When I moved to Whistler, I had no real idea of what lay ahead. I could hardly believe it was really happening till I stepped off the coach and looked up at mountains dusted with their first layer of snow. My main reason for going out there was to ski. After years of wanting to learn, I finally got into skiing at uni and loved it. A season in Whistler would give me the chance to work hard at this new skill and an excuse to go back to Canada: a country I fell in love with on a family roadtrip seven years before.
One year on I’m back home in the UK, but my time in Whistler will always stay with me. If I’d never gone to Whistler, I would never have gone on a solo roadtrip in the US; I would never have felt the excitement of the snowline creeping down the mountains in the fall; or rung in the new year surrounded by 300 other seasonnaires following the snow; I would never have ended a busy shift enjoying beers with my workmates as the sun set over distant peaks, before skiing deserted twilit trails back home; I would never have met the incredible people who forced me down black slopes, off piste and through gladed runs and the incredibly brave ones who followed me down them; I would never have had the feeling of waking up in the morning, knowing the mountains were out there waiting for me and thinking “this is my life”.
Moving to Whistler not only taught me how to ski, gave me unforgettable experiences and introduced me to friends from around the world, it allowed me to see all those tiny things I love about home so that I now know, home is exactly where I want to be. I’ve had a taste of what the world has to discover and meeting other travellers has inspired me to add dozens more destinations to my bucket list, but Whistler was my one big adventure; from now on I’ll always be back home before long.