Archive for November, 2006

First time traveller

Friday, November 17th, 2006

When she arrived, she looked a bit lost. She was young, attractive and a little bit scared, it seemed. It turns out that this young (very young) Southern Belle had arrived after a long, gruelling bus ride non-stop from Alabama. It turned out that this wasn’t just her first trip out of her country; but, I think it was her first trip out of her state! I bet anything it was her first trip north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

It took a few days, but eventually she settled in and made some friends and was having a pretty good time before it was time to leave after only about a week in Toronto. I don’t really recall that anyone went out f their way to make her feel welcome; nonetheless, it seems to be what happens here. Of all the hostels in Toronto, I think it is the Canadiana where this happens most often; but perhaps that’s a judgement best left to others.

So I’ll throw it open to you people whom we’ve had the priviledge of hosting. What do you think?

Towards the unknown…

Friday, November 17th, 2006

It was kind of a bittersweet parting. A large part of making friends of travellers is the inevitable parting of ways; “ships that pass in the night”, as they say. But there are certain people you meet that have a profound influence on you. Two of them just left.

They are a young English couple – 30 something’s. He was once a soldier having served a peacekeeping tour in battle-scarred Bosnia. They have been a couple for a dozen years and both had pretty successful careers post-militarty service. They bought their London home and settled into the predictable routine of English life. (If this is Tuesday, it must be egg and chips.) But like many, discovered it wasn’t what they wanted; but rather, it was what they had been taught all their lives they wanted. They wanted something “more” out of life.

Unlike many others, they did somthing about it. They sold their London home and bought a ticket to the? the other end of the world. Toronto was their first stop. From here it is to be L.A., Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and? who knows where? They have gone off in search of new horizons, for a place of greener pastures to perhaps settle.? They truly have thrown caution to the winds for they are seeking something that may, or may not, exist for them.

In the words of Mark Twain, “They have cast off their bowlines; sailed away from safe harbor;? caught the Tradewinds in their sails; to explore, dream and discover”.

I admire their courage. And most of all, I envy them. Because for them, the adventure is just beginning.

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