Why I joined the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - UPDATE - Robyn.obyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

I’ve been think­ing about the no­tion of hos­pi­tal­ity re­cently.

Hav­ing once again hosted the fam­ily for Christ­mas last year, I’m only too aware of the work and ex­pense in­volved open­ing our doors and shar­ing our ta­ble with fam­ily.

In re­cent years, we’ve also been chal­lenged with host­ing a few teenage par­ties at home.

While guest numbers have been mod­est, I’ve al­ways been a lit­tle taken aback by well-mean­ing par­ents ex­press­ing their mock hor­ror that we were pre­pared to run the risk of be­ing heav­ily out­num­bered by young peo­ple — some we’ve known and some we haven’t — look­ing for a fun night out.

I wish they could see how well­man­nered most of them are, with the soon-to-be young women kiss­ing me on the cheek as they cross our thresh­old at the start of the evening and the al­mosty­oung-men shak­ing hands with my hus­band as they leave.

We’ve also hosted more long-term teenage guests, which, at times has not been easy.

Wait­ing to use the (only) bath­room in the morn­ing while our guest makes the most of the hot wa­ter can be tire­some while the ex­pense of feed­ing the bot­tom­less pit that is a grow­ing teenage boy can add up.

But de­spite the oc­ca­sional hic­cup, I wouldn’t change a thing. Be­cause open­ing our home and our hearts to strangers has al­most al­ways paid off.

My chil­dren have been party guests at other peo­ple’s homes — where I hope they have be­haved them­selves — and they’ve also been the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of hos­pi­tal­ity over­seas, where gen­er­ous fam­i­lies have taken a chance on the un­known and made a place for them at theirheir ta­bles. Be­cause when we open our hearts and homes to strangers, it turns out we’re the win­ners.

You’ll be twice as happy with a pair of these seats handy. Set of two Ma­jorca out­door ac­cent chair, $329 from Brosa, brosa.com.au You’ll be hum­ming a tune with this pitcher in smokey glass. Van Verre Fleur De Lys pitcher, $60 from Spence and Lyda, spence­and­lyda.com.au

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