If it makes you feel any better… I’m making some progress on the sketch you suggested. Hopefully I’ll be able to send something to you in the near future to tae your mind off the “real world” problems.

          • thenuttybookblogger March 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

            thanks as life handles what it does and I do my best to stay happy, appreciate it

  • Reply mydangblog March 5, 2017 at 6:27 am

    I’ve never stayed in a hostel, although Ken and I have stayed in some pretty dodgy bed and breakfasts. Sounds like the hostel experience might not be as bad as I imagined. Great and informative blog!

    • Reply Gabriel March 5, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the read, and I hope you do get a chance to try a stay or two at a hostel. If nothing else, it will be an experience worth remembering.

  • Reply Amy March 5, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Be flexible when travel, way to go!
    Enjoy reading. 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel March 5, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks Amy! Glad you enjoyed the read, and feel free to stop back by whenever the mood strikes.

  • Reply Alec Harper March 5, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I’m laughing as I read this… spot on! Just shared on FB. Still trying to figure out which category I fit in. Cheers.

    • Reply Gabriel March 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Alec! Love when people share these posts. And based on what I’ve read thus far, you sound like a Tried and True Hiker to me!

  • Reply Paul Bunion March 5, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Wait a minute….!

    • Reply Gabriel March 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      hehehe I thought you’d get a kick out of this. I know it’s misleading to portray myself as a Partier, but I’m going to claim “artistic license” (Once I actually get an artistic license 😉 )

  • Reply Ann Coleman March 5, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    I’m pretty much of a clean-freak, who has no experience whatsoever staying in hostels. But when I have traveled abroad, I have found that I am much more willing to “lower my standards” of what I would usually consider an acceptable hotel room in order to actually experience the local culture. (As long as no bugs are involved.)
    But I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences on this hike! And when we were in Galway, Ireland, we were literally surrounded by hostels…they were everywhere, and so were the people you described so accurately. Most of them seemed to be having a wonderful time, too. Almost makes me wish I had been bolder in my younger years and tried staying in a hostel or two.

    • Reply Gabriel March 6, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      You piqued my interest in Galway, as it sounds like a Trail Town. A place where travelers and trekkers and wanderers stop on their way to the next place. After scanning through a few websites, Galway, with it’s rugged beaches, mix of cosmopolitan/bohemian culture and old world touches, sounds like an interesting place to spend a few days. And despite being on the opposite side of the island from Dublin, it looks like there are plenty of convenient routes to get us there. Looks like the kind of place both Monica and I would love to include on our next tour through the UK. Thanks Ann!

      on an unrelated note, I think my last comment (or two) on your blog got eaten by the spam monster.

  • Reply raynotbradbury March 6, 2017 at 2:18 am

    The partier is me lol ? Have you ever tried couchsurfing.com ..don’t remember if I asked u or no about it. Great travel community

    • Reply Gabriel March 6, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Ha! Doesn’t surprise me a bit.

      I know about couch surfing but have received mixed reviews. Have you had good luck with couch surfing?

      • Reply raynotbradbury March 6, 2017 at 11:59 pm

        Yes. Always 🙂 I have great reviews ? if I hosted – I allowed to do everything but no smoke, no drinking in the house (outside is Ok). I remember one guy got back home 10 in the morning (after party)…haha If I’m traveling and meeting ppl – then it’s even easier bcz it’s only short meet up.

        • Reply Gabriel March 7, 2017 at 5:51 pm

          Nice! You’re braver than I am. It’s taken me quite bit of practice to get to the point that I’m willing to shack up with strangers, so long as it’s in a strange place. However, makes me cringe to think about opening up my “cave” to anyone other then the closest of friends.

          Sounds like this works out great for you though. Kudos.

          • raynotbradbury March 8, 2017 at 2:29 am

            Hm, its strange to hear from you. You always sounds like a “veryyyyy welcoming” dude in your posts. I love to meet new people. In general – I love people. First person I’ve hosted was a guy. From Tunisia lol thats a crazy one, I know haha And he had a zero of the references and he wrote he can’t find anything at all and I’m his last chance. Blah blah. I don’t know, I told him: I’ll give you a chance, but if I don’t like something about you from the first sight – you can’t stay. So I can’t promise. BUT, he was fine. Totally normal. No problem at all, never seen him drunk even lol and he went to party each day haha. Mmmm, couchsurfing is great to get local advices too, it is not only about “host” and meet ups. Oh, I can’t even count how many people I met (just traveling around and meeting/hanging out each ev). But it works better for younger people I think. They def have fun with it :))

          • Gabriel March 8, 2017 at 1:55 pm

            hehehe this is the first time anyone has ever called me “veryyyyy welcoming”- this one is going in the long-term memory banks.

            Now…this ol’ timer has to fight the urge to tell you to be careful 😉 I get that we need to dance with the fire if we want to feel the passion of life, but those deep burns leave nasty scars… (And… now I realize I sound like a grumpy old guy giving out bad advice)

            Glad you’re having fun with it, and I’ll seriously consider couch surfing. You do make it sound like a cool way to meet new people.

          • raynotbradbury March 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm

            I don’t know…ur posts sounds so. Plus u kinda smiling on ur gravatar = kinda nice guy. Yes, I’m very careful with ppl I host but I always trust my intuition and usually I host only if I’m living in the warm country or on long travels. I usually prefer to host from 2 weeks & more. I hosted a girl for 3 months once. It allows u to create another kind of relationships :)) grumpy is ok. Im very grumpy sometimes as well. And yeah, wish u luck on ur future travels – to meet great ppl

  • Reply Furby March 6, 2017 at 7:12 am

    You missed the newbies, the ones who thought they could.. and are… a bit like those who get swept away by the roller coaster before they were all the way in the seat and are still looking for the seat belt halfway through the ride. Almost ready for the first hill… after completing their first hundred miles.

    • Reply Gabriel March 6, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      hehehe yup. I love seeing those “deer in the headlights” looks from Newbies who are still trying to figure out how to set up their tent for the first time as the storm rolls in. Great addition!

  • Reply dentjuli March 6, 2017 at 7:21 am

    I’ve definitely met all these personalities on my travels! I think I would be the strong silent type with an INTP personality 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel March 6, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Great to meet a fellow introvert Julia and thanks for stopping by. Isn’t it easier to be outgoing and social here in the blogosphere than it is in the real world? More importantly… I suspect we’re all the happier when allow ourselves to freely explore our own inner worlds (I know I am).

      Feel free to stop back by any time the mood strikes!

  • Reply Bren March 6, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Ok, I have to admit that when I first read the title, I read it as HOSTILE. LOL But now that I know is’ HOSTEL, all I can think about is those creepy horror movies that revolved around a hostel and crazy people.

    Power to you for embracing the world and tackling it straight on. First time at your site, via Blog Share Learn, and you have a new stalker! 😉

    Have a fab day!

    • Reply Gabriel March 6, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      hehehe I suspected a few might think that initially. And now I’m remembering that horror series as well…

      Despite the fresh set of heebie-jeebies, I’m glad you stopped by Bren, and even more grateful that you’re following along!

      I suspect that if I this blog keeps growing as fast as it has been for the past few weeks, I’m going to need some help, particularly when it comes to managing that crazy social media stuff. I may look to you for some virtual assistance…

      • Reply Bren March 7, 2017 at 4:01 am

        Lol @ Gabe! We’ll chat soon! ?

        • Reply Gabriel March 7, 2017 at 5:53 pm

          Yes, I suspect we will Bren. Everyday, I get a bit further behind and recognize the need for some expert assistance, or better time management skills. We’ll see which comes first 😉

  • Reply restlessjo March 6, 2017 at 9:23 am

    So, when do you plan to go, Gabe? I may have missed it in the comments somewhere but I would guess no later than May/early June or you’ll risk heatstroke. If you’re checking out blogs ‘Life is a Camino’ made his name from writing about his trip and now has professional blogger status. Phew! 🙂 🙂 And Simon Reeves did a televised series called ‘Pilgrimage’ which included the Camino. I’m jealous! I always wanted to do it 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel March 6, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      Hey Jo! We haven’t locked in dates yet (we have a few projects up in the air we have to nail down first), but you’re right about mid Spring or early fall as best start dates to avoid the heat.

      Thanks for the tips on other blogs to check out as well. I’ll look into them later today. Life is a Camino looks particularly interesting.

  • Reply Andrea Stephenson March 6, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I hope you have a great adventure Gabe. I haven’t stayed in a hostel for many years but did stay in some weird and wonderful places around Europe.

    • Reply Gabriel March 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks Andrea! It sounds like you and I might share similar sentiments: the memories we collected from these stays were well-worth the sacrifices in luxury and pampering we gave up by not staying in hotels.

  • Reply natureinspiredmom March 6, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Great descriptions on the various personalities…although I can only imagine as I have never dared to stay at a hostel.:0 Unfortunately my OCD wouldn’t let me when I was younger (I would’ve loved the idea of adventure and minimalism though) and now with kids, I can’t imagine. But, I have friends who traveled through Europe and loved the hostels…they said they were actually really wonderful and met awesome people. I believe one friend said that hostels were the way to go…much better than hotels even. In any case, sounds like a fabulous adventure and what a way to explore Spain and France! Awesome!

    • Reply Gabriel March 6, 2017 at 11:11 pm

      Yes, staying at most hostels would be tough for someone struggling with OCD. Although I do remember one hostel that was run by a couple that also struggled with severe OCD. It would take too long to describe all of the rules and practices that hikers had to follow, but a few I remember included changing out of all four clothes in a separate mud room before entering the hostel, going straight to the showers in single use scrubs, bleaching the shower when we were finished using it, then changing into freshly bleached uniforms that we would wear. Once in uniforms, we couldn’t go outside without changing back into another set of disposable scrubs. The list goes on, but it was certainly a memorable experience.

      I doubt we’ll encounter anything similar in France or Spain, but I’m looking forward to sharing the stories if there are.

      • Reply natureinspiredmom March 7, 2017 at 11:11 am

        Wow, that OCD hostel sounds like someplace I’d actually try :0 lol! Nah, it does sound like a hindrance to change in and out of clothes all the time and have to bleach the showers (Ok I don’t go that far), but wow, didn’t know that existed. I’ll be waiting to hear about all your experiences in France and Spain…sure sounds like an epic adventure 🙂

  • Reply recoveryforallofmyheart March 6, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    i feel you on the winter thing. I love it too!

    • Reply Gabriel March 6, 2017 at 11:12 pm

      hehehe I knew I wouldn’t be the only one hoping for a longer winter.

      • Reply recoveryforallofmyheart March 7, 2017 at 9:58 am

        I always want the groundhog to see his shadow!

        • Reply Gabriel March 7, 2017 at 5:55 pm

          Yes! I love Groundhog day. Both the possibility AND the movie.

  • Reply aFrankAngle March 7, 2017 at 7:25 am

    I’m not a hiker or a hostel guest, but I understand your description of hostel personalities as they make plenty of sense of anyone who has ever been around groups of people. Well done … and I’ve heard wonderful things about the hike in Spain!

    • Reply Gabriel March 7, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      Thanks Frank, and I sure hope you’re right!

  • Reply Tiny March 7, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Our friends hiked Camino de Santiago last year and I understand they stayed (mostly) in churches and little family hostels addicted to taking care of their hiker guests. I have stayed in many hostels over the years, but the worst were those with more ‘traffic’ inside than on the road outside 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel March 7, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      Yes, the overcrowded “transient” hostels are difficult places to relax and unwind. Sure hope we’re not going to be seeing too many of these along the Camino.

  • Reply Natalie March 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Nice post — this was a fun read! 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel March 7, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      Thanks Natalie, glad you enjoyed, and I’m looking forward to visiting your blog as well!

  • Reply candidkay March 7, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Am I exposing myself as an introvert in saying your descriptions made me want to run for the comforts of home? 🙂 I’m with you on the cozy seat by the fire, reading my book . . .

    • Reply Gabriel March 7, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      It’s interesting that you mention this. I’ve recently retaken the Myers-Briggs Type indicator test as a playful means of assessing the “progress” I’ve made in my pursuit of connecting with others. Looks like I’m still an INFJ. But you know… I think I’m just fine with that.

      And a fireside read sounds like the perfect way to enjoy some well deserved white space Kristine. Hope you enjoy.

      • Reply candidkay March 7, 2017 at 6:31 pm

        Well, this ENFP thinks introverts help keep the world sane:).

        • Reply Gabriel March 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm

          Ha! Yes I can absolutely see it. However, this introvert is not pulling his weight when it comes to contributing to cumulative sanity. I’ve lugging around more than my share of crazy.

  • Reply YesterdayAfter March 7, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    You have a great plan for the Camino! I am sure it would be awesome and you and Monica can share the experience! I am looking forward to read your adventure! When you’re planning to go? 🙂

    • Reply Gabriel March 8, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      We haven’t locked in dates yet but likely early Spring or early Fall. It’s gonna be awesome!

      • Reply YesterdayAfter March 8, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        I am sure it would be! Good luck with the plans! 😉

  • Reply rgayer55 March 9, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Love the art and the personality breakdown, Gabe. Mum was probably my favorite. My wife is just like that, always handing out unsolicited advice–which is usually sound, but most often (to hear her tell it) falls on deaf ears.

    • Reply Gabriel March 10, 2017 at 1:11 am

      Thanks so much Russel!

      hehehe I suspect this means you’ve also developed that survival trait, selective hearing, we husbands are famous for.

  • Reply angelanoelauthor March 11, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Hi, Gabe! I hosteled around Europe back in the late 90s. Aside from the drunk Australian whose name I can’t remember, (but I’m pretty sure I kissed while singing to the soundtrack of the Sound of Music in Switzerland), nothing too out of the ordinary occurred. But, I do have a question.
    A character in my next novel travels Europe by herself right out of high school. She frequents art galleries, has a casual love affair, and avoids calling home. She keeps to herself, but isn’t a loner. She’s an unreachable traveler, trying to escape everyone–especially herself.
    Has anyone met a girl like this on the road? I’d love to know more about her “type,” especially how others would have experienced a girl like this if they encountered her on the next bunk, or hanging out in the common area.
    Thanks for the post! I do so love your blog.

    • Reply Gabriel March 11, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      Angela, sounds like an interesting novel, and the protagonist is someone many will be able to relate to (both men and women) whether they are travelers or not. I’ve met dozens (if not hundreds) of people that have met this description at one time or another. While I may have loosely described this type of introvert/hiker as a “strong silent type” for purposes of brevity in this post, many (myself included) likely began as isolated escapees, but somewhere along the way, we changed. This change, which your brief synopsis suggests, is exciting to witness and powerful to take part in.

      Good luck with your latest novel Angela and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help (maybe I could be a beta reader when you’re ready to send out to trusted friends who are willing to give that critical appraisal we often miss in projects we are very close to)
      Gabe

      • Reply angelanoelauthor March 12, 2017 at 3:05 pm

        OOOH! I just might take you up on that! 🙂

        • Reply Gabriel March 13, 2017 at 12:18 am

          Sweet. looking forward to reading.

  • Reply bedlamanddaisies March 11, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Gabe! I found your blog through Nikki’s Meet and Greet. I haven’t done any overnight hiking, but the Camino de Santiago is on my bucket list (like after the kids all leave for college). Looking forward to hearing about that and your other journeys 🙂 -Amy
    P.S.- I love the digital art.

    • Reply Gabriel March 11, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      OOOOOO I just came back from your blog and I’m going to be such a big fan!

      Thanks for the compliments and even more for following along. Please feel free to play along whenever the mood strikes!

      • Reply bedlamanddaisies March 12, 2017 at 7:49 am

        Thanks so much Gabe! I plan to be back to check more posts out. 🙂

        • Reply Gabriel March 12, 2017 at 8:29 am

          Sure Amy, Your welcome anytime. We’re just getting started here!

  • Reply Inside the Mind of Isadora March 11, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    Gabe … Gabe … Gabe … you’re awesome. You and your wife are sooooo smart. Travel and adventures should be done when you’re young, healthy and carefree … OH – and childless. I told my hubby recently, “When we were young we had no money to travel; now, we have money and no health to travel. We’re cruisers. YUP … no laughing. It’s the best I can do as I can’t fly due to health issues. Florida has 3 major ports which affords us the option of many departure ports. Once we reach foreign places, we stay awhile and take another cruise back. At least, I get to travel.
    But, back to you. I love your sense of adventure. I hope you’ll post lots of stories good and bad about your adventures along the Camino de Santiago. I will be traveling with you with your posts. You’re smart to realize that it will have it’s challenges but what better way to experience them then with your best friend and first mate. Blessings to you both ….
    Isadora ?
    p.s. my hubby’s family is originally from Corsica, Spain. I’m terrible with geography. It’s probably no where near where you’re going. Oh … and have FUN !!!!

    • Reply Gabriel March 12, 2017 at 4:04 am

      I’ve often faced that nasty wall as well. We are constantly balancing resources, time, and energy when we make decisions, and the more we have of any one (or two) means a deficit in the others. Cruises sounds like a great compromise. And I would never laugh (well…not too hard).

      And the Camino doesn’t cross near Corsica, but I hear its beautiful country!

  • Reply josypheen March 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Oooh you must be so excited to wander along the Camino de Santiago! We walked along a couple of days of the route in France. I loved it, but quite a few sections were along roads with cars roaring past…so choose your route if you can! It looks like lots of the sections have plenty of different options/routes.

    If you end up walking past Sainte-Foy-la-Grande in France, let me know. We had SUCH an amazing yet cheap as chips meal there. 😀

    • Reply Gabriel March 12, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      Sweet. We’re early in the planning stages (haven’t locked in dates yet), but I’ll definitely be reaching out as we get closer. These are the kind of can’t miss/try to avoid tips that can’t be found by reading books and guides.

      • Reply josypheen March 13, 2017 at 7:16 am

        Well (just in case!) This is the place I mean. I wrote a yelp review, just so I can make sure I’ll be able to find it again!! https://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/le-8-sainte-foy-la-grande

        • Reply Gabriel March 15, 2017 at 5:08 am

          Looks like this one made in into the spam folder. I’ll check out the review later today when i get a chance to take a few breaths.

          • josypheen March 15, 2017 at 5:11 am

            No worries! It’s only useful if you end up walking near there…

  • Reply Barb Knowles March 19, 2017 at 6:55 am

    The only place I have stayed in hostels is in Spain. Categorized as “youth hostels” which worked out great since I was a student (many moons ago). Public bathrooms weren’t my forte, but beat the alternative, the rooms were fairly – very clean, the prices were great, and you are spot on with the personalities. This has probably completely changed, but when I was staying in a hostel with my group, we had the doors open as we flit back and forth between them. I was sitting on the bed (made) of one of my male friends as he got his stuff together for an outing, and a bunch of guys walked by laughing and yelled to me PUTA, or whore. Now THAT was a learning experience.

  • Reply Agness of eTramping April 1, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    This is a great elaboration on personalities, Josy! I tend to spend nights at hostels as a cheaper alternative and this post was quite informative!

    • Reply Gabriel April 2, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Thanks for stopping by glad you enjoyed

  • Reply quittingmylife August 6, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    You have missed the rarist one-the old timer. The odd amazing hippy from the 70’s with a passion for life and some serious weird stories. Great work keep it up

    • Reply Gabriel August 12, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Ahhh yes, the ol’ timer! Can’t believe I neglected to include one of my favorite groups! And I have to say, they are becoming far more common, which is perfect because I’ll soon be joining these esteemed ranks 😉

    Now it's your turn to play!

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