They commonly call us a “Youth Hostel” because that’s how places much like Canadiana Backpackers first got started. Hostels originally catered only to young travellers more than four decades ago. Times have changed. And just how old is “youth”?
The Canadiana Backpackers Inn is a “family friendly” hostel. We have hosted travellers from eight months to eighty years of age. We find the hostel a more interesting place to be when there is a diverse range of guests–diverse in culture, age, outlook on life etc, etc…..
We’ve hosted young groups such as the Manchester Boy’s Choir and a Boy Scout Troop from Scotland. And we have lodged a lot of young (under 30) travellers on “work visa’s”. It’s a reciprocal program between Commonwealth countries allowing young people to work for a year in another country.
Something new happened this week. We had an older but vibrant couple from New Zealand whom, after retirement, decided to set off on yet another adventure. Pat and his wife Gayel (“spell my name right”) Paterson, pulled up stakes and rented their home (for at least, a year) and headed for the UK!
Both Gayel and Pat had successful careers in the New Zealand civil service; she as a teacher and he as a real estate evaluator, They plan to work in Britain and save enough money to fulfil another ambition. They want to do volunteer work in a less priviliged country; to give back if you will.
So, “Youth Hostels” are not only for the young. A “working holiday” is not reserved only for youths. The simple fact is that definitions are changing in the 21st Century. It is people just like Gayel and Pat that have changed those definitions.
We wish them both well and we are sure that they will succeed in what they do. They are two people who understand that life can and should be a grand adventure, and for them, the next adventure is just beginning.