If you stay in a hostel during your travels, and you stay in a dorm with other people, you will experience the most funny, interesting or bizare situations. Guaranteed. You will soon find out that no one is able to keep their (bad) habits at home. Yes, that probably also includes you.

And that is cool. it’s one of the best things I like about staying in hostels: it’s never boring. I’ve been to a lot of hostels and there is a couple of situations that I will not soon forget. Here’s three of them, and they all carry a message/warning.

‘Beware of your privacy. The tower has visitors.

Message 1:
You can not leave your (weird) habits at home.
@Old Town Hostel – Kotor, Montenegro

My Brasilian room mate comes running out the bathroom, wildly waving a toothbrush in his hand: “Whose toothbrush is this? I’m a dentist and this is really not okay.” Ofcourse, that toothbrush belonged to me, and he was right, that brush did look damaged. And I only had been using it for five days so far.

Side note: I have the weird habit of doing all kinds of tasks while I brush my teeth, so I don’t have to just stand there for two minutes. That feels like a waste of time. So while doing stuff, I bite on my brush. That’s how it get’s beaten up.

Anyhow, my room mate could nót believe that this brush had been in use for just five days. My travel mate Fleur pulled out her toothbrush to compare hers with mine. Fleur’s was still intact. Mine was completely dilated, even though we bought them at the exact same time. Five days ago.

The dentist asked if I by any chance had been scrubbing the floor with this brush, which I didn’t, and wanted to take a look in my mouth immediately. With a good lamp and all. In twenty years I will be having pain in my gums, I had a so called ‘retraction’ and I can never brush too hard again.

Message 2:
Privacy? Didn’t think so.
@Boutique Hostel Forum – Zadar, Croatia

Having an afternoon rest on a hot sunny day on vacation is the best thing. So my travel friend Fleur and I came back after a good day of strolling around Zadar, and we had nobody else in our dorm except for ourselves. So what do you do then? Right, you just sit there like you would sit when at home. I was listening to some music and Fleur was in the lower bed, chilling with her legs wide open, that made her dress fall down. Just perfect. With nobody around watching. You would think.

So all of the sudden I hear her scream. ‘Shit!’. As I look from my bed I see Fleur standing next to hers and she starts laughing. ‘What?!’ I ask her while she is pointing to the bell tower in front of our room. We had a room somewhere up in the building and assumed that we just had this lovely bell tower as a view. Until then we did not know this bell tower was considered one of the biggest sightseeing points of Zadar and there had been people in and out of the tower with us as a view.

Apparantly, a 8 year old had been standing in that bell tower, looking right into Fleur’s legs, still widely opened. He was shocked, had his mouth wide open and reached for his mom. I’m laughing my ass off. She’s getting red. I’m laughing even harder now. Until I realise that I might have given a show on my own, when I got dressed the day before, coming right out of the shower and having no rush at all ‘because I liked the view and anonimity’. Oh well… that made us even. When I tried to pull the curtains for once and for all, my eye catched a little sign next to the curtains that said: Beware of your privacy. The tower has visitors.

Message 3:
The world is smaller than you think.
@El Viajero Hostel – Salento, Colombia

In my new hostel I did not know anyone yet. And so I decided to have a chat with my neighbour at the breakfast table. We started a conversation like most conversations begin, with the question: ‘Where are you from?’. The Netherlands, he replied. And that was easy, because -since I’m Dutch- we could continue our talk in Dutch. After we compared our route through Colombia and the time we had for the travel, we decided that we were making the same trip in the same amount of time. Funny!

A coincidental breakfast in Salento with this view

As we continued our conversation, we found out that we both live in the same city in the Netherlands and we originally both come from a town nearby Zwolle – the city we live in now -. And apparantly, in Zwolle we are neighbours and we only live 400 meters from each other. Ha, funny coincidence! But it didn’t end there.

Apart from sharing the same hometown, we also share the same age and we have the same profession. We are both journalists and that fact makes the situation even smaller. Because there are not thát many journalists my age in our city. That mees I must know him. And thén it hits me. This Joost I just met is the Joost from my college. I have heard some things about a Joost from the mutual friends we have. But I have never had a face with this stories. We enthousiasticly laugh about it when we all figure it out. At this point, the world feels so, so small. It’s so funny to meet my hometown neighbour, and fellow journalist 9046 kilometers apart from home, just at a chill breakfast in the silent Salento, Colombia.

⤵ Now I’m also very curious to your funny, weird or typical situations you had at a hostel stay. Please, don’t keep them to yourself and share them 😉 ⤵