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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oh the Joys of Boys while Hosteling - bunking with younger men

This blog post was originally published on my JUB  Blog
by sunbuns99 on July 30th, 2008, 02:29 PM

[A reposted from my Travels with Sunbuns blog] by Kelly (sunbuns / sunbuns99 / sunbunz)

I'm not a youth any longer. Of course, I'm not really old either. I'm well into my 40s, but I love staying at youth hostels. The word 'youth' has been removed from most hostels now since it's perceived as 'ageist.' Nevertheless, the majority of guests at most hostels are young people - in particular, young men (aged 18-28) make up the largest group.   So .. there you have it!  That's one of the real attractions of staying in a hostel: the chance to hang out with, interact as a friend or sometimes mentor, and also gettting to see them in all their naked glory.

Yet, today's hostels are not just for the under-26 backpacker. You can often choose from a variety of room types (including privates or double) along with bunk beds in dorms. Some regular hotels even offer 'hostel' type rooms - such as the Gershwin in New York City.

Clearly, some people think these budget accommodations / dorm-type rooms and shared baths should be called 'hostile' - like QueerAngel (a poster elsewhere) said. True, a hostel can be uncomfortable. However,  comfort is not the only reason to stay somewhere - and it's especially true for a hostel. 
. But if comfort's what you need while on vacation, you probably wouldn't find it at most hostels. People who love the outdoors don't expect there to be comfort on a camping trip - so as I said staying in a hostel is a like indoor camping - group spirit, shared facilities, respect for individuality...
These other benefits of hostelling more than make up for the lack of comfort. Not to speak of the economy, I can stay 4 nights at a night (at least) for the price of one night in a 'comfortable' hotel. Each traveler is different and has different reasons and purposes for the trip. I am NOT trying to defend hostels or deny any traveler what's important for his / her trip, just asking you recognize that one style of vacation or one kind of hotel/accommodation would not suit everyone.
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I've almost never found anyone with whom I could not communicate (although I might not have actually have wanted to communicate (grin). It's like boy scout camp or a sleep-over or a college party (without the noise - hopefully).
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I enjoy the camaraderie that's generated when strangers esp. travelers (often single men and women) bunk together - it really is more like camping than a hotel stay - so it's not for everyone. But I really enjoy my stays because I fee free to be myself (more than when I'm home or at work). I feel comfortable being the 'gay' guy who is older, wiser, and knowledgeable, and friendly.
I'm not getting 'hit' on by my roomies and wouldn't really want that (at least on the surface). I just enjoy getting to know people, talking, and sometimes getting to see them live their lives in front of me. Sometimes there is 'sexual' attraction - but typically it's not mutual. Still.. my hostel roommates once all went skinnydipping at the local public beach late one night. (4 men and 2 women).

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The stay is really what you make out of it.. it can be unfriendly and lonely but normally if you open up to the idea and the possibilities, it can be a great time well spent. Sometimes you make a lot of friends because the group just congeals.

I have written about my 'hostel' stays in my blogs. There is never really anything 'hot' - no sex in the hostel room - but I have certainly had some great fun and got to hang out with some sexy guys and sometimes been naked together.

Before long, I'll be going to Hawaii, and I'll get to spend 3-4 days in a hostel. I'm really looking forward to it.

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