Thursday, September 4, 2008

Booked The First Week

After doing more research then I care to say, I finally picked and booked a hostel for my first week in London. The Bunac program says that after you attend orientation, it can take people 3-10 days to find work and a place to live, but if you really put all your efforts into it, it is do-able in 5 days. So I booked my stay at The Globetrotter Inn London for 5 days.

I realize that this is a little bit hopeful, but I feel prepared and ready to do everything I can to find a job and secure a place to live in a week. Yes, it is ambitious. Yes, it's going to be hard work. But this is my life-I want to start living it to the fullest extent as soon as I can. Worse comes to worse, I can always stay a few extra nights, or switch to another hostel in a more central location.

I decided on the Globetrotter for a few reasons. One, Hostel World gave it an 81% review. Now, that may seem a little iffy to some people, but it is based on reviews by travelers. Those reviews are based on what the traveler wanted out of the hostel, and what their understanding of what staying in a hostel is like. It's important to note that hostels (especially the 6 bed Female Dorm style I'm staying in) are not hotels. There are shared bathrooms, public areas for watching movies, eating, and hanging out, and since they are so cheap, there are many different age groups. The main reasons for the Globetrotter to have an 81 are due to reviews that stated that the location wasn't ideal (it's 30 minutes from Heathrow, and 20 minutes from Central London--each by tube) and that the party atmosphere wasn't as strong as other places. Works out fine for me :) I want to meet people and explore, but I don't want to come back to my room filled with 5 other chicks drunk off their asses and banging around until 6am. It got excellent ratings for security, staff, and cleanliness, and also offers free continental breakfast, free linens, and the beds are built into the walls with privacy curtains and individual reading lamps. Plus it is located by a grocery store (the hostel has a kitchen that can be used and they do your dishes for you), has an in-house pub (you get a 2 for 1 drink voucher on arrival, they have weekly pub crawls, and game nights), Internet cafe, movie and TV rooms, game room, and luggage storage with locks. Overall, I think I did pretty well for $35 bucks a night.

Also, and this was a big condition for me, it's on the list of hostels that Bunac recommends. This was important because as much as I want to meet all kinds of people from all walks of life, I also want to meet people going through the program and experiencing the same thing that I am. That way, when Bunac does trips, events, or pub crawls, I'll know someone from the program and be able to have someone to hang out with. I don't have much trouble making friends, but its nice to have ones that are doing something similar to you. I think that was proven with the kind of bonds I formed with my sorority sisters.

So I'm even closer out the door! 46 days and counting! Once I get back the Entry Clearance from the British Consulate, I'll be ready to rock and roll.