Living/Working In A Hostel – My Experience & Thoughts (Workaway)

Hey, you dirty sluts, how’s life going today? Sounds fabulous – now, let’s get back to me. If you guys have been keeping up with my sporadic content, a. thank you. And b. you may remember my post touring the Belfry Guesthouse, a YHA hostel where I was working for a couple of weeks back in October.

Quick recap for those of you who somehow don’t think I’m so important that you used all your valuable memory capacity remembering every detail of my life:

Using a website called Workaway, I found a placement in a hostel wherein I could work a few hours a day for free accommodation. I’ve been working here for the past few weeks, after starting off my Australia trip in Gold Coast.

As this was my first experience staying and working in a hostel, I thought I’d take you guys with me and share the experience/my thoughts on it all. Staying in a hostel for the first time can seem intimidating (sharing a room with like 10 other people? No personal space? Sketchy guests? No sleep because half the people come back, drunk, at 3am and the other half snore like they’re performing in a concert hall?) and it might not be for everyone . . . but I’m going to help you decide if it’s for you!

Working/Staying In A Hostel . . . The Good Parts

And there have been many.

1. You make so many friends

I used to wonder how people could do solo travel; I love spending time by myself, but an entire year just sounded . . . lonely. Well, I take it all back – because when you solo travel and stay at hostels, you are never alone. Since being here, I’ve made so many friends and I now have a whole bunch of places in Australia I need to travel for visits. (And couches to crash on.)

Much like blogging, when you meet other people staying in hostels you immediately have something in common. Whether it’s a passion for travel or just an openness for getting to know strangers, the type of people who stay in hostels tend to be outgoing and willing to befriend you very quickly.

Tip: while it helped that I was working in the hostel and would have to talk to guests to check them in and just help them out, it’s easy to make friends just by hanging out in the communal areas. We saw two guests befriend each other then go out on a date!

2. There is a lot of adventure potential

This leads on nicely from the first point, but the amount of spontaneous adventures you discover just by going “sure, why not?” when people invite you out is insane. I was offered roadtrips to Sydney and Melbourne, taken to remote river spots, stolen away for 2am trips up mountains, shown hiking trails that in all likelihood could have resulted in my death (best kind of hiking trips, naturally) and loads more. If you’re looking for some good stories and fun times, hostels are a great starting point.

3. They push you out of your comfort zone in the best possible way and you grow – socially – so much

I’ve touched on this in my Top Tip For Gaining Pinterest Traffic post, but a noticeable difference between being at home and staying in a hostel is that you are constantly surrounded by people. At home, your friends go home at the end of the night . . . in a hostel, they go back to your dormroom. This can be challenging, but what I found interesting was how much you adapt.

Instead of wanting to kill everyone, I (me, a person known amongst my friends for hoarding alone time like it’s fucking gold) actually enjoyed spending time with people. It forced me out of my comfort zone, but allowed me to learn how to deal with having less space and being switched on socially all the time.

4. It’s just so much fun

Hostels are a unique environment and, while this may not always be a blessing, most of the time it is. There is no other place where you can find so much fun with such few effort.

The Cons Of Staying In A Hostel

1. Lack of personal space/downtime

I know that I just said that this was a benefit, but not having any time to yourself can be killer . . . especially if you’re an introvert. Hostels can be loud, busy and disruptive; even if you have decided “okay, I want to sit down and work tonight”, the rest of the hostel probably hasn’t. This can not only be annoying for when you want some breathing room, but if you need time to work or study you might find yourself at a loss too.

2. Hygiene standards and room conditions are . . . different

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: even the loveliest hostels are not going to be the same standard as a hotel.

3. A lot of your experience depends on your roomies and where you are

The thing about hostels is that, even if they all looked the exact same, each and every experience is going to be vastly different. If you’re rooming with people who get in at 3am every night, or people who go to bed at 8 and ask you to be quiet even though it’s pretty much still the afternoon . . . that’s going to impact your stay. A lot of whether you have fun in a hostel is entirely dependant on who is staying there at the same time as you.

To summarise, there’s been a lot I’ve loved and a lot I’ve learned from working and staying in a hostel – not least of all that complete strangers trying to play Just Dance by watching Youtube videos is honestly hilarious and something that needs to be done at all parties. Overall, I highly recommend the experience and am immensely grateful that I went off on my own and did it! It was absolutely awesome and I can’t wait to do something similar again . . . after some time spent living somewhere with a private room.

Have you ever stayed in a hostel? Would you give it a go? Let me know your thoughts down below!


Instagram // Twitter // Bloglovin’ // Youtube // Pinterest

24 thoughts on “Living/Working In A Hostel – My Experience & Thoughts (Workaway)

    1. Girl, we’ll be having our own adventures in no time! 😀 xx

  1. K.M. Sutton – I am a country girl living on the Upper East Side of the concrete jungle. My friends call me a modern day Renaissance woman. I have dabbled in a little bit of everything, from being a yoga instructor to holistic chef, to skating coach, to glorified nanny, to student. I am a self admitted coffee junkie. A wannabe mermaid. A wanderluster who dreams of other countries. A fashionista who really does need a bigger bank account. But most important of all, I dream of living in a bungalow by the ocean and being a published writer (in style of course) sipping coffee in the morning and a martini in the evening. I love to meet my readers, so feel free to comment or email me. Happy reading!
    K.M. Sutton says:

    LOVE this post! Hostels are the best (and okay the worst) I am so glad you are having such a blast down in Australia beauty! <3

    1. Thank you so much girly! I’m really loving it 🙂 <3

  2. This sounds really interesting! I’m so jealous that you’re staying in Australia, I’ve always wanted to visit ahah! Have fun!

  3. coffeeandconcealer – Hi! If you're interested in style, fitness, and beauty, you've come to the right place! I love to engage with others so comment on my posts and let's be friends!
    coffeeandconcealer says:

    “Now lets get back to me” lol! You are too funny. Thanks for sharing! To be honest with you, I don’t know if I would’ve had the balls to stay at a hostel, but your experience sounds awesome!


    Let’s Connect!

  4. Gracie – 16. Writer. Sailor. Changemaker. Building community. Bridging social divides. Shifting our value system from cash to connection.
    Gracie says:

    I’m really keen to do Workaway – it was great to read about your experience!

  5. The Beauty Wonk – Welcome to my lifestyle and beauty blog. I am Rifat Yaseen, the person behind The Beauty Wonk. I am an engineer by day and a beauty wonk by night, researching about ingredients and products, trying to know what's best for you. Join me on my journey of trying to switch to ethical and healthy beauty alternatives and share some great and pocket-friendly beauty suggestions. 
    The Beauty Wonk says:

    I am staying as a Paying Guest and sharing the room with another girl. We don’t interact much as we’re both busy in our own worlds and thankgod she’s decently hygienic, not my OCD-clean hygienic though. But I still want to shift to a single room, I love my space a bit too much and being able to decorate my room the way I want to. Lovely post xx


  6. This is so interesting!! Great point about how it makes it a little easier to travel solo, I’ve always wondered how people do that (even though it sounds like so much fun!)

  7. Kashia – Hi, I'm Kashia! The Life She Created is dedicated to empowering visionary women. If you're a woman juggling family, work, healthy living with a side hustle (or two), you're in the right place. Here you will find a mixture of lifestyle, fashion, health & wellness, money, and business.
    Kashia says:

    I would love to do this….but only for like 3 months.

  8. This trip sounds amazing so far! I’m so happy you were able to find a great accommodation through Workaway. I’ve never used the website, but this blog post definitely makes me want to 🙂

  9. crazy coincidence, I swear.i was JUST talking to my mom who had never experienced the hostel life, about how there’s nobody I can talk to when it comes to my future dorm experience.and then I check my blog and see this!this was really helpful and it got me all excited to experience this myself!plus, its SO inspiring to see you living alone and working and being the girlboss that you are.Ly ad love this post!

  10. Hannah – Hello there! My name is Hannah and I am a 22 year old lifestyle blogger who loves travelling, coffee and social media. Welcome to my corner of the Internet.
    Hannah says:

    I remember staying in a hostel when I was younger on a school trip and hating bunking with so many people because I am very much an introvert, so it is nice to hear that you get used to it after a while. I am glad you are having such a good time in Australia. I look forward to reading what you get up to in the next few weeks. xx

  11. Looks like a life changing experience. I’m a big introvert, I’d love to try it out so I could push myself out of my comfort zone.

  12. Sounds so interesting and like so much fun. Jealous much haha.
    Tuva |

  13. Amazing post Your adventure sounds so fun. I remember a time some years ago that I went to a beach hostel here in The Netherlands just to hang out and I also ate with a group of people. I easily met friends and even went surfing one day. Maybe, I would do a workaway once. The only thing I wouldn’t like would be having less space and not a private room and bathroom for a long time.

  14. H.A.Ivy – I mean, to be frank with you do people actually read these? Undecided. I do know it's an excellent thing to write when you're trying to procrastinate from literally anything else. Technically I'm supposed to write on these for another obligation but you know what-we'll procrastinate on that one too. Mainly because people will be reading and judging that one. Though if you've gotten this far it's probably because you're genuinely hoping to find information about me, and to put it simply, there's not much to tell. I'm a fairly average person who prefers to have panic attacks about small things, and then when something's big I say "ah screw it" and move on with my life because who has time to dwell, not me that's who. Not with college and other stressful life requirements like not procrastinating on things. But in all seriousness, if you have made it this far, kudos to you. I'm H.A.Ivy, or Ivy, or Hazi or random girl that should shut up. I'm old (there's still a "teen" slapped after my age number so I'll let you figure it out), I enjoy writing, playing video games, and annoying my family. And of course, my ultimate goal is to take over the world, after I finish whatever this is.
    HaziWords says:

    I feel like my bucket list is getting longer and longer…

  15. It sounds like you’re enjoying your time there so so much, I’m truly happy for you!! I’ve stayed in a hostel for 2 nights a few weeks ago for the first time! I liked the experience but as an introvert, it was quite and exhausting time as well !! Have a good day!

  16. I’m so glad that you are enjoying life in Australia! Hostel life sounds like it brings it’s pleasures and challenges but it’s great that there are mostly pros about it xx

  17. This sounds so cool, Mia!! A Youtuber that I watch named Caitlyn Rae just mentioned something about Workaway in her recent video and I was so curious about it! Nonetheless, you’ve totally got me considering whether or not I want to make the jump and study abroad in France. I can only imagine how much fun you’re having!

  18. I”m going solo travelling to Australia soon and this just reassured me that it will be all okay, because I must admit the loneliness aspect does scare me. But I can’t wait to meet people and go on spontaneous adventures with them (hopefully).

  19. Hey there! I am about to start my workaway experience in a hostel as well so it was really nice to read your experiences and ideas. Hope you have the time of you life

Leave a Reply