If you’ve kept up with our travels, then you know that our travel style is usually pretty frugal (which has landed us in more than a few funny situations), but for this trip we decided to splurge (if you count $30 each per night splurging) on a private room in a hostel right in the heart of the city. While we’re huge proponents of using hostels as a way to interact with fellow travelers, meet locals and find all kinds of fun, cheap things to do, we decided that the focus of this trip was our reunion with Mai, who we hadn’t seen in over a year.
Usually on our trips you can find us closing down the bars, chatting with locals or swapping stories with other travelers, but one thing we really noticed about our first trip as “adults” was that our view of exploring a city changed drastically. Before, it always seemed like if you weren’t on the hostel bar crawl or checking out the local pubs you weren’t making the most of your time in a new city and were missing out on meeting some really cool fellow backpackers. This time, we realized that exploring a city didn’t just mean checking out the nightlife, and we felt no pressure to push ourselves to explore the city in a way that didn’t feel natural.
Spending the evening catching up and relaxing in our hostel or heading home after a late dinner or casual drink were a welcome change on this trip. We realized there are so many ways to really see and experience a new place. We ate different cuisines every night - Thai, Indian, Italian, Spanish, etc. You name it, we ate it and really connected with how vibrant and culturally diverse this city was. We took a much closer look into the history and diversity of the city. We checked out museums, took a tour to a concentration camp and went back to take a closer look at a lot of the places and events covered in our 2 hour walking tour.