When I decided to do a year in Australia one of the most appealing things about it was the idea of a year in the sun. I envisioned living in sunny beach towns, and chasing the sun up the East coast into Queensland as the winter arrived. It was with this thinking that I packed my backpack with shorts, t-shirts, sundresses and flip flops! I did not, not even a tiny little bit, imagine that I would need thermals and winter coats because I would be going skiing, let alone going to work and live at a ski resort for three months. But the best part of this whole travel thing, is that anything can happen. Just like leaving Europe to go to the land of surf and BBQ’s and end up at a ski resort!
But that’s exactly where I’ve ended up….and I love it! I have a great job in a ski shop, I’m learning to ski and loving it, and am slowly but surely getting used to the cold.
We are living in a small town, Jindabyne, just down the mountain from the ski resort. So there’s no snow down here, it’s a little warmer and surrounds a gorgeous lake. It’s lovely to have my breakfast looking out the window as the sun rises over the lake, or go for a walk around it on my day off. It really is such a pretty little town. There’s not too much going on, but there’s everything you’d need.
So as we don’t live on the mountain, you might be wondering how we get to work every day? Maybe not, but I’ll tell you anyway! So we leave the house at 6:55 every morning and drive for 25 minutes and then get the 7:20 Ski Tube up to Perisher. The Ski Tube is basically a train that brings you up the mountain to the resort. It’s to facilitate the thousands of guests and staff as there wouldn’t be parking for everyone. Also the resort is in a national park so it’s best to minimise traffic. My body still isn’t loving the early mornings, but I am getting used to the routine. It’s strange being in bed by 10 most nights!
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about going back to working in retail, something I did for 6 years through school and college, but I’ve been in an office environment since then, in a job I loved and got very comfy in with great friends and colleagues. A lot of the shop jobs I’ve had have not been so comfy, or enjoyable. In fact some have been awful, filled with angry, unpleasant customers, evil managers and bad hours. Up here though every customer is on holidays so they are all in a good mood! It’s so nice, and such a positive atmosphere, unlike working in the children’s department in Pennys on Mary Street, where half the customers are junkies and everyone else is in a bad mood because they are in a jam packed department store, hunting for a bargain surrounded by said junkies. But in Slopestyle, everyone’s on their holiday and therefore glad to be there. I mean it’s still a shop, and they are throwing down some serious cash, so customers expect and deserve great service, but they are polite and cheerful and generally up for a bit of a chat. And everyone I work with is so nice and there to enjoy the ski season. My boss is awesome as well, so welcoming when we first arrived and helped me get settled.
Also, when the shop is quiet we get to clock off for an hour or two and go for a ski…how cool is that? Best job perk ever I reckon!I also wasn’t sure how I’d take to skiing. I’m not coordinated, graceful or athletic, so I didn’t have great hopes for myself. I’m also not too fond of the cold. But I was here armed with a free ski pass and free lessons, and I was damned sure going to give it my best shot, so off I went on my first day off with Leigh to the beginner’s magic carpet and gave it a solid try. We were both expecting to see a re-enactment of Bambi, falling flat on my bum, limbs flailing beneath me, but I surprised us both and actually picked it up fairly quickly! After I got a little comfortable with the basics (Pizza & French Fries to any South Park watchers, Snow Plough to any skiers) I took a lesson and before I knew it I was out of the magic carpet and on my way up a chairlift! I fell over a lot, or course, that day, but I have been out a tonne since then and have taken another lesson, and by about day three I knew I was hooked. I’m still not a great skier, but I love it. It’s so much fun, the most exhilarating and exciting activity I’ve ever done, and I am getting a little more confident every week. There aren’t too many weeks left in the season so I’ll have to start bucking up and getting as much practice in as possible before the snow melts and we have to go.
Check in soon so see how the rest of the season treats me!