In 2016 Pernilla took her first season as a ski instructor with Snowminds in Sun Peaks, Canada. She quickly got addicted and this is the first part of her blog about when one season turns into 4.
If you are reading this, you have probably reached the same point as I reached in 2016. I was “almost” done with school, really needed a break and had no clue what I wanted to do. I had been skiing most of my childhood with my friends and family and I had some of my best memories from these holidays. But going from ski holidays with my family to a whole season as a ski instructor away from home this seemed like a very big challenge. I did as most young people do – I turned to the internet. Here I found the very same page as you are on right now. I choose to book my first season through Snowminds and they handled pretty much everything for me. With an office filled with previous instructors, they told me everything I needed to know. They helped me through all the practical and boring stuff, they made pre-events to calm my nerves and they were there with a tissue for my mom when they put me on the plane towards Canada.
And all of a sudden I was standing in Vancouver airport, ready to become a ski instructor in Canada. Skibag in one hand and boot bag in the other about to S*** my pants with around 30 other young people. But even here Snowminds is with you. Their team leaders take you by the hand(almost)from you step out of the plane to you get into your very first uniform.
We arrived safely to Sun Peaks and checked into the coziest hotel. This was gonna be our home for the next 4 weeks during our course. All of a sudden you find yourself on the other side of the world with thousands of miles and time zones between you and your family and everything all of the sudden seems a bit terrifying. Here Snowminds comes in again they make social evening events. They organize practical trips to handle things as social and tax cards and all of the boring thing but they also cultural trips to see your first ice hockey match. Then the time starts flying. You make friends, a lot of friends. You drink beer, a lot of beer and you go riding, a lot!!!
Then you pass your exam and you start working and once again your nerves take over. You start working with some of the best skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. You get your very first uniform with your own locker and name badge. Then you figure out a lot of things
You figure out that you can’t wear your super cute Austrian one layer ski outfit in Canada. You figure out you need to cover up all of your skin. You figure out that you have never been able to ski. You figure out how to actually ski. You figure out what Poutine is. You figure out how NOT to cook a turkey(Don’t ask). You figure out how to find a 6-year-old boy who decided to take a different slope down. You figure out how to tell 10 Chinese people that jeans do not go well on the mountain. But what is most important is that you figure yourself out and you realise that you can do so much more than you ever thought you could.
Fast forward 4-5 months. You have had countless trips to Whistler, Big White, Silverstar, and Revelstoke. You have had the most insane backcountry trips, without getting eaten by a bear. You have become an ice hockey fan. You have caught your first fish in a frozen lake. You have taught everything from A to Z on skis. You have made friends for life. Then all of a sudden your flight ticket is on the table and the snow disappears.
In my case, I just wasn’t ready to let go of the ski instructor life. So I took to the internet again and here I learned about an island called New Zealand. And after being a ski instructor in Canada, I decided to work in New Zealand!
If you are considering if a season as an instructor in Canada is the right choice for you, I will send my warmest recommendations to you! No matter if you prefer to work with kids or adults, there is a way for you! You get the chance to try it all, and the ski school makes sure, that you only work with the guests, who makes you comfortable.
// Pernilla Mouritzen
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