San Diego Hostel – This is the Story of My First Time Staying at a Hostel

Written by: Greg Cayea

November 3, 2019

My First Time at a Hostel


I bought a one way ticket to San Diego and grabbed a couple thousand dollars in cash that had been lying around my dirty apartment full of money and drugs and empty bottles of scotch, and hopped in a cab and went to JFK.

***NOTE: currently 8 years sober now.

Moving on… I arrived in San Diego without a clue of where to go or what to do. Staying at a San Diego hostel never crossed my mind.

It was 3AM… maybe 2AM when I landed… coulda been one, who remembers shit like that? All I remember is walking to some green shuttle bus in the parking lot outside the terminal–or maybe it was blue or white–anyway, all I remember is after I got off the plane, I walked aimlessly over to a shuttle bus and said:

Take me to the cool part of San Diego.

I paid him twelve dollars and he dropped me off in the middle of The Gaslamp District. Bars were still open so maybe it was 1AM–I really can’t remember. I got off the bus and put my backpack on the ground and looked at the chaos before proceeding.

I went inside one of the lesser populated bars and ordered a drink… I don’t drink now, but when I did drink, it was a lot.

So I order my drink, which is scotch… any brand, didn’t matter, and I start pondering about life as I normally did at moments such as those.

What should I do?

Why am I here?

Where do I sleep?

What do I fear?

I feared hostels. 

I don’t know why. For some reason I had always wanted to, but never had the balls. Now I’m addicted; I’ve been to like 300. But that night was my first time ever venturing to a hostel, I had to see what the hype was.

I was twenty-six years old.  I’m currently thirty-five.

At the bar I googled “San Diego Hostel”

Up popped USA Hostels: San Diego. It was the top rated San Diego Hostel on Hostelbookers. It was only a few blocks away from where I currently was.

The bar was now closing, I was the only person there.  In fact.. I had been the only person there since the second I walked in.

So I stumbled over to 5th Ave and G Street and knocked on the hostel door.

Someone came through on the buzzer


I got a reservation.

A bed?

I made a reservation online. Just now. Might not be in. It in?  

I was so drunk.

Just got here from NY. I’m from NY. I just got here.

They buzz me in, they check my ID, they give me a receipt, which is to be magnetized to the side of my bed, and they give me a towel and key. I walked over to room five.  

The whole thing felt odd.

I open the door and turn the lights on then quickly noticed there are like ten people asleep in beds. Fuck. I turned the lights off and put the flashlight on my iPhone on and look for an open bed. I find one and get in it and fall drunkenly asleep to the noise of “the Party Room” which is down the hall.

Then at like 4AM or something…


I woke up.

Thehs someone een me fucken BED!

Some british dude starts screaming at me, drunk as a muthafuck.


And he marched out the room and started demanding:


I quickly realized that the bed I was in was his bed. All his shit was right next to me. Fuck. So I got up and hopped in the other bed on the other side of the room that was open.

I pass the out out and wake up in the morning startled as hell. I remember everything immediately. Holy shit… What if this guy kicks the shit outta me? I look over at the bed and he wasn’t there.  

Was he still drunk and awake and wandering around? Or did they give him another bed?

I look at his stuff and his stuff isn’t there.

Fuck… he could be anywhere.


san diego hostel part 2
Shitty illustrations by me.

I had no idea what to do or where to leave my bag or if any of my belongings were safe in the room. So, at 10am I opened the door slowly, backpack on back, looked both ways before crossing the hallway to make sure that British-sounding drunk dude that nearly pummeled my face in five hours earlier was nowhere to be seen, and skeptically walk into what is referred to as the San Diego Hostel ‘party room’.

There was a Brazilian dude and some hot non-Brazilian chick. She coulda been anything, but Rico Suave looked like he was about to start nibbling her ear before breakfast.

I interrupted anyway.


I needed to make friends.

What are you two doing today? I’m Greg.





So uhh… I almost got my ass kicked last night.

What? Says Rico Suave. In a fight?

Nah, some British angry dude woke me up cause I was in his bed at like 5am and flipped his shit. 

They laugh.

So what are you two doin today? Are you from Spain?


And you? I asked the girl.

I’m from ___________ (cause I don’t remember where the fuck she was from.)

I’m from NY.


So what are you two doin?

Ehhhh I theenk we go to the Whale Watching, no?

And Rico Suave looks at his prey. She nods.

I wait.


Ehhhh you want come with us?


So I spent the day whale watching, cock-blocking, and somewhere along the way I met an Irish girl, named Maggie.

I fell in love with her in about ten minutes and made plans to visit her in New Zealand, where she was planning to relocate.

By the end of the day, not only did I have friends galore, but I had told everyone about last night and the British dude.


A door opens. We’re back at the hostel. It’s like 6pm.

A man walks up the stairs to where we are all congregating on a living room type of sofa and says:

Ey me fahkin hayd! It’s fahked!


And I point him!



Ah that’s right, aye’ sorry bout that mate. I was fahked last night.

And he extends his Aussie arm… Yeah, he’s not British, he’s Australian. He extends his Aussie arm and we shake on it.

Three weeks later we were best buds, but I told him: Man, I’ma get you back for that one.

And I did.

With carrots.


San Diego Hostel part 3 - Carrots
Illustrations by me.

So Conner, the Aussie, tells me one day that if you eat twelve carrots you get a disease called Carotitus–or something like that, and it makes you turn orange.

I told him that was the dumbest thing I ever heard.

He told me he knew what he was talkin about.

I told him he was drunk.

He said nah, I’m sober. YOU’RE drunk.

He mighta been right.

So we make a bet.

Aright, if this idiotic disease actually exists, then I’ll eat twelve carrots and get Carotitus, which doesn’t exist–


And if I win, and this disease does not even come close to existing, then YOU have to eat twelve carrots and we’ll see if you turn orange.

Eets uh bet mate.


Anyway, he heads out to some place with somebody and I start frantically googling Carotitus from the living area of the hostel… NOTHING COMES UP… oh wait.

I find the disease he was talkin about…

Carotenemia is a clinical condition characterized by yellow pigmentation of the skin and increased beta-carotene levels in the blood. In most cases, the condition follows prolonged and excessive consumption of carotene-rich foods, such as carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes.

Shit, it DOES exist–it’s just called a different name.

But I can’t lose this bet, so I came up with an idea and make up my OWN wikipedia page proving that he was wrong. And please, read this whole fake wikipedia page… it’s hilarious. I think it is at least.

San Diego Hostel Prank
This is the fake Wikipedia page I made

Then I printed it out and posted it with scotch tape to the front door of the hostel and called Conner and said:

Dude. Come back to the hostel, I got a surprise for ya….

He gets back to the hostel–I can see him through the front door as he’s walkin in reading the fake wikipedia page shaking his head like, FUCK! How’d I mess this up?

Time to feed this motherfucker carrots…

So I run to the supermarket and buy twelve of the biggest carrots I can possibly find and on our way to Los Angeles–it had ben three weeks at the San Diego Hostel and now we were driving up to a Los Angeles Hostel–Maggie (the Irish girl), Conner, and myself… where I’d continue my hostel-hopping experience and they would fly home– and I’m watching Conner eat all these carrots in the back.

Gonna be sick mate, he tells me.

Then, at the greatest hour, right before he was about to throw up–remember he’s about to get on a twenty-hour flight or whatever–I hand him the REAL wikipedia page that says he’s right.

Told ya I’d get ya back.

Well played mate.

Anyway, that’s the story of my first time staying at a San Diego hostel.

But what I really wanna tell you about is the embarrassing thing that happened to me the first time I went skinny dipping.

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