Right after I finished Add More ~ing to your Life I discovered that Gabrielle Bernstein would be speaking in London during June. Wait, I thought, I’m near London. I won’t be busy during June, I could go! Quickly, I booked my ticket with the vague notion that this lecture could turn into a lovely little trip as I say ‘ci vediamo’ to England for a year and a half.
Life—as in exam season—got in the way. Suddenly, I found myself with an approaching trip to London sandwiched between a golden jubilee and the olympics. Enter near astronomical hotel prices. £80 per evening for a Travelodge? No thanks.
I decided to hostel. Technically, this wasn’t a new experience for me as I previously stayed in a hostel during my 2009 trip to Italy with Experiment in International Living. True, that was in a room with people I knew, but I still had a basic idea of how hosteling worked. I chose Travel Joy Hostel in Pimlico for the good reviews and clean looking facilities I saw in both published and traveller photos.
When I arrived there were a few people chilling in the reception/pub/common area mingling with the receptionists. I have very few complaints about the service, they were nice, attentive and only slightly shocked when I announced that I did not have a passport with me. Luckily, I’ve memorized the number so check-in went quite smoothly.
We headed upstairs to my dorm, which was pleasantly bright and clean. I had a bottom bunk in a room with nine other girls. The major downside was that there was no curtain surrounding my bed, about half the lower bunks in the room had them. Immediately, I fiddled with the highly bleached sheets and went out to explore London.
It was a rainy evening. The kind that makes everyone except for the Brits stay at home and cook their coziest dishes. Alternatives, at St. James Church where the lecture was held, was packed. There was incredible mix of people, which was truly inspiring. The entire evening was beautifully laid out, I’ll definitely look out for more talks they hold for when I can attend.
Gabby Bernstein was inspiring and fantastic to listen to. As she speaks you can tell that she has theatre training that allows her to effectively communicate her message. While the entire speech was amazing—the topic was self-love and miracles—my favorite bit was the question and answer section. People asked amazing questions and she gave great answers.
Once in a good mood I had to head back to Travel Joy, crossing my fingers that everything would be okay.
Evenings in the hostel were less horrible than I expected. Yes, the Americans in the room next to mine were loud and obnoxious. But at least the people in my room were quiet and the lights went out at eleven every evening. Yes, it wasn’t the cleanest and the shower and toilet situation left much to be desired, but at least they locked and were pretty much always free. Yes, the bed was uncomfortable and I hardly slept. But at least I was there, ready to enjoy London.
To anyone who is looking for a hostel in London, I highly recommend Travel Joy in Pimlico. It’s centrally located, without being in a tourist mecca. The rooms are clean, the staff is nice and the price is great.
Hostel staying wasn’t ideal, but I was glad that I had the choice to do so in order to see the lecture. I wouldn’t hesitate to do so in the future, though next time I might be the freak who brings her own pillow.
Have you ever stayed in a hostel? How was it?