October 28-Early November
Life at the hostel was simply a blast.
It took us a few days to get used to our room, to the kitchen and to the reality of our situation (remember, our budget wasn’t really ready for the hit that a month living on an island would give it). But we didn’t have a choice so we sat down and worked out how much it would all cost. Tisa, the hostel owner, even gave us a discount since we were staying so long and we ended up paying 14 New Zealand Dollars (~10 euros) per night for our room instead of 16, which over the course of a month still makes a big difference. What forced us to dig deep into our pockets though wasn’t necessarily accommodation costs, but more food expenses. At first we thought only of saving money so every day we would have cheap pasta/rice and sauce with nothing of substance. Bread was also out of the equation as one loaf small loaf cost us 5$, and let’s not even get started on the prices of vegetables, fruits and dairies. But after about a week of doing this, we felt sicker every day, so we decided it would be best to spend a bit more on food and be healthier.
Most days we spent swimming in the lagoon, doing nothing on the beach, or back hostel playing cards, or just hanging out with our hostel family. Every person we met came from a different place, had different goals, and spoke a different language. And whether they stayed three days, a week or a month, we always became close. This of course made it hard to say goodbye each time, especially to the long-term ones. So many of them were ridiculously awesome people with such diverse backgrounds. We met Oscar and Arie, two guys from NZ and England working towards their dive master and living at the hostel for 4 months, Mattan, an Israeli soldier who’d been in the army for 10 years, travelling in his free time, Timo and Lynn, a German couple who’d experienced the same crap with Jo and Odette and were planning to travel for years to come. Anders, a Danish giant who’d put his economics studies on pause while he wandered around the world. Jill and Rhyland, a couple from Canada going around the world. Martin, an Austrian man with tattoos all over who’d become a Buddhist monk after a retreat in Thailand, and so many more like Tom, Eva, Albert, Jan, Peter and just so many more we can’t even name them all, each with their weird/wonderful stories, their unique experiences and awesome personalities.
The hostel itself was all right, and the island was amazing, but the people are really what turned it into the perfect home we found on Raro.
(continued on part 2)