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First Winter Season in the Alps

I guess it’s time. The thermometer was showing +10 for the entire last week. I have a legit google tan on my face. And the fresh snow is nowhere to be found. However, I’m not saying that it’s spring already – don’t want to jinx anything. But I think that it’s time to share what it feels like when you travel and decide to stay for a winter season in the mountains.

It is completely different from the summer season 😀 Surprise surprise! No, seriously. If you follow me on my trips, you know that last summer was all about relaxation, watching the stars, yoga and sauna time. Winter is progress, struggle, muscle pain, adventure, progress, struggle, muscle pain… Doesn’t sound pleasant? Not true! It is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

While traveling for 10 years, pushing myself out of the comfort zone already became everyday life for me. Still this winter it is one of the main things I struggle with. I have found so many hidden fears inside me that I’m really surprised.

Yes, I should give you an example

Powder! Everyone who snowboards or skis knows what it is! (For those who don’t – it means riding fresh and deep snow) Or at least it seems this way. All of my friends who go to the mountains for at least a week in a year has definitely posted a few pictures of riding powder. You know – selfy stick, all covered in snow… I kept silent. Ashamed and not cool. I never did that! In my 20 years of touristy skiing, snowboarding and snow kiting. Imagine! As far as I knew, powder skiing is quite a dangerous adventure. You have to have special gear for that, safety bag with airbag, radio signals, shovel and etc…not even mentioning the skills. Since I never considered myself very good in skiing or snowboarding, I never went for powder hunt. But this year something changed. All the guys around me (not first seasoners though) encouraged me to try. Especially, since I wanted to take awesome pictures of them riding powder… To say the truth, I pressured myself the most because I knew that adventure photographer has to be able to do such things if s/he wants to catch best pics. And I definitely wanted to! However, I struggled for two months. I was really really scared to go off the slope. But one snowy day something clicked.

Riding with locals

It was #sredschool day (local guys teaching amateurs like me to ride park or powder in this case) but the park was closed due to the snow storm. Visibility was equal to zero but we still decided to ride. “Let’s go try some powder”, – decided our instructors. I had to follow. With my park skis (for the reference, park skis are completely not suitable for the deep snow. They sink and there’s no way to control them). Gently, gently they coaxed me off the slopes and there we went. It was the best day of the season so far! I couldn’t see anything, I was completely wet, tired, my muscles hurt everywhere, I fell like a thousand times – but I don’t remember myself being so happy. Next day I got the proper skis and went for powder runs on my own. Very safe ones, next to the slopes, but I was not afraid anymore.

Travel effects

It was just one example. One example of what travel does to you. One example of what the right amount of support does to you. It pushes you even if you grumble. It makes you afraid and sad. It makes you think. It expands you. It slowly disassembles your conditioned beliefs and reveals that there’s no limit for your growth.

By the way, I travel with #WiGoTrips. Those who want new adventures with the right amount of support by like-minded people join me and try it out 😉 New generation #grouptravel.

Cheers to everyone!
Picture by Simona Čiūta

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