I won’t lie, we both were battling inside with various levels of being reluctant – but less did we know that this hostel experience would turn out to be one of the best bonding activity we did as a couple…
Three years of being married and Mr. H and I have found accommodation in endless hotels, resorts and Airbnb’s throughout our vacations. But never did the idea of staying in a hostel cross our mind (only god knows why), until recently, while we were looking for our options in Iceland.
Let’s accept it – marriages/relationships are not 24-hours rosy. Couples that don’t fight, don’t disagree and don’t demand their own space after a few years of being together are almost a myth (no offence to the ones who still claim to be perfect together – I am yet to meet you). And hence, we all need to re-bond every once in a while to make sure that the spark is still on – till death do us apart.
In January 2017, we both took a trip to Iceland and booked ourselves into a 6-bed dormitory at KEX Hostel in Reykjavik. The hostel boasted of some really cool yet cozy common spaces, live music, one of the best gastropubs in the city, and an easy-on-our-pocket kind of budget. And in one really impulsive moment – we booked KEX – ditching all our other luxury stay options. By now from the tone of this article – you would know we had an amazing experience (almost like an eye-opener) – and here is why we think staying in a hostel as a couple is an essential bonding activity (#couplegoals) all married couples should indulge in at least once in their lifetime:
You connect with each other as FRIENDS again, because sometimes we forget how it used to feel like. A hostel environment is all about meeting new people and staying with strangers in a common dormitory. Once you check into a hostel – the idea of privacy is almost nil – so forget about getting a cozy corner to romance it out. With so much happening around you – PDA is not an option – which leaves you with only one choice of being best buddies all over again.You learn to look out for each other in washroom queues and guard each others luggage in common spaces. You hunt for a table to eat together and often hold onto seats while your better half is gone to fetch his/her breakfast. You both are two ‘individuals’ traveling together minus all the lovey-dovey feelings – which forces you to re-connect as friends.
You push yourself out of your couple-comfort-zone and explore more outdoors. Staying in a shared dorm with bunk beds also means ‘no bedroom’, no cuddles, and no private bathroom. As a couple this very feature of a hostel is often THE deal-breaker; but a few years down a relationship – it’s an interesting experience. It pushes you both out of your room, and makes you concentrate on being outdoors, explore the destination a lot more, and spend more time discovering new things to do outside your accommodation.Or even just spending more time in the common areas of your hostel – reading a book, catching up with people and just enjoying some good music in the company of complete strangers.
You discover each others likes/dislikes/ideas/opinions/habits in the process of meeting new people.You learn new things together. The best part of a hostel experience is the constant in-and-out of travelers from all over the world. It is the perfect place to communicate with strangers and make new friends over all kinds of engaging conversations. As a couple we often slow down on getting to know each other assuming we already know our better half inside out. But people evolve and change with time – so does your partner. On a table full of different world-views and ideas – it is more than likely that you will discover exciting things about each other once again.
You are more likely to make changes to your itinerary and try new things together. Meeting travelers from all over the world in a hostel opens you up to various experinces, tips, recommendations and guides that you might not have researched earlier. This gives you both the privilege to together tweak your plans for the better and come across different things to do or better ways to lead your trip just by being in the company of new people.
You start flirting with each other again. This is probably my favourite part of being in a hostel – that you are constantly trying to steal a kiss from each other or grab a quick hug – when no one is watching. A crowded hostel is everything you need if you wish to rekindle that flirty spark you two once had and trust me it’s all worth it.
Or worst case – you might not like it as much as we did – but even that very feeling will be something that you will discover together and at the least will make you bond closer…
This blog first appeared on Streettrotter and is the original work of Shraddha Gupta, Founder & Editor, Streettrotter.
Shraddha Gupta is an aspiring digital nomad who loves life in balance and stability at the same time. A part time journalism/fashion professional and a travel writer during the rest of her days – she is trying to find the right mix of being lost and discovering herself with new goals over and over again. A social media addict, a foodie, an essential photographer and a culture enthusiast – you will most likely find her planning a new dream for herself, always.
Travel ideas for you to escape from monotony with your beloved!
The idea of romance has always been subjective. Breakfast in a bed covered with rose petals might be romantic for you, but not as much for somebody else. Some partners share a passion for fitness, some for cooking, some for reading, adventure sports, or painting…it could be anything that the two like to do together and find it romantic. But we’re yet to meet a pair in love who doesn’t like to travel, to escape. Travel and romance are old friends, after all (think honeymoons!).
Now travelling too is a matter of choice. So whether you and your partner are young, wild and free or are ageing gracefully, we’ve got these travel ideas for you to choose from and escape!
GET LOST IN THE WOODS
Explorers at heart don’t mind getting lost, given a picturesque natural location and of course the company of your beloved one. So leave all your cares behind and head to a destination where you’re surrounded by trees and sheltered by the sky.
If rustic is your style then we’d suggest you go camping at a place like Nainidanda. You could go for a trek or simply just lie in a hammock and enjoy the company of trees. The hammock life at Nainidanda[/caption]
Then there’s Sher Bagh, a perfectly dreamy abode bordering Ranthambore National Park, if living in a forest is not your cup of tea. It features luxurious, hand-stitched canvas tents and just about everything elegantly romantic.
Aamod at Shoghi is another natural wonderland with accommodation offered in wooden cottages. Having been built on forest land, the resort has a gazillion pines and deodars running through. One of the most romantic thing to do, when here, is avail the benefit of their Jacuzzi on top of the hill.
That feeling of hitting the highway, leaving the mundane behind, with no particular destination in your mind, and the love of your life sitting right beside you is…inexplicable. Isn’t it?
If you’ve got little ones that you can’t leave behind, you might as well plan a short road trip; if driving from NCR, Fatehpur Sikri could be an ideal choice with Coral Tree Homestay at Agra being your home for the night. But if it’s just the two of you, we’d recommend you cross a couple of states and drive to a point where you feel like you can touch the horizon.
If heading towards Rajasthan or The Thar Desert, a pit stop at Alwarbagh by Aamod can be a good idea. And do you know of this nice little hamlet called Jibhi? It falls on the route that connects Shimla and Manali; if by any chance you find yourself on this way, you must stay at Latoda by the River in Jibhi. And if the peaks of Uttarakhand seem to be calling you, the Mountain Trail Resort near Mukhteshwar makes for a comfortable stay.
MINGLE WITH STRANGERS
…and get to know each other again! As unromantic as it may sound, this is a fantastic idea when you’re growing old together and feeling like romance is wilting away.
So if you’re two people who have literally been eating, sleeping and breathing together for quite a long time now, it’s time to take a break; a break from your daily routine and take a vacation with a bunch of strangers around. This will help you rediscover the friends in each other yet again. Stay in a hostel or go hiking with a bunch of passionate travelers and try not to discuss the monthly expenses.
La Vie hostel, a popular among travelers, can be found in Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, McLeodganj and Leh as well. Similarly, there are plenty of Zostels too.
GO OFF THE RADAR
Disappearing from the face of the Internet is what first world romance sounds like. Add to that an off-beat location and you’re all set for your private escape!
Get ready to say goodbye to the Wi-Fi for a few days. Because sometimes a digital detox is all you need to rekindle the romance between the two of you. Pick a beautiful private villa or a boutique homestay such as the ones offered by Mary Budden Estate in Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary for a hassle-free vacation. What better way to spend some days of uninterrupted romance with your partner!
TOUCH NEW HEIGHTS
It’s time, don’t you think so?
Whether you choose a trek to Triund or unravel the highs of Rudraprayag, together, at least once in your lifetime, you ought to experience an adrenaline rush unlike any other. More adventurous options include paragliding and sky diving, of course. Talking of paragliding, what better place than Bir – the paragliding capital of India.
If you decide to travel to the village of Chopta in Rudraprayag, Pristine Eco Camp is the perfect place to rest your feet at. Those visiting Tirthan valley must experience staying at Raju Bharti’s Guesthouse; it’s simple and comfortable.
Wherever you wish to go, we hope you come back with pockets full of love and memories that’d last forever…