The lifestyle?s fine, but the beer is ...
By JOHN DEVINE
APART from the cold, snow, ice and that whole winter thing, Graftonian Luke Cannon, 25, says Canada is very similar to his native Australia.
Our accent, he says, takes a bit getting used to, but other than that, we're fairly similar.
We share a similar history, have developed as countries in a similar pattern, and view the world through a middle-power perspective.
We're not the big guys, but we are the nice guys.
Luke's been slinging beer at Wickie's Pub, the latest stop on a 30-month, around-the-world adventure.
"I'm pretty much working my way around before I go home," he says.
Before setting out on 'Luke's big adventure' in February, the happy wanderer graduated with a degree in applied computer sciences.
As he continues his travels, with a year in Dublin just ahead, he says he'll look for work in his field.
If not, he's happy to hand pints to happy punters, and soak up the local culture, from wherever he hangs his hat during his tour.
Luke headed to Barrie because his uncle lives here.
"Uncle Craig came here from Australia 12 years ago. He was travelling the same as I am," he says.
"He met a girl in Toronto (Angela) and got married. They have two kids, living here in Barrie. He's very happy. He loves the country just as much as Australia. He's pretty stoked about the way things turned out."
As luck would have it, Uncle Craig is good friends with Chris Martin, of Wickie's. Hence, the job at the local pub.
And what about Luke? Would he consider trading Oz for the Great White North?
"I'd probably drive myself crazy, staying inside for six months (of winter). I live by a beach back home and I like the sun," he answers.
"Before crossing 'the pond' to Ireland, Luke will fly from NYC to Seattle, because he's always wanted to see that westcoast city. He's travelling, part-time, with girlfriend Kayla, who bought the Seattle flight for him.
After a wedding in Australia, Kayla plans to join Luke in Dublin. From that base, they'll explore Europe. Before reaching home in late 2007, Hong Kong will be a port of call.
Now that's he's had a chance to sample Canadian beer, what does he think of it?
As it turns out, not much. He compares our domestic beer with a well-known Australian brand.
"We don't drink that. We ship that out to the rest of the world so we don't have to drink that."
What does he drink?: "I like Tooheys New, a New South Wales draft."
And what's so unique about the Canadian accent?
"It's slower than in the States. It's kind of got that laid-back feel to it."
Like Australian. Good on ya mate, and happy travels.
John Devine is the managing editor of The Barrie Advance, Barrie, Ontario, Canada.