I hate not feeling safe. Doesn’t everyone?
Probably. But I think everyone has different standards as to what it takes to make them feel safe.
For me, I like to be individually responsible for the safety of myself and my belongings. I do not like to have to be forced to leave my personal safety and the safety of my belongings in the hands of others. Whether I know them or not, trust them or don’t trust them I don’t like to do it. This was something that I really struggled with in college when I had roommates. There’s always a chance someone will leave the front door unlocked and there’s nothing you can do about that. Gives a person some serious anxiety, ya feel me?
So given that, my experience at Nomad’s Brisbane was my worst hostel experience ever.
Let me start by also saying that hosteling while in Australia was something I was pretty nervous about before coming on my working holiday. But to be honest, other than this experience, nothing went wrong! For the most part, people are honest, respectful (enough) and just want to have a good time. Not the case here:
The first room I was assigned to at the hostel was a co-ed room that just happened to be all guys that had clearly been staying there for a while. Usually I wouldn’t have that much of a problem with that, especially if I was only going to be there for a night or two. But the vibes as soon as we walked in the door just made me feel uneasy.
So I moved to a new room. In the new room I didn’t have a locker or anywhere secure to put my things. In general, there’s a maximum stay at most hostels in Australia of about 2 weeks. This prevents people from ‘moving in’ to the hostel and making others feel uncomfortable by how they’ve sort of taken ownership of the room. That was not the rule at Nomad’s Brisbane and the other girls in the 2nd room had fully set up camp and taken over basically anything and everything there was to take over.
So I moved to a third room. I had a locker and it was an all girls room. That seemed like my best bet. But by then I was super uncomfortable in this dirty, broken down, ugly hostel. Somehow I managed to drift off to sleep but because of the pounding noise from the night-club just under our window I was up for most of the night…
Only to be abruptly up at 4:00am when all of a sudden this girl starts shouting at the top of her lungs for a strange man to “GET THE F*CK OUT” of the (all girls) dorm. She was screaming and screaming trying to get him out and he seemed like he was on some sort of drugs so he wasn’t responding and she ends up just beating the crap out of him. Punching him in the face, kicking him all that sort of thing. Imagine waking up to that!
Nomad’s Brisbane is a place where strange men off the street can wander into a girls room. There is no security. The hostel room doors do not automatically swing shut and close like most modern hotels and other hostels. There are no cards to swipe to use the elevator (because there is no elevator) so anyone can wander in and climb the staircase to get to the hallways of rooms.
Worse yet, one of the girl’s who had been staying in Nomads Brisbane for a while told us that wasn’t even the weirdest incident she’d seen so far. She went on to say a man from the street had managed to get into the girls bathrooms and sit in the shower stall with the curtain closed and peep on girls showering and whatever for an entire day before he was kicked out. Count me out, thank you!
Lewis and five other friends ended up booking an Airbnb for the next night. The Airbnb was the best decision I’ve made traveling so far.
It was in this amazing apartment complex with a pool, gym, sauna, free wifi, free laundry, BBQ, giant balcony and we each had our own bed…and it only cost each of us $15 (USD)! We all nearly burst into happy tears when we first walked in (I definitely actually did cry happy tears, no shame). We did all our washing (about 20 loads haha), chilled by the pool and jacuzzi, I went for a run in the gym which was great, and we bought chicken skewers and vegetables to have a big group barbecue for dinner. After dinner we watched The Inbetweeners movie and hung out. Everyone was so much happier and it was such a massive difference to the terrible day and night we had had the day before.
Like my friend Ash said “you can’t have rainbows without some rain,” and it’s true. Traveling is awesome but it can have some low lows to go with the crazy high highs that get posted on Facebook and Instagram. I guess it’s all keeping things in perspective.
My social media feeds are loaded up with the stunning beaches and incredible activities we’ve been lucky enough to do so far, not a photo of the disaster that is Nomad’s Brisbane. In general, don’t stress about hosteling, it’s usually a great way to meet other travellers, but always trust your gut and do what you think feels right!