An Ode to Hostels in Costa Rica
To all the hostels I visited during my time here in Costa Rica, thank you. For giving me a place to meet people from all over. For providing an environment that facilitates new friendships. One single community dining table for the whole hostel to share is what brought everyone together and made all the difference. The hostels that had more than one table, is where different groups remained separate and had no need to interact. Thank you to the owners who enjoy lodging tourists and make it not look like work. Thank you for your inspirational selves and showing us what a more permanent expat way of life entails. Thank you to each hostel for being so different, yet the same. To your laid-back style, influencing future apartment decorations. All the hostels I stayed at were clean and had no problems in the hygiene department. Thank you to some for being homey with bunk beds and bookcases, as if I was hanging out in my room. I loved staying at hostels because they gave me a part of home away from home, and since the owners and all the other travelers were away as well, everyone understood what it was like being a foreigner among locals. This, conjured feelings of belonging, as if confirming that I am on the right path, I am not alone in deciding to move to another country. Thank you to the other hostels that put us up like guests at a hotel, with private rooms and air conditioning, while being inexpensive. This was a nice break from the college student studying abroad budget, which let me enjoy and take advantage of trivial materialistic comforts. These made my time here feel like a vacation, and reminded me that I am fortunate to be living here, traveling here, and experiencing life here. Thank you for your smelly hammocks (which seem to be a hostel requirement) that we still laid in and endured, because hammock time is like nothing else. Thank you for reminding me that when I use my hammock that I bought here, I must remember to wash it, unless I want a truly authentic experience. Thank you for giving me a place to learn from my peers, even if it is the simplest life lessons, such as the most delicious meals can consist of bread, topped with apple slices and cheese, cooked in a toaster oven. The times spent in hostels are when our IFSA group bonded the most, since they were the only times where we all lived under the same roof. And for all of these exceptional, distinct, and unforgettable moments, I give thanks.