I wanted to explore London but my budget was to tight to stay there for a long time. Worldpackers gave me the chance to volunteer in a local hostel as a housekeeper for a month. In exchange, I got a free bed and breakfast, and I met a lot of lovely people to hang out and explore the city with.
My first impression of the neighborhood wasn’t all that good. I asked myself: do I really want to be here? But the feeling went away quickly when I stepped into the hostel.
I got a really warm welcome from the receptionist who showed me around and introduced me to some of my co-workers. I'd had my very first Flixbus bus ride and was seriously exhausted. I was happy to hear that I could start the next day in with a training from a fellow co-worker.
She was a volunteer herself who had been around for a few weeks. She showed me the ins and outs of the job which was a good start as I got to know some of my colleagues. I soon got along with them and suddenly we were all taking awesome trips together!
The best time to socialize with other travelers was during breakfast and lunchtime when we were all in the kitchen. The new manager wanted to make some cool changes in the place and he involved the whole staff to discuss and brainstorm what the hostel needed. From that day, I could tell he really wants the staff to be a team.
When I was working at the hostel, there were about 12 volunteers. Some of them were on the cleaning shifts, others were night receptionists.
Funny fact was that, during my time there, the main spoken language wasn’t English, but Spanish. There were 2 Australians, another Dutch girl, 1 Spanish girl and a few Brazilians, Mexicans and a few Argentinians. Everybody could communicate in English too.
As for my budget, I spent about 50 Euros a week. Plus I fell in love with the meal-deals of a big supermarket store which you can find all over the UK, the Sainsbury’s. Unfortunately, we haven’t got that one in Holland...
I also enjoyed my time in London by exploring the New Cross area, walking to the park situated behind the hostel and, a little bit farther ahead about a 16-minute walk, in the Telegraph upper Hill park who has amazing city views.
In the hostel area, there are a lot of bars, and under the Hostel, there is a bar who holds open mic nights. I also found my favorite coffee place a few minutes away from the hostel, a place called Mughead.
There are plenty of public transport options that can take you to all the amazing places in London. It helps if you purchase an Oyster card.
What made this trip exceptional for me is that the New cross neighborhood really gave me the chance to see and experience a totally different part of London. As people say so, it’s an up and coming neighborhood and you could be a part of that.
I would recommend this place to people who aren’t afraid of hard work, are social butterflies and love to help and share. Plus you should be eager to see a different side of London.
I am very thrilled and excited about all the things I got to see and do in London as a worldpacker. I got to know a lot of wonderful people who opened a world of possibilities for me.
I learned about new apps, how to learn another language and even found out that I am a bit of a geek (when it comes to search for free activities in a given area).
I learned that sharing is caring and people love when you give them information about the greats of London.
I learned that a good vibe and team spirit can really make or break a place.
Feel free to ask me any question about the New Cross Inn or about my time in London. I'd love to help!