I’ve always been an avid skier. In my younger years friends and I trekked to New Zealand multiple times to experience ‘real snow’, as well as undertaking yearly mandatory trips to nearby (ok frigging 5 hours away) mountains.
When I moved to Austria and realised I’d hooked up with the only Austrian who couldn’t be bothered going skiing anymore, he put aside his prejudices and organised a number of trips for me.
And that’s when I realised.
I’d become a social skier.
While I still enjoy the thrill of flying down the slopes, as I’ve grown older, my skiing experiences have increasingly involved larger, more social groups. Gone are the days of busting out of bed for first tracks with my bro and skiing through lunch because I just couldn’t bear to end the happiness. As I got older, I really enjoyed the constant meeting up and chatting with various friends, as well as taking mandatory breaks (plural) for snacks and beverages. And then comes après ski… well… isn’t that what it’s all about?
Now… in Austria I had a great time skiing with Thomas, but after three hours of whizzing down pristine slopes over actual snow and not having to stop at the bottom (because there are no crowds), I not only got very tired… I also became a little bored. To be fair, we went to one of the smaller resorts (not that small in Aussie terms, but small in Austrian terms). But with just two people, well it just didn’t have the same vibe I remembered so fondly.
And it’s kind of embarrassing to admit, considering all the cash I splurged on crazy-expensive trips in Australia, that I can now count the times I’ve been skiing in Austria on one hand. Here, it’s cheaper, it’s more convenient and the snow is much much better.
But you know what? I’m old enough now. In the same way I’m old enough to tip out a glass of wine that doesn’t taste so good (in your younger days it’s just alcohol, you don’t waste a drop), I’m old enough to make my skiing trips more infrequent.
Because I am a social skier.
So now I save my ski trips for when there are groups of people going. And then, I’m back in my element!