It was the winter of 2008, and I was living in the most beautiful place I could imagine. I was 19 years old, and living life to the full. I had managed to secure myself a job as a nanny in a crèche for the winter season and I loved it!
It was my day off, and as I got up in the morning I felt like some time to myself. I put on my boots, grabbed my board and headed outside. As I stepped out my front door, that super fresh air hit me as it did every time. I soaked it all in. I looked around me at all the beautiful wooden chalets and the mountains covered in snow. I still couldn’t believe that I was lucky enough to be living here, that this was my village, and I had all of this just on my doorstep.
I was living in the village of La Praz in Courchavelle, France. Courchavelle was the place of the rich and famous! A favourite of the Beckhams! I’d often see helicopters dropping people at the top of the mountain to ski down and be collected again at the bottom! That was the dream. Maybe one day! Haha.
So off I continued on my walk to the bubble lift up to the top of the mountain. This was my favourite way to travel, not only did you get to see the most spectacular views, but I didn’t have the issue with getting off a chair lift of staying on a button lift! I loved to snowboard, but I wasn’t a great, and the lifts were definitely a challenge!
Once on the bubble lift, I made my way up the mountain. The slopes were busy as usual, and you could see the joy on everyone’s faces! There is just something about snow spots that gives everyone that buzz! There is such a mixture of people that take part in snowsports, families that have been coming for years, everyone from the toddlers to the grandparents! In fact I was saw this man ski with a baby on his back!! To me that was just crazy, but I imagine there are a lot of people who feel confident enough to do that. You just can’t trust everyone on the slopes though, you might get someone like me who accidentally wipes you out after she attempts a jump! (That was a few years later mind you and not in France!)
One of my favourite runs, ran from the top of the mountain, straight back down into my village. I think it was a red run, but it was so long ago I can’t really remember. I enjoyed this one, as I usually managed to get down it without falling on my ass! It was steep enough for snowboarding, but wasn’t too challenging that I’d fall constantly haha. I’d like to say though I did managed a black slope before the season was up, that was in a different resort in France though, I went to work there for a few weeks out the season. I was also a little bit under the influence of alcohol, which gave me the added confidence! I remember calling my mum when I got to the bottom because I was so proud, only for her not to have a clue what I was talking about lol. I did manage it again sober, but I had to sit at the top and talk myself into it for quite a while to start with.
My next favourite thing about living in a ski resort was the Apres ski! People in a ski resort know how to party, and you don’t have to dress up and wear heels, you can go in your boarding gear, or jeans and a hoody and nobody bats an eye lid! I loved that! In fact you’d look out of place if you toddled about in heels! (I did it once, but to be fair it was a theme night) The one place that always sticks out in my mind was in val d’isere – folie douce it was called! This place was amazing, you could only get to it by boarding or skiing, and you can hear the music and the buzz on the way down the mountain. People were dancing on tables, there was the VIP area with obviously very rich people wasting champagne as they sprayed it everywhere (what a waste haha!) live bands and dJ’s, the atmosphere was amazing. Defiantly worth a visit if you are ever out that way.
My only regret was that I only did one ski season. I have been lucky enough to find a man who has the same buzz for snowsports, and we have managed a few snowboarding dates, and a trip away to the north of Scotland, but nothing really compares to the snow and the slopes of the Alpes! I really can’t wait to go back!