When the wanderlust strikes, you have to go!
This is a story of Jay and Falguniba who, out of their love for travel and Zostel, took one of those trips that change lives. They say they have had several revelations throughout their journey and the kind of people they are now is completely different from the one they once were. This is their journey, in their own words, written with as much enthusiasm and vigor as they had shown in their travels. Read on and get inspired to the core!
Jay and Falguniba outside Zostel Jaisalmer
"We had been planning a getaway for a long time but as always, it happened when we least expected it. So, finally, we got the right time to execute our dream getaway. We named it "THE ZOSTEL TRIP". We wanted to start our trip with spontaneity, which would eventually be the essence of the trip, by booking a Tatkal ticket. However, as luck would have it, our tatkal booking wasn’t confirmed and we only had a couple of hours before we were supposed to leave for Udaipur from Surat. So, we made a booking on Redbus and left for Zostel Udaipur the same day, feeling as carefree and crazy as ever (we didn’t plan or book the trip at all)!
Zostel Udaipur- The place where it all began
The only plan we had in mind was to cover as many Zostels as we can. It was going to be a long trip and when you want the company of the best backpackers from all over the world, Zostel is the first thing that comes to mind. However, we were not able to visit all Zostels as Spiti was closed and we weren’t able to head South due to time and money constraints, so couldn’t go to Gokarna and Ooty.
Signatures from all the Zostels we visited
Much to our surprise, each Zostel was unique in some ways and exactly the same in the rest. People at all Zostels were friendly enough to welcome us even at odd check-in times and let us use the basic facilities before check-in. Both of us were impressed and excited from the moment we landed at the first Zostel.
They have introduced this amazing concept of "COMMON ROOM"-and if you ask me this is THE place to make friends. First of all, all the walls are painted beautifully enough to emanate a ‘happening’ vibe. In addition to this, it has novels, T.V, Snooker, Jenga, and all kinds of games in one place with the most social and comfortable zone to relax and chill.
If you have to check out in the morning but you have a bus that leaves late in the night, don’t worry at all, ladies and gentlemen, the common room at the hostel is all yours to relax and rest. The people at Zostel will even provide you with blankets if you ask!
Chilling at the swimming pool in Zostel Pushkar
If you think that's all, we haven’t even talked about the best part yet- Zostel has customized activity plans for everyone! The must try ones amongst these are Camel Safari in Jaisalmer, The Escape Trail and Paragliding in Bir, A customized map trek in Manali, Rafting and waterfall trek in Rishikesh, Live Arti on the ghats of Varanasi and a mesmerizing boat ride. The best thing is that you will get to meet people with varied interests and from all walks of life such as bloggers, photographers, foodie, movie buffs, technology geeks, and all kinds of people from all around the world sharing their life’s experiences!
River rafting in Rishikesh with other Zostelers
The Escape Trail in Bir with fellow Zostelers
Demonetization was a roadblock that struck in the middle of our trip. However, we didn't lose hope as the majority of Zostels covered all our expenses through debit cards. We only withdrew cash where it was absolutely necessary. Other cashless services such as Uber and Paytm too helped us immensely in our travels and we continued our journey for a full month after the demonetization wave hit us.
The last day approached faster than ever. We knew we had to put an end to this someday but we were not ready for it yet! Our backpacks were full of memories. Traveling spontaneously, we didn't realize that we had covered Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Delhi already. Looking back, we now see how many friends we made along with way, both travelers and Zostel’s property managers.
We love Zostel!
I whole-heartedly recommend Zostels to backpackers of India, which is a new breed of travelers spreading across India at a commendable pace. I also recommend it to solo woman travelers. We met lots of happy solo woman travelers at Zostel and I don’t think any other hotel or hostel in India can match their level of safety.
The ambiance, the vibe, the energy, and the wanderlust at each Zostel are what fuel one’s nomadic soul.
"WHAT YOU DARE TO DO IS WHAT DEFINES YOU"
-11 Zostels, 12 cities, 6 states in 32 days and a dream accomplished- what more could we have asked for?
Keep traveling, Keep exploring!