I am currently back in the UK after an amazing two years in Canada. Unfortunately, my Canadian work visa has run out, so I have somewhat unwillingly relocated to a land of rolling hills and green grass from the snowy BC mountains that I had become accustomed to calling home.
It has been a great few weeks back in the homeland; catching up with my amazing friends and family has limited my cravings for mountains, the great outdoors and skiing. However, I am already beginning to miss the ski slopes of Whistler, especially since the Pacific North West is having some of the best early-season powder in years. I am constantly reminded of this through social media, so the search begins again for a way to get back to skiing!
I hope to return to Canada with a permanent work visa by next winter, but my desire to ski this season has led me to begin researching where I may be able ski and live in the meantime.
As a result, I have come up with a list of some things to consider when moving to the mountains.
Location – Everyone is different when it comes to location. It is really dependent on personal priorities; some may be looking for big-mountain skiing, some a party atmosphere and others a more family-orientated environment. Ski resorts can vary hugely, so it is important to do your research, preferably by asking people who have lived in the area before. You may also want to consider living in a city close to the mountains because living in a ski town itself can be quite isolating and intense for some.
Job – Fortunately I already have freelance work and am able to work remotely. If you are looking to find work locally, then this is a great way to meet people and integrate into the local culture. There are many large companies and agencies operating in the UK that can help you get a job prior to the season so that you have a guaranteed income when you arrive in the resort. If you do have some money saved up to tide you over for a few weeks, then it may be a better idea to head to your desired location before you start your job hunt. This way you can find some more local independent companies and suss out a job that you really want, rather than signing up to a big company that is able to tie you in with cheap accommodation but low wages.
Accommodation – Again there are agencies and employers that can help you with this. However, if you are looking to go the independent route, then social media is a great way to find roommates. Try to find the local Facebook group or craigslist to see room-let postings. Turning up and staying in an Airbnb apartment or a hostel while you look for more permanent accommodation is also a great way to meet people and will enable you to find potential roommates face to face.