This is the front lobby of our hostel.

This is the front lobby of our hostel.

On July 23rd, eight college students from Winona State and one professor checked into the Clink 78 Hostel in London. After a day of traveling by foot, plane, tube and car, we were pretty exhausted and just about ready to stay anywhere.

At first, I had no idea what a hostel was. I knew that it was similar to a hotel, but it turns out that a hostel is a lot like staying in the freshman dorms, or like spending a week in a hot leather tent at summer camp. Everyone is hot from the lack of air conditioning. The rooms are small and cramped, and everyone lives out of a suitcase. Sounds awful right?

It’s actually not that bad. In this short week, I have learned how to share a small space with seven other girls. At first, we had trouble with figuring out how to manage our space. As we became more comfortable with each other, the space was easier to live in, until we discovered the cheap shopping districts, and our suitcases doubled in size.

I know everyone in my hostel room, but usually random strangers are thrown in the small space together for the duration of their stay. It’s one thing to meet people in the lobby of the hostel, but a  whole different experience when strangers are set up to socialize and trust each other with their belongings in a small room.

The hostel is great for cultural experiences. As I am sitting here writing this blog in the kitchen area, I am noticing different fashion styles, and I am listening to several different languages. This hostel has a lot of open areas to spend time on the computer, watch television, read, Skype, make food, and of course, blog. Hostels are normally used by world travelers who usually stay in one area for a long period of time. Hostels are famous for being affordable and convenient.

Clink 78 is targeted for students and young travelers. Every night, the hostel sponsors events to bring everyone together. The wall art is also modern and bright. There are paintings and quotes all over the wall, and the computer room has a large chandelier with fun decorative figures coming off of the sides. This is definitely not your average Holiday Inn. There is also a different style of music being played every time I walk into a general lobby.

This is a great place to stay for anyone who wants to travel for a low rate, learn about different cultures or relive the joys of childhood camp.