‘When you come back here, think about staying at my hostel,’ Mel, the owner of Roatan Backpackers stated to me in 2011.
Maybe I heard wrong.
Just maybe she flipped the letters ‘s’ and ‘l’ around and meant to say hotels. I mean, didn’t she know anything about ‘Hostel,’ the movie? Absolute travel terror. I knew more about that movie than the actual hostel option itself. Heck to be honest, I thought the term was only made up for that movie.
While I replied with a smile, nod, and the most fake ‘okay’ to her suggestion, my brain was like ‘no way, Mel-A.’
Fast forward to 2012. I decided it was time to begin my travel fund so that my future voyages would be paid for with cash and not credit. I saved up enough to purchase a round trip flight back to Roatan in 2013 for Semana Santa, with the remaining balance planned to be used for lodging, spending money and other extras. Gold star for me!!! Next step on the list was choosing where I would stay.
My fantasy was to go back at Barefoot Cay or another resort/hotel on that same level, but my remaining travel fund balance quickly brought me back to reality. I will be honest with you, Good People. I was SO tempted to slip into my old charging habits, but thankfully, I overcame it!!! I contacted Mel and booked the one-bedroom apartment of her hostel for one week for only $220 and I still had money left over in my travel fund! I even extended my stay and assisted her with running the hostel. This gave me business experience in a foreign country and definitely challenged my pequeño knowledge of Spanish.
I really appreciated the feel and location of the hostel. It’s close to a main road where tons of buses and taxis drive, close to tourist attractions, the beach, and locally owned restaurants and bodegas. Because it’s in a residential area, it was easy to convince myself that I actually lived there, lol.
From interacting with good people from all walks and purposes of life:
Mel assisting me with volunteering as a pharmacist at Clinica Esperanza:
staying at Roatan Backpacker’s definitely provided me with more of an authentic Roatan experience than a high end resort ever could. Plus, the cost was super light on my pockets. I am glad I was hostel with my lodging approach. Traveling mission accomplished. 😉