I’m going to propose something quite radical. If you’re over 50 and trying to get over a relationship breakup, or if you’re going through a midlife crisis then now is the time to try hosteling.
Hosteling could help you deal with a midlife crisis for a number of good reasons.
So take some time off work for travel or a holiday, book some hostels and have an adventure!
Guest Post by Jane Clements
Yes, you heard me right.
Hostels can be some of the best places where you can combat and deal with a midlife crisis and they can also help with curing loneliness.
So please bear with me and I’ll tell you why.
You’re not too old to try hosteling.
Let’s dispel the first myth that hosteling is only for young people who are only interested in partying and having a good time.
With more people than ever before choosing to live a nomadic lifestyle or taking gap years you’ll meet a wide range of hostel dwellers.
Students often stay temporarily in hostels while they study close by. Business people attend conferences. Families are look for cheap and fun accommodation. Mature people who no longer buy into the idea of being constrained by location are also getting into hosteling.
There is a growing movement of people over 50 who travel slowly and set up home in a hostel for a couple of months.
Hosteling can help rebuild your self confidence.
Perhaps you’ve had a midlife breakup or you are sadly widowed?
It’s hard to find yourself single again when you were once half of a couple and in many cases you might find that you have lost your own individual identity.
Previously you might have looked for reassurance, back up or support in your partner but now you’re on your own, and there is no better place to start than in a hostel.
You have to fathom things out for yourself. You can observe others or ask somebody but every new day is a learning curve.
Is that coffee for sharing, where are the cups, what’s the wifi code and where is the best place to eat are just basic starter questions?
There are a million more but as each day passes and you become more confident in your surroundings you will begin to notice your own self confidence growing.
You’ll get to know other people.
Hostels, unlike hotels tend to have social areas where solo travellers gather. The last thing that you think that you might want to do is to make small talk with complete strangers but once you’ve got over the initial introductions and you’ve broken the ice, it can be therapeutic.
You can choose whether to keep the conversation light and chatter about your travel experiences or you can dive in deep and offload your deepest insecurities. Travellers tend to bond quickly and without judgement. Each of us has our own back story and we have heard so many that we are rarely shocked. And unless you choose to swap contact details you will never see the other person again.
If you favour the more general approach then you are at least giving your head some breathing space and if you go for the full-on download then remember that a problem shared is a problem halved.
Become more mindful.
Living in a hostel can help you to become more mindful. Now you could arrive with pre-conceived ideas about hostel life and you might be quick to jump to conclusions about the other guests based upon their appearance but approach your stay with an open mind and you can only benefit.
Don’t impose your prejudices on others. The quiet person in the corner may not be aloof or stuck up – they simply might not understand one word of the common language being used. That loud guy that you might ordinarily cross the street to avoid might have a strong moral code that mirrors your own and you could find yourselves becoming the best of friends.
Mindfulness means to live in the moment without bringing your assumptions or your learned behaviours to any situation. When you are truly focused and living in the moment you won’t be dwelling on the sad or bad events and you will be grateful for what you do have.
Try new experiences.
This one will differ from place to place but many hostels offer socialising opportunities.
Someone may lead a yoga or meditation class in the morning or there may be regular family suppers; if so, offer to help with the food preparation and certainly sign up to eat with the others. Bicycle trips, walking tours, shared tuk tuks to caves or beaches and even the more traditional pub crawl…get yourself out there and get yourself involved.
How hosteling can help you deal with a midlife crisis.
You are allowing your mind and your body to heal by utilising the distractions and the new experiences to divert your attention away from your problems. You may meet other people with different problems and that can help you to put yours into perspective.
The majority of younger people recognise the benefits and advice that older people can give and often actively seek you out for a chat or for support. I have heard that some older people feel invisible but with a wide range of life experiences and being among open minded people you will often find that you are always included in the activities and conversations in hostels.
Pushing your comfort zone will teach you so much more about what you are capable of and how to weather a storm. You may make new friends or you may discover a passion for yoga or hiking. You will learn how to live in the moment, build your self confidence and move on out of the sadness far quicker than you might have done if you had struggled on at home.
Resources to help you get the most out of Hosteling
Check out “Best Backpacking Books” to help you plan your hosteling trip.
If you’re hosteling, it’s important to have easy carry luggage. Here are some suggestions for the best luggage sets if you’re taking off on a hosteling adventure.
If you’re hosteling, you’ll be saving heaps of money on hotels. So why not find the cheapest flights too. Try Skyscanner.
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Guest Writer Bio
Jane Clements from Scarlet Jones Travels inspires others to feel valued and to believe in themselves again. As a Mindfulness Practitioner and now living a nomadic lifestyle in her fifties, she is proof that it is never too late to change those negative beliefs about yourself. Learn how you too can live with a calm mind, get rid of your anxieties once and for all and follow your passions. Here’s an introductory offer for Jane’s self development course.
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