Thinking Of Travelling? | Ski Season

Thinking of Doing a Ski Season?

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If you love the snow like me and can’t get enough of the thrill of arriving at the top of a mountain, overlooking the vast valleys and forests covered in snow, only to whizz down on two skis, the wind in your hair, shredding up the powder… then why wouldn’t you go to a ski resort for a whole season (over three months) and get to do something you love, everyday? All while earning money. Sounds like a no brainer to me…

Reasons you should…

* The snow and the mountains aren’t going anywhere over the winter season so you can ski literally everyday, the only way it’s not too expensive is on a season.

* You get the opportunity of meeting new and exciting people who are there for exactly the same reason as you… you’re bound to get along.

* Experience a different world. The lands of ski resorts are truly magical places and as well as experiencing a different country, you also get to experience a new lifestyle.

* Explore a different career path. Whether it’s in instructing, chalet hosting, bar work or mountain help, the career opportunities at ski resorts are vast and there’s something for everyone.

Reasons you shouldn’t…

* Although while on a season you will be working, this isn’t the place to go if you’re planning on saving up money. Inevitably you will be spending what you earn on accommodation, food and the ever so famous après-ski.

* The hours are long. If you’re looking to escape from busy work life and relax in the mountains, that could be possible with a few of the jobs, however most involve long hours and as soon as you’ve got a minute off you’ll be busy skiing or drinking.

* Staff accommodation isn’t any four star hotel. If you’re looking for a homely home of luxury during your season then think again, staff accommodation is cheap and crowded, but loads and loads of fun.

Whistler

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For my ski season, I went to Whistler, Canada – the home of the winter Olympics last year and renowned for big downfalls of snow, and huge amounts of powder. Being from the UK, and growing up learning to ski in Europe, I wanted to try something different and experience a whole new world of skiing – and in Canada everything is so much bigger! The slopes are hugely wide and long, which makes time spent on lifts during the day so much shorter. The terrain suits anyone’s style, with huge pisted tracks, tricky tree runs, mogule race fields, terrain parks with jumps and boxes, there’s literally everything and more in the whistler ski resort and that’s not including the thousands and thousands of acres of back country and off piste to be explored.  Although there’s a no drinking on the slopes law, it doesn’t stop the après being wild, with hundreds of famous hang out bars at the bottom of the slopes, waiting for you to finish your day with a giant plate of nachos and a bar-side ski shot race. Whistler really was a whole new fantasy world to me, with the resort village coming to life at night, full of not only restaurants, bars and shops, but ice rinks, bungee jumps and fire shows on the slopes at night.

My time in Whistler was one of the best times of my life and I really don’t think the experience that I had would have been the same in any other resort.

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Thinking of Travelling? | Australia

AUSTRALIA

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After spending a year travelling the world Steph describes her adventures here:

After spending two months travelling round Australia, I was actually slightly depressed sitting in the airport waiting to leave the beautiful country that I had grown to love over the 8 weeks that I had spent there. I started thinking about when I first arrived in Sydney and my massive circular tour that I took around the foreign land. I actually did travel in a massive circle, arriving in Sydney, travelling up the east coast, flying down to Melbourne, then back round to Sydney (with a pit stop in the centre of the circle at Ayers Rock). The Australian culture is happy, friendly and eager to get everyone active and involved – hence why I managed to do an unbelievable amount while I was there. Apart from visiting the west coast (that will be for another trip) I really did do everything there was to do… Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge, drinks at the Sydney Opera House, surf lessons, fed kangaroos, held a koala, trekked and flown round Fraser Island, sailed round the Whitsundays, sky dived, extreme white water rafted, bungee jumped, zip lined through the rainforest, scuba dived with sharks at the Great Barrier Reef and even climbed Ayers Rock, Uluru. The fact that the royals, Will and Kate, were right behind me on my trip basically following my every move demonstrates how incredible the places that I visited, and the things that I did, were.

Despite the fact that it was all unforgettable and I would happily do it all over, I do have a few favourites along the way….

First of all Sydney.

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I got massive déjà vu while exploring this city as it reminded me so much of my favourite city in the world, Cape Town. It was such a buzzy open space to be in, filled with a beautiful city, iconic landmarks, impressive harbours, beautiful beaches and vast park land and Juliet and I knew we loved it the minute we arrived, simply because all of this is in one city and every different section felt like a new place but still a part of Sydney at the same time.

The next place on our journey that captured our attention and hearts as much as Sydney was Noosa.

Noosa is the complete opposite to Sydney and the only way to really describe it is a place where rich city makers have their holiday beach houses. It was absolutely stunning, the beaches were perfect and the chic bars and restaurants along the beach front were always packed and full of life. Juliet and I spent hours on the beach looking at all of the glass front beach houses built up the mountain but overlooking the sea front wishing we owned one! My hostel here was also so cute, completely pink from head to toe with only four people per room and every two rooms had it’s own bathroom and kitchen – such a luxury for hostels! (And it was right on the beach which is a bonus)

My all time favourite place out of the whole of our Australia travels came soon after that when we went on a CoolDingo’s tour to Fraser Island.

With a 75mile long beach, the most incredible crystal clear fresh water lakes, incredible vast bright orange sand dunes, a huge merino shipwreck washed up on shore and the most hilariously bumpy off road dirt tracks that we had to drive over on our bus, Fraser Island is one of the most beautiful and mesmerising islands I have ever been to. It was also made even better (if that’s possible) by the fact that our tour was absolutely fab and I met some really lovely people there – including girls who I ended up travelling with after that! The best part of the trip was when we took a scenic short flight over the island meaning we could actually see how ridiculously long the stretch of beach is, how clear and beautiful the lakes are as from the sky we could see them reflecting the sun light AND we could see their amazing shapes (one is shaped like a butterfly!) and while we dropped low and flew over the ocean we even saw some sea life. Amaaaaazing!

Finally, the best thing I did while travelling Australia for two months was without a doubt my sky dive!

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It was the most exhilarating and amazing adrenaline rush I have ever experienced and something I would love to repeat a million times over. We were FOURTEEN THOUSAND FEET high, can you believe that, FOURTEEN THOUSAND and it was actually surreal, unreal, that we were jumping out of a plane from that height. I remember looking out the window and seeing the outlines of islands in the ocean below the clouds, no other detail whatsoever and thinking right we’re jumping soon and then asking my tandem guy if we were. I remember because he showed me his watch that calculated our altitude and we were at six thousand feet… Not even half way up. When the sliding door opened the cold air blasted us and before we knew it we were free falling nine thousand feet and at five thousand feet the parachute was pulled and we were floating over Australia, the ocean and basically the whole world – and it was amazing.

Literally every moment of Australia was incredible and these are just my top few memories but I know that I’m going to remember these two months forever. Australia is one of the most incredible, diverse and friendly countries I have ever been to and I have done some crazy but incredible things while I’ve been here, visited the most beautiful places and met the nicest people. Safe to say I will definitely be going back there in the future.

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Bordeaux To Biarritz

Living in Paris has given me many opportunities but one of them is being able to travel and explore France more than I ever have before. I never have really realised just how big a country France really is…

So last week me and my two friends from school decided that we would make the most of the sunshine and travel south.

First stop: Bordeaux

Spending the day in this beautiful town was just perfect, we strolled around the tiny windy streets, explored the Quais district on the banks of the River Gaconne and discovered the Victory Arch, a testament to Bordeaux’s Roman roots. However, it is for its full-bodied, red wine that Bordeaux is famous, after spending half a day in the city itself we soon discovered that we had seen everything we wanted to see and so decided to detour our route to the coast via vineyards – this is after all what Bordeaux is truly famous for. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to sniff, swirl and sample fragrant glasses at some of the world’s best wineries.

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Second stop: Biarritz

Biarritz is a popular and lively town on the Atlantic coast in south-west France. It is a charming town with the glimpse at the wealth the town had in days gone by only adding to its charm. By the middle of the 19th century the reputation of Biarritz as a fashionable destination was firmly established – a popularity that continues to this day especially due to its reputation as surfing capital of France.

The walk along the beach and up around the Pointe Atalaye is one I would be happy to do every day. Up around the point there are lots of little coves, walkways to some of the rocks whilst down below is the Port des Pecheurs with a few lovely little fishing restaurants which we couldn’t resit for a light lunch of fresh calamari and salad.

In many ways, Biarritz reminded me of Brighton. It has the same strange mix of architecture – elegantly and elaborate Victorian facades, garish palaces and a bizarre mix of concrete monstrosities. It has the same funky shops, bars and cafes, the same buzz and energy. It was luxury mix with beach. Hermes next to Roxy, Prada next to Billabong – strange but it worked. Of course, Brighton’s pebble beaches just don’t compare to the beautiful sandy beaches of Biarritz, nor do its surfing credentials, or the beautiful bronzed beach boys for that matter. Here on France’s wild Atlantic coast you get fabulous year-round waves that attract surfers from all over the world.

We happily laid on the beach wishing that we could stay there forever. The sun, sea, smells and sounds were perfect. In 32degree heat who would want anything better.

Despite being unbelievably sun-burnt I loved Biarritz. Its fresh fish, beautiful sunsets, glamorous yet totally relaxed lifestyle and of course its sunshine.

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Cape Town, South Africa

I’ve been spending Easter weekend at my home-from-home in South Africa ever since I can remember. With cousins, uncles, aunts, family and friends all moving south for this holiday I couldn’t think of any other way to spend Easter.

Lazy days by the pool, beach walks, whale watching, mountain climbing, breath taking wine tours and of course epic Easter egg hunts are all essential activities that make this holiday so special. Nothing makes me happier than being by the sea, lying in the sun, eating unforgettable food and tanning until the clear blue skies turn into a night of stars.

If you have never visited Cape Town I cant emphasise more how beautiful this city is. After being back for two days I’m already planning if next year I can stay longer or somehow just stay forever. Still, back to Paris I must go, I have an MBA to complete, a job to get and a future to create before I can start dreaming of running away.

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To sum up in a little list my favourite things to do in Cape Town:

  • Table Mountain – of course! This is the most important touristy thing that anyone should do. Especially if you are able to get the cable-car up for sunset and watch the city transform from day to night.
  • The Waterfront – if you’re ever stuck of what to do or where to do then head here. Always amazingly busy full of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars you will be completely entertained.
  • Camps Bay – Increasingly the most popular place to go in Cape Town. With a beautiful beach (but a sea that will make your body turn blue it is so cold), this is the perfect place for locals, tourists and everyone else in between to relax in the sun and enjoy the scenery. Not to mention the bars and restaurants that are definitely become ‘places to see or be seen’.
  • Boulders Beach – Not always everyone’s cup of tea but I have been going here since I was little so it will always be one of my favourite things to do in Cape Town. It is a beach full of penguins! Swim with them in the sea, sunbath with them on the sand they are everywhere. I love it!

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