The season of 2009/2010 has been one of a lot of “returnee” backpackers to our hostel in Toronto.
It really started more than a year ago, when Brett King, from Oz, popped into the inn unannounced. He had been here a few years before and was to be among the first surprises from old friemds.
(Brett has now relocated to Toronto, taking advantage of the ease that backpackers from Oz and New Zealnd can extend working/holiday visas.)
Then Katy (Katuiska) from Venezuela a language student and resident of the inn for 9 months in 2005, came to Toronto to visit her younger sister who arrived last year to take the same course.
This year two old and dear friends returned after long absences. Dr. Davey, a surgeon from New York arrived after an absence of four years. He has just spent several years in Honolulu working at the University of Hawaii.
Among the first of his side-trips from Manhattan has been a ten-hour drive to Toronto for a reunion we have all long anticipated.
And just last evening, Sigrid, a staff member from six years ago pitched up almost out of the blue from her home in Southern Germany. As a former staff member she knows how fully booked we usually are and thus (unlike the others) gave us ample time to find her a bed.
One of the most telling incidents involving the return of old friends to the Candiana Backpackers Inn, happened when Sigrid, exhausted after a long flight from Germany arrived.
The first person she met at the inn was Julia, from Hamburg, whom she met as a guest here in 2004! (Julia is now a hostel staff member.) The Canadiana is where friendships are made.
So to all those plannng “surprise retuns” pleasse tell us in advance. We love surprises; but it is no fun scrambling to find beds for old friends (whom we would never turn away). And although we always manage, it involves a lot of unecessary work!