Three years of being married and Mr. H and I have found accommodation in endless hotels, resorts and Airbnb’s throughout our vacations. But never did the idea of staying in a hostel crossed our mind (only god knows why), until recently, while we were looking for our options in Iceland. I won’t lie, we both were battling inside with various levels of being reluctant – but less did we know that this hostel experience would turn out to be one of the best bonding activity we did as a couple.
Let’s accept it – marriages/relationships are not 24-hours rosy. Couples that don’t fight, don’t disagree and don’t demand their own space after a few years of being together are almost a myth (no offense to the ones who still claim to be perfect together – I am yet to meet you). And hence, we all need to re-bond every once in a while to make sure that the spark is still on – till death do us apart.
In January 2017, we both took a trip to Iceland and booked ourselves into a 6-bed dormitory in KEX Hostel in Reykjavik. The hostel boasted of some really cool yet cozy common spaces, live music, one of the best gastropubs in the city, and an easy-on-our-pocket kind of budget. And in one really impulsive moment – we booked KEX – ditching all our other luxury stay options. By now from the tone of this article – you would know we had an amazing experience (almost like an eye-opener) – and here is why we think staying in a hostel as a couple is an essential bonding activity all married couples should indulge in at least once in their lifetime:
- You connect with each other as FRIENDS again, because sometimes we forget how it used to feel like. A hostel environment is all about meeting new people and staying with strangers in a common dormitory. Once you check into a hostel – the idea of privacy is almost nil – so forget about getting a cozy corner to romance it out. With so much happening around you – PDA is not an option – which leaves you with only one choice of being best buddies all over again. You learn to look out for each other in washroom queues and guard each others luggage in common spaces. You hunt for a table to eat together and often hold onto seats while your better half is gone to fetch his/her breakfast. You both are two ‘individuals’ traveling together minus all the lovey-dovey feelings – which forces you to re-connect as friends.
- You push yourself out of your couple-comfort-zone and explore more outdoors. Staying in a shared dorm with bunk beds also means ‘no bedroom’, no cuddles, and no private bathroom. As a couple this very feature of a hostel is often THE deal-breaker; but a few years down a relationship – it’s an interesting experience. It pushes you both out of your room, and makes you concentrate on being outdoors, explore the destination a lot more, and spend more time discovering new things to do outside your accommodation. Or even just spending more time in the common areas of your hostel – reading a book, catching up with people and just enjoying some good music in the company of complete strangers.
- You discover each others likes/dislikes/ideas/opinions/habits in the process of meeting new people. You learn new things together. The best part of a hostel experience is the constant in-and-out of travelers from all over the world. It is the perfect place to communicate with strangers and make new friends over all kinds of engaging conversations. As a couple we often slow down on getting to know each other assuming we already know our better half inside out. But people evolve and change with time – so does your partner. On a table full of different world-views and ideas – it is more than likely that you will discover exciting things about each other once again.
- You are more likely to make changes to your itinerary and try new things together. Meeting travelers from all over the world in a hostel opens you up to various experinces, tips, recommendations and guides that you might not have researched earlier. This gives you both the privilege to together tweak your plans for the better and come across different things to do or better ways to lead your trip just by being in the company of new people.
- You start flirting with each other again. This is probably my favorite part of being in a hostel – that you are constantly trying to steal a kiss from each other or grab a quick hug – when no one is watching. A crowded hostel is everything you need if you wish to rekindle that flirty spark you two once had and trust me it’s all worth it. 😉
So next time you plan to travel to a hostel friendly destination – try and drop the luxury of a five star hotel – and opt for a hostel experience with your partner. For the better you both will make new friends together. Worst case – you might not like it as much as we did – but even that very feeling will be something that you will discover together and at the least will make you bond closer!