It wasn’t until a recent working holiday in Whistler, BC that I truly realised just how many Aussies are flocking to Canada’s snow caped mountains. Whether it be for work, the climate, snowboarding or the wildlife, there is definitely some sort of pull to the wilderness here that ensures a visit to Canada means running into an Aussie or ten along your way.
Waking up in Whistler on our first morning in British Columbia, was surprisingly like waking up at home on the East coast of Australia. Falling to sleep with a crackling fireplace heating the entire log cabin ensured we woke to a balmy heat similar to that of Australian summers. The appealing difference in Canada being, one step outside works as an effective minus eight-degree alarm clock – whereas at home the heat only gets worse.
Unanimously exhaling as we stepped into the crisp winter air and enjoying our slippery navigation of Whistler’s winter sidewalks brought forth a nostalgic childlike fun. Given, there were times we felt like street entertainment for Canadian locals passing by, giving us an extremely wide berth as we shuffled around in a dramatic amount of layers. But it was fun none the less and realising our ice walk resembled a 1980’s Jane Fonda video we soon stopped lifting each foot one by one and carefully placing it down in slow motion.
The unmistakable aroma of freshly baked goods from Peaked Pies would drift past us on each morning stumble. With comfort food like this amongst amazing pubs, clubs, activities and an international atmosphere, home sickness was quickly replaced by the desire to try anything and everything Whistler had to offer. And then we found the slopes.
With an array of hills to choose from in Whistler, you find yourself searching for ways to extend your stay, on the off chance you can somehow try them all. A lot of the people working the slopes were Australians, who ensured us picking up snowboarding would be simple given our surfing backgrounds. It’s possible Aussies over use the word simple. We fell on our way to the chair lift, on our way off the chair lift..i’m honesly surprised we didn’t find a way to slip off the chairs themselves.
When my knees were just about done with doubling as a braking system, we got it. Finally. something clicked and suddenly we were searching out more speed, powder, even small ridges to get a little air. ‘Oh my gosh’ one of the girls exclaimed, ‘its surfing without sharks, this rocks. We were hooked.
Speaking of the large and deadly, we come to another reason our team was sure Canada appealed to Australians so much. The wildlife.
In the Australian bush you can easily miss about ten different kind of deadly animals approaching you – in Canada, you kind of couldn’t not hear most of them. It would be a lot harder here to lift a pot plant and not realise there was a bear underneath it about to bite your finger, whereas back home we accidentally touch a red back spider and it’s likely to be all over. Crocodiles come into the ocean now in the northern parts of Australia and actively hunt humans. I mean I love my home land more than anywhere on earth, but seriously…brown snakes, great whites, even the blue ringed octopus - which sounds deceivingly cute but has enough venom in it’s body to kill 26 adults within minutes. Canada, especially in the winter months just seems that little bit safer, sidewalk skating included.
Regardless of the reason, by the end of our time in this winter wonderland we were ready to fly home and plan our next trip back. Canada it seems has that X Factor, for Australians anyway – well worth the plane ride and wholeheartedly recommended by our entire team.
Stay tuned for some exciting imagery from the trip and an even more exciting giveaway from some friends of mine....watch this space!