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.
I love wandering around in the mountains. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to do it when the weather is suboptimal – if it’s excessively freezing, windy or raining – but otherwise, it really is the ultimate way to get some fresh air, exercise, and of course some traditional Austrian food!
I am an avid swimmer. It is my favourite form of exercise, probably even my favourite form of forward motion. I can basically swim better than I can walk. Our local pool is only open from May to September, but at least we have one, so I spent my first summer smashing out laps there. Although the idea of lake swimming (or wild swimming, as it’s commonly referred) appealed, travelling to a lake just wasn’t as convenient at the time.
Swimming is not big in Austria. Sure, there are people that do it, but not that many. Well, what did I expect from a land-locked country anyway? In Australia it seems like there is a pool every 5km – that is definitely not the case in Austria.
I like running. It’s easy, it’s quick and it doesn’t cost anything. And it’s something you can always do – you just have to rug up, right? Wrong.
Turns out we didn’t have a particularly cold winter this year in Austria (that’s what they tell me), but it was plenty cold enough for me! Though I managed to keep a pretty consistent outdoor running schedule I did spend quite a few days inside on the X-trainer!
Living in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains is very scenic, but it does have its downfalls. In winter we don’t get much wind (bonus), but that also means that we’re often shrouded in clouds, with no wind to blow them away (anti-bonus). But if you know that somewhere up there the sun is shining, all you have to do is jump in the car and drive up a small mountain until you pop out!