10 People You’ll Meet at a Hostel: As Seen From Behind the Check-in Desk 

I had no plans for the summer. I had no money. It was set to be a tiresome one, until an idea struck me… a few e-mails later and miraculously I had a hostel job in Nice for the summer. Ten weeks of sunshine, dancing, European boys, drinking, ice creams, and beaches…Et voila! Ticket booked, bag packed, and there I was wandering the streets of the Old Town, hopelessly lost in the boiling heat, apprehensive of what the summer would bring. Later, all was settled, and so began what was to become one of the best summers of my life.

My first day on the job arrived and I found myself sitting behind the check-in desk, watching the world go by. And as it went by, I began to notice a few familiar faces week after week. This got me thinking that perhaps there might just be some stereotypes of your typical hostel-goers. They say everyone is unique, but after this experience, I beg to differ. Here’s a few that I checked in time and time again: 

The Guy Who Plays His Guitar All The Time

There are two types of guys who play guitars in hostels. There’s one that is too beautiful and charming to be true, who makes you swoon with his tanned skin and foreign accent and whose voice floats through the stuffy hostel like a refreshing breeze; he offers to cook you dinner on the terrace and have wine and cheese with you on a beach in the Med. Then there’s the one that lacks all musical talent, that insists on filling your evening with his droning voice and not so nimble fingers. I definitely encountered my fair share of the second type and too few of the first.

The Old man Who Hasn’t Moved On

There’s often one older person who doesn’t quite fit the youth hostel vibe but who is determined to be there. In my case, this was a man we decided to call Kevin Senior. Kevin arrived at our hostel one day and still hadn’t left when I did ten weeks later. He was a Hungarian chap who would linger in reception at two in the morning. We learned to adore him for his quirky ways, but also to steer clear.

The Hopeless Romantic

These were funny ones to watch. People freshly arriving in the city, finding love at first sight, and then recounting every soppy detail to anyone who cared enough, or more likely couldn’t find an excuse to flee. I saw people booking surprise flights half way across the world and talks of proposals after a few short days. I even got paid 15 euros by a guest to carry a bunch of flowers bigger than myself half way across the city to surprise his ‘true love’…must be that Mediterranean air.

The Lads on Tour

These guys travel in large groups and find everything hilarious. They are also constantly trying to outdo one another in ridiculous happenings.  They’re probably either Australian or English and the things that they enjoy most are pooing in ‘hilarious’ places, recounting their overly exaggerated sexual exploits, and chundering here, there, and everywhere. Be ready to learn a lot of new vocabulary if you’re not from their respective country, it’s a whole new language with them. I even encountered a special breed of these lads, more commonly known as ‘the military guys’, who take things to the next level in every sense.

The BFFs

These girls are far too giggly and high pitched in the early hours of the morning, and are the very, very best of friends. You’ll hear all about how much they love each other and couldn’t be apart countless times… but wait, they will have drunken meltdowns where they bitch and cry out all their sorrows before renouncing their hatred, reinstating their love, and then, of course, getting back on the oh so cheap supermarket wine.

The Family

Lord only knows why this family thought booking into the cheapest hostel in town was a good idea. Quick, hide them from the obscene drinking games in the kitchen.

The People Who Want to be Your Best Friend Forever

When you have a long shift on reception it’s nice to have company from time to time, but there are some guests who decide to be your best friend and rather than exploring will just chill with you for five hours, where you’ll be forced to endure their life story.

The Couple

Why would you book a hostel when clearly from your over the top PDA you just want to be getting it on?  Sorry, but the rest of the dormitory does not appreciate the noises coming from your corner of the room in the early hours.

The Computer Addicts

Excuse me, but there is a whole world out there to explore. Get off the internet and go see the things you keep blabbering on about on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etcetera.

The Traveling Guru

This person has been to many corners of the world and has lots of interesting stories to share about the bizarre situations they’ve found themselves in. They may ‘accidentally’ eat your food in the fridge, their stories may become a bit tiresome and annoying when they describe how they ‘found themselves’ in the jungle, or they may even stay a few extra nights without paying by sneaking in late at night and crashing on the sofa. But one thing is for sure, these guests will ignite that itchy feeling within you to see more of the world and personally, I can´t see that as a bad thing.

And while some of these characters are beginning to fade from my memory already, some will never disappear. So see who you can spot next time you’re staying at a hostel… hey, you might even recognize yourself!

Lizzie Frainier 

Image courtesy of Lizzie Frainier

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