Chasing the snow--how this Australian family lives abroad six months of the year
I grew up in a small country town in rural New South Wales, Australia. My first experience skiing was when I spent a weekend in my final year of high school visiting the Snowy Mountains with a friend and her youth group.
It sometimes seems like such a big leap forward to the lifestyle we have been living for the past three years. I get asked a lot how we can and why do we live ‘chasing’ the snow. This is how it happened.
One night, in a ski resort in Australia, we were having dinner with great friends who were also passionate skiers. We had spent a few ski holidays overseas together. Our kids were all great mates and we could all enjoy skiing together. So, after a couple of glasses of red wine, one of us came up with the idea of spending a whole season overseas – before the kids hit high school. Let's have an adventure! Let's take the kids out of school and ski for a season. What fun it would be.
So, what started off as a good idea slowly started becoming a reality. Each of us had a list of things we wanted and needed to find in this place we would spend the season. All of us had skied various resorts around the world so new what we did and didn’t want. All of our children had started in local Australian race training programs so we naturally wanted to be able to find a location that would enable them to continue with their progression as ski racers.
We needed the place to be large enough that we wouldn’t get bored. Five months was a long time to be skiing one mountain. We wanted there to be a “town” as such and things other than skiing for all of us to do. The list went on. And it was long!
Slowly but surely, we narrowed down our search and Park City kept ticking the most boxes off our list. We had never been to Park City so we were probably taking a bit of a risk but we were prepared to give it a go.
We got the kids involved in the Park City Ski Team and Farm Team programs. They joined the local ice hockey, basketball, swimming squad and karate studios. We home schooled them via correspondence. We all skied – a lot. We learned how to cross-country ski. We skied most of the resorts in Utah, multiple times. My friend and I did a Women's clinic at the Canyons.
Each family went on separate road trips and adventures outside of Park City to places like Moab, Bryce Canyon, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon.
We had THE BEST TIME.
But we didn’t expect that we would want to do it again.
A few months later when we were back in the snow in Australia, we went out for dinner again, started drinking red wine again and were reminiscing about our great season in Park City. You guessed it. One thing led to another and we are now at the tail end of our third season here in Park City.
Our family is fortunate that my husband can be flexible with his work. He is self-employed and I have to say that if this was not the case we most definitely would not be able to be spending 6 months of the year in the winter.
We are also fortunate that we are pretty flexible in our approach to the future. We believe that while it is working for us all we will keep up the lifestyle but when we feel we need to change we will. We make the most of every season as we know it is highly likely that this snow chasing will not be able to go on forever.
But for now, we love calling Park City one of our winter homes. We have all made such great friends over the past three years. So much so that it gets harder and harder to leave at the end of each season.
So my advice to my fellow ski lovers out there is this – be careful what you talk about when drinking red wine with friends! You may just find yourself chasing the winters like we do!
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