If you’ve read my past blogs, you’ll know that I’m a fan of online confessions. And so, here’s another one for your eyes: I am a bit fatter and a bit older than the majority of people that go backpacking. I’ll give you a minute to take in this shocking news.
I didn’t know this before travelling, but a high percentage of the folk living out of their rucksacks are quite gorgeous. If you’ve ever been in a hostel you’ll know what I’m talking about: all the girls seem to be in their early 20’s and have the flattest stomachs you’ve ever seen in real life. They all wear those denim shorts that show off their butt cheeks a bit, and they have the proper nice eyebrows (see my theory on age and eyebrows in this little blog).
So, where does that leave me? Let’s cover the ‘bit fatter’ aspect of this first. My tummy is softer than ever right now, due to the consumption of what has to be at least 100 empanadas in the last six months. My thighs look like I stole them from an old age pensioner, and nobody needs to see my ass cheeks drooping out of the bottom of a pair of cut-offs. This can be easy enough to deal with in normal hostel life when the climate is mild to chilly and I can hide under layers, but put me in a beach-side hostel with a pool and I’m gonna stand out like a sore thumb! There’s nowhere to hide in my swimming costume that was designed for tummy-control but is losing its battle with my bulge. Luckily, I’m not one bit self-conscious about my body and I’ll strut around that pool like I’m Kate Moss or someone equally lithe. It won’t ever enter my mind as I sashay to the bar in my swimwear for yet another cerveza that my back is wobbling (seriously, whose back wobbles!?). However, I am at the same time acutely aware that nobody else’s back is wobbling, and that none of the girls bronzing by the pool bought their bikini whilst considering how well it’d contain their monstrous boobs.
Now, let’s chat about how old I am. Obviously, at 30, I am not in any way old when compared to the general population, but within a hostel setting I am positively ancient. I mean, when you think about it, it makes sense: at 30, most people have a career/mortgage/doting partner/loads of kids. I haven’t done a great job of being a grown up so I have none of the above, and my reward for that failure is being able to frolic around the globe blowing my minimal savings without a care in the world. This is brilliant, but the downside is that I rarely meet people that are my own age. Friends-wise, I’ve met an uncountable amount of rad people in their early 20’s that will legit be lifelong buddies, but age becomes an issue when looking for ‘romance’. Nobody wants to be that creepy old chick with the big soft belly hitting on people who were born in the mid 90’s, but I fear this is my destiny if I don’t keep working hard to fight the temptation. Also, because I am an OAHP (old age hostel pensioner), I get tired earlier than everyone else and always have to shell out for an Uber home on my own, so that’s a bit annoying too.
To summarize, dear readers, my call to action is this: if you’re a bit fat, or a bit old, please go to hostels more often. After all, it’s less creepy to hit on young folks if we do it in packs, right?