I've been home for nearly 3 weeks after living in a hostel for...well, I don't feel like I should admit how long, but it was a lot longer than I would advise anyone else to do it for! There have been a few changes that I have had to adjust to, most of them extremely pleasant I must admit.
Wait, that whole bed - just for little old me? And I get wardrobes? Well, that is luxury. But how many people am I sharing with? None...that doesn't make any sense. So I can come home drunk and eat a sandwich in bed and watch Sons of Anarchy/The Office/Game of Thrones on my laptop without my earphones in and I won't bother anyone? And I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it is not stumbling around in the dark either trying to get dressed or trying to get your clothes together to get dressed in the bathroom (whichever causes the least disturbance). This I can get used to!
Being able to leave my toiletries in the bathroom and the only thing I really have to worry about is my sister using my shampoo/shower gel. Which, let's face it, is a general fact of life anyway with siblings. Not having to wear flip flops while taking a shower is an freedom everyone should be allowed. Except prison folk...they probably deserve to be punished in this way. I also had my first bath in a year and a half, lovely stuff.
I open the fridge, see something I like and I can take it. Without having to search under a pile of unidentifiable crap for the bag with my name on it, open it and realise that someone stole my eggs (this happened TWICE). The first couple of days, I kept asking the family if it was OK for me to take things and why wasn't anything labelled with their names, room numbers and departure dates. Then I remembered that that's all irrelevant here!
The kitchen is occupied by a maximum of 3 other people at any one time. And only one, if any of those people will be cooking. We have 8 working hobs, 2 ovens, a grill, a microwave, a dishwasher. I have 5 different sized pie dishes to choose from and knives sharp enough to actually chop things with. I have not had noodles since I've been home, I don't even think there are any in the press!
Not going to lie though, I do sort of miss the constant stream of strangers coming through. It made every journey from your room an adventure - who would you see on the way back from the bathroom in just a towel? Which kitchen hogger would be using 9 pots and pans while you're trying to boil an egg? Who is talking really loudly on their mobile on the patio/in the common area? Which crazy/creeper is going to be freaking people out in the bar? And that brings me to the main thing I miss. The good old Departure Lounge, where everybody knows my name. And 2 of the most attentive bartenders I've ever had. No one makes a Gin Caesar like Buckethead and I doubt I will ever find a better karaoke partner than Staples O'Neill. Miss you boys!
Moral of the Story - next time you go travelling, make sure to stay in a hostel. All of the above points will make you glad to get home but you will never be able to replace the memories that will be made.