We Survived

Well, we survived our first night in a hostel. But I’m not entirely sure how.

Chelsea spent her first night in a hotel since I was a day late. Big, clean bed, hot shower in her own personal bathroom. She was living the life.

Then I got to Dublin and it was time to stick to the hostel plan.

We headed to Isaacs Hostel which is considered one of the best in Dublin. Since we are traveling for three months, we booked the cheapest room we could which was an eight bed, co-ed room.

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The room smelled absolutely awful when we walked in. There were four giant football equipment bags and it smelled exactly like my brother’s hockey pads when he used to leave them around the house in high school.

Great, we were staying with four football players and who knows who the other two people are in the room.

But, we signed up for this. So we got a locker for our bags (two euro a day – this stuff really adds up!) and headed out into Dublin.

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Walking around the city we realized we have literally no money. We can’t just go post up at a bar and drink beers with the locals because beers cost money and we’re only on day one. So we just walked. And walked. And walked.

Around five p.m., my jet lag started to kick in so we decided to head back to Isaacs for a nap before our pub crawl at nine p.m. Oh, and we tried to return those tickets because we don’t have funds to be dropping on pub crawls but of course, with our luck, they were nonrefundable.

The hostel lobby was filled with giant football players. I mean, giant. Like Penn State looking football players. And lucky us, four of them were staying in our room.

The first thought that went through my mind was, “Great, the room is really going to stink once they get in there.”

We tried not to let it get to us. People sleep in hostels all the time. We’d have known if they really weren’t safe.

So we walk into the room eager to take a nap and what do we find? A football player passed out in Chelsea’s bed. We ran into the hall screaming like little girls. We can’t do this. Sorry Europe, I’m sure you’re great but we’re out.

What did we really do? Splurged at a bar.

Dublin started to look up as local bands belted out Irish music and we got more and more beers in us. We met tons of other travelers on our pub crawl and really started to think, “OK, maybe we can do this.”

But on the walk back to Isaacs, we remembered the football players. Their smells, the fact that we have no idea who they are and they’re 10 times our size.

Forget it. We were going to grab our stuff, send a quick email home that we were splurging on a hotel and getting a good night’s sleep.

We cautiously walked into our room and found three of the football boys laying in their beds with “Chelsea’s bed” now free (don’t worry, she didn’t stay in it. The guy just had the wrong bed so she got his clean, unused one). The smell had somehow subsided and they were the nicest college students from Kentucky!

Next thing we knew Chelsea and I were sharing Semester at Sea stories and the football players were promising to help us if the creepy German man staying in our room got weird in the middle of the night. Also, their coach told them they were going to be in their own room so they were just as creeped out as we were. Not sure they expected to have girls in their room!

The next morning we apologized to the football players for thinking they were going to kill us and they invited us to come out to the bars with them after their game. From killers to friends! Aren’t hostels great?

So surprisingly, we survived our very first hostel experience. When we came back today, the smell in the room was about 50 times worse and Chelsea almost vomited. But hey, at least they won’t kill us, right?

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