Thanks for lovely memories, Monto
LAURA Davis might confuse even her most seasoned backpacking friends when she returns to Canada and tells them nearly all of her time in Australia was spent in Monto.
"I was at the Sunshine Coast for about a month before, but the countryside and Monto really tugged at my heartstrings," Ms Davis said.
The Albert Hotel's longest serving backpacker stayed for five months, out of a total of six months in the country, but leaves today for Holland.
"I come from a small town too, about three hours east of Toronto. It's not quite as small as Monto, but being here made me very nostalgic," she said.
"But I have been travelling for a while now, and I think whatever homesickness void I might have had has been filled!"
Despite Ms Davis' familiarity with small towns, the level of country hospitality she found in Monto was on another level.
"That's probably the thing that struck me most, just how laid back, casual and friendly everyone is," she said.
"The lack of formality really surprised me. I felt like I had been serving some people coffee for months, even when I'd only been here a few days."
Through her new Aussie mates, Ms Davis was able to experience things like horse riding, hiking and fishing she could not have done otherwise.
"I don't like the backpacker thing where you just stay somewhere for a week or so and move on. I like to get to intimately know the place and the people," she said.
As a "career traveller", Ms Davis is sure she will be back to visit, and see some more of our country one day soon. Next time I think I will head to Western Australia, it looks really beautiful over there. But I will have to come back and see Monto too."