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How did you end up where you are now?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just curious to see how and why so many people on here have made a full-time or part-time home in the mountains.

I'd love to spend more than just a holiday week each year on the snow, but it seems a million miles away from living in the Midlands and doing what I currently do. Would be interesting for a few stories to be shared (if only to prove you don't have to be an international playboy to live near the snow) Laughing


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 20-11-12 10:07; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Had a job i hated, knee jerk reaction was ski instructor in Austria... three years later realised it is sometimes nice not to be poor so got a real job in feldkirch near Montafon and Arlberg... will see if the balance sticks!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Went where the work is (slightly niche business), although it's only half way to the mountains. Close enough to bunk off at 5pm on a Friday, drive to the mountains, and ski for a weekend, but far enough away that it's not realistic to do that every weekend.
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Specialman, I have a part-time home in the mountains (4 months a year) because I am retired and have taken a lodger in my UK house to pay for it. Many retired people could do it, if they gave it priority over the other stuff they spend money on, such as other holidays, new cars, new kitchens, new carpets, new clothes, meals in restaurants.

But is it worth getting old, just to have a place in the mountains?????????????????

I'd say not. I'd stay young, if I were you.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Made redundant in the UK, took enough of a payout to take the pressure off finding another job immediately, realised that having an 18 month old was the perfect time to do one last 'daft' thing before we had to settle down and put him into a school and grow up and all that, drew a big circle around the Alps on a map, said to myself 'get a job inside that circle', targetted some appropriate companies, got two offers (one in France, one in Switzerland), accepted one of them.

It was either that or move to Warwickshire.
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Lived in Dundee whilst at Uni, moved back almost immediately afterwards because I got a job there and ended up living there a total of ten years, might have a poor reputation but it's pretty well placed for access to the hills. Then got made redundant as the company I was working for spectacularly imploded, went and bummed about in Australia for three months after getting a new job sorted out, then moved to Iceland nearly two years ago. Pretty much always chosen where to live by proximity to interesting mountains.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Interesting to see, as I'm in the position that this will be my last season in 'employ'. I have some projects in the pipeline and the hope is to concentrate on them full time from the spring onwards. I might still do some contract work, but the hope is that it'll let me spend more time in the mountains.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sons are both ski instructors in Meribel so they are based there about 5 months. We have retired from teaching but are FIS freestyle ski judges (sons both competed so we got involved in GBR snowsports). We spend about 7 weeks each winter in resorts either staying with our sons or judging. Allows us to have a life at home as well as time on snow and we are not in the same resort all season.
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Did a season as a ski instructor, great fun but I know I don't want to work.6 day weeks. And be skint forever. Now doing a year long German course in innsbruck and working 20 hours.a.week in h&m. Have considered a couple of.different 'proper jobs' out here, but have decided to get into teaching. You have to.teach two.subjects in schools here, and as I'm English and have a geography degree, English and geog makes.sense! Will be another 4/5 years of.studying, but after I'll only have.to work.20 hours.a week in school (mornings) - marking and planning I can do in the evenings.at home and fit.around skiing.

Typing on phone, sorry about spelling and grammar!
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Anyone can move.to.the mountains. Lots of people say they 'can't' - in reality they mean they don't want to.sacrifice a.stable job/income/nice house/etc - which is entirely understandable!
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clarky999, agreed. I also think for some, having some cash in the bank is desirable in case everything goes tits up. What's stopping me? I think hubby is reluctant to leave a good job, good income and an uncertain future, although I have suggested a winter season and coming back for the summer months to work as locums, as we are both pharmacists. However, there's an over-supply of pharmacists on the cards for the near future, so I'm not sure that is a practical option any more.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
clarky999 wrote:
Anyone can move.to.the mountains. Lots of people say they 'can't' - in reality they mean they don't want to.sacrifice a.stable job/income/nice house/etc - which is entirely understandable!


Professionally I can, there's nothing stopping me, and I'd happily leave my home and whatnot.. what I can't change is that it would mean I couldn't see my son if he remained here, or he'd not see his mother if he came with me. That's far more important than any job/income/house/etc
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
clarky999 wrote:
Anyone can move.to.the mountains. Lots of people say they 'can't' - in reality they mean they don't want to.sacrifice a.stable job/income/nice house/etc - which is entirely understandable!


I suppose stepping out of your comfort zone (be it the money, the stability of having family and friends nearby, having a nice house....) that's always the main hurdle with any major change in life, especially when you've started to settle down with a family...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We also have ageing parents in the UK, who may not always be capable of visiting us, meaning we would have to make regular trips home. I don't think either of us could leave all of the responsibility up to our siblings, especially as hubby's brother alreadyy lives abroad and can't afford to come home very often.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I'm still hoping to take early retirement in the next couple of years so that I can do a few winters before I get any bl**dy older.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I don't get nearly as much mountain time as I'd like having to get time windows/weather windows and everything to line up. Also my current job is based Reykjavik which is the wrong end of the country. Would be better to live in Akureyri but then the population is only 20,000 there so harder to find work. Contracting or some other kind of business would be the ideal I suppose.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Specialman, gave up teaching after 20 years, got bored, took up a uni degree in modern languages and IT ended up in the Alps working in the capital of laptop and lederhosen land! Laughing

Left my comfort zone behind and gave myself 2 years to make a go of it - now 15 years and counting Toofy Grin Never ever going back and will be taking out German citizenship when the current passport runs out.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The family reasons - single parent, ageing parents etc are powerful ones. You need to find a "window", which isn't always possible. My mother came out to France to stay in the mountains a few times before she died, and loved it, though she was fairly disabled and could only do non-snowy times. My father had aready died, and my Mum died subsequently. My mother in law is still alive, and I'm the nearest, so I do quite a bit for her, but there are other siblings who can do stuff when I'm not here. My kids are grownup and all like to visit. So, for the moment, it's fine. But circumstances change - one thing you learn as you get older is that nothing stays the same for long!

We lived abroad for periods, during my working life (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) and put kids in a whole variety of schools. So I am maybe not so averse to travelling/change as some people who have lived in the same place all their lives. I also have experience of putting the UK house on the rental market, and not being too precious about it - also quite important, in terms of financial security. Rents in some parts of the UK are high enough to rent somewhere within striking distance of an Alp. Maybe just for 6 months?

Mr Piehole. Will you stay in France?
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pam w wrote:
Mr Piehole. Will you stay in France?


No.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I want to! But I'm a long way off at the moment. I have a house in the East Midlands which is approaching negative equity and not economically rentable. I'm also not 'done' with my career, not to mention the need for a second income meaning I work very long hours. No point living in the mountains and not having the time to go skiing because I'm always working to make ends meet.

But the long term plan is to pay the mortgage off and hope the UK housing market recovers to a point where I can sell my house for enough to be able to buy somewhere to live in the Alps. Without having to pay a mortgage/rent I should be able to earn enough through remote freelance work to support myself. That's the plan anyway. I've got enormous respect for those who have already achieved their dreams.
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pam w, renting out our house was part of the plan, but with two adult children back at home, until they move out for good, or can afford to pay us a market rent, it isn't an option for the foreseeable future.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hells Bells, New gov. rent a room with tax relief might be an oppor.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
pam w wrote:
UK house on the rental market, and not being too precious about it

Mr Piehole. Will you stay in France?


That is exactly my position at the moment. To all intent's and purposes we have outgrown our family home and we inherrited our semi-retirement home a few years ago. At the moment one of the kids is living in that (rent-free) whilst saving for a deposit, just pays utilities and the other is at Uni, and when he comes home, he now tends to spend more time at our other place. O.H. will not hear of renting either place out because of emotional attachment, personally I could not care less as long as they don't get trashed and a security bond should take care of that.

If my wife was as the same mindset as me and times were different for my kids, we could sell up tomorrow and go for it, whilst we are both young enough. But it isn't just me and quite frankly everything else is more important than a dream that may not work out. That's the reality of it, for me at least.

Never been more asset rich, cash poor in my life snowHead
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SPECIALMAN,
My advice to you is get made redundant and buy a motorhome, drive to la Charmettes in Monetier, park near the pikies, get a seasons lift pass and live the dream!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Hmm, mine's a difficult tale, started seasons when I left uni and havn't stopped since (mid-30's now), I've worked everything from cleaning chalets to coaching local US freestyle teams and everything inbetween just to earn enough $$ to put some turns in and eventually got good enough at blagging to pick up some sponsors Little Angel Once you get into the season game its important to get your contacts down and you never know where it can take you, I've had offers of work from ski instructing and coaching to crewing superyachts in the Med thrown my way over the years!

Then a few years ago I started talking ski production with some friends and collegues and havn't looked back since, I have lived in Mayrhofen for the past four years in a "pikey wagon" to ease all the travelling I do with the company whilst spending summer in Oxford and love it! There's so much energy in the mountains and to be honest I couldnt do without it nowadays.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
the_doc, Do you own White Dot?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
One of the guys yup.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
When/if the housing market picks up, we will sell our current busineses and spend the winter ski season in Montalbert and the Summer somewhere in the UK.
Just need the UK economy to sort itself out....... Confused
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Interesting thread.

Quote:

Anyone can move.to.the mountains. Lots of people say they 'can't' - in reality they mean they don't want to.sacrifice a.stable job/income/nice house/etc - which is entirely understandable!

Quite right!

First, decide what you REALLY want before even start thinking of how to achieve it.

I bet a lot of people who WISH they could live in the mountains don't actually WANT to live in the mountains. Nothing wrong with the living IN part, it's the living WITHOUT part.

And I don't mean material things.

- Can you live WITHOUT your family (spouse, kids, parents)?

If your spouse don't share that same wish of living in the mountain, will you go without them? Probably no for most. If your kids are in school, will you leave them behind, probably not. If your parents are old and frail, will you leave the care to your siblings? Probably not. The list goes on...

- Can you live WITHOUT easy access to ... (fill in the blank)?

That's where I fall in. I can't live WITHOUT access to opera and cycling and sea kayaking. The first and last, I can't do in the mountains. Even with cycling, I tried and found I want a good mixture of terrain, not going ONLY steeply up and down. The best cycling are in the foothills, not in the rugged part of the mountains where skiing is typically done.

So my answer turn out to be, I would not be happy moving to the mountains. I wouldn't even live in the mountains in the winter time because that happens to be the opera season! So I stop worrying about how to afford living in the mountains. It's just an idle wish. Harmless to fantasize about but no worth thinking too much about it.

I'll simply continue with doing weekends and some weeks of skiing.

- Can you live WITHOUT your current career?

Many people just work but not enjoy it. For them, the answer is pretty easy, find another job in the mountains. But for others, they enjoy their work enough they might not want to live without.

I'm in that camp myself. My daily work is so much fun I wouldn't give up it up for other recreation, period! Toofy Grin Though in my case, I could do my job in the mountains if I so wish. Only I don't wish to do so due to other things I can't live without.

I did, instead, moved a bit closer to the mountains so I can have both skiing and opera, and still can visit my Mom when she needs me. And this being in the foothills where the best cycling is. It's about as much mountain as I can take! wink

Clarky is quite right though, if at the end of list, your answer is you can live without other "things" in order to ski, there's almost always a way to DO IT!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
abc, interestingly, I live at the halfway point of a lift system with world class skiing and biking at one end, and a theatre-type place that also has opera shows right next to the bottom station! Laughing We always get a weekly does of Opera as the woman in the flat above is also a fan, and like to play it loudly every Friday night - usually when I have to be up early in the morning. Very tempting to start playing some punk rock back...

No sea kayaking, though we have plenty of whitewater/flatwater touring nearby, and lakes not that far off either
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mr Piehole wrote:
Made redundant in the UK, took enough of a payout to take the pressure off finding another job immediately, realised that having an 18 month old was the perfect time to do one last 'daft' thing before we had to settle down and put him into a school and grow up and all that, drew a big circle around the Alps on a map, said to myself 'get a job inside that circle', targetted some appropriate companies, got two offers (one in France, one in Switzerland), accepted one of them.

It was either that or move to Warwickshire.


I'm stuck in Warwickshire. You made the right move.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Interesting thread. My wife won't step outside if there's a frost, so there's no chance we'll be moving to slipperyland!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I've lived in Warwickshire before. I like Warwickshire. Quite a lot.
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From personal experience "It is always later than you think"
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I just wanted to get away from Goldsmith so I ran off to Austria and hang out in smoke filled bars / restaurants. The gestapo have his picture and are looking out for Goldsmith at the borders / airports with a set of Terms & conditions for him to sign. We have prepared a room in zee cellar for him .....
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I spent three years doing a job I loved for people who were bullies, so not a pleasant work environment. Eventually I got so upset with the situation that I asked some friends what I could do to 'opt out'. One of my friends had done a season the previous winter and recommended it. 6 weeks later I was a Chalet Host in La Plagne!! I'm about to start on my third season.

The biggest disadvantage I find is that, not owning my own home, I have to find a place to live and a job in an area that isn't too far from my sister, niece and nephew. I've been lucky so far, although have only done bar work for the last two summers. But have already been offered somewhere to live next summer and they think they may be able to find me a better job too.


so, I have an amazing 5 months in the mountains, doing a job I love and getting to ski up to six days a week Smile (ok, I haven't skied that much in the two seasons due to not having much confidence - but I did get so much more confidence by the end of last season that this year should be different!!) The small disadvantage of relying on the kindness of strangers is hard sometimes and being very poor is difficult - but then, I never had much money before I opted out as nearly everything I earned went on a place to live, commuting and surviving. There was very little left over for LIVING Sad


Currently, I've never been happier than when I'm in the mountains and any time I'm not so happy in the UK, at least I know I'm going back Very Happy My absolute dream would be to somehow find a way to buy an apartment - but I'd need a real job will a really good wage for that!! Back to the balance of work/life/happiness. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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Got married late, so had time to do 6 seasons while still young free and single - 3 in Val Thorens (playing piano, selling apartments, bar work) and 3 as a SCGB rep in assorted resorts (St Anton, Whistler, Tignes, Argentiere...) Good times!

Now ski-ing with the children, which is fun in a very different kid of way!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
If you want something badly enough, you do without other things to get it. I've only been skiing for 5 years but have averaged five weeks a season and this winter will be my first full season in the Alps ski bumming (not working).

I've given up other things to be able to do this but I don't miss them, still have a good standard of living and think it's worth it. It helps that I have zero debt and no dependants.
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I did an instructing course in NZ in between my second and third year of Uni, then once I finished moved to CO to instruct there. Did 2 seasons, then the visa rules there changed, so switched to Japan. In the summers taught in NZ, with a summer in Turkey teaching sailing as well. Now I am heading back for my 5th season in Japan after spending my 2nd in Chile. For the last 3 years I haven't had to work any other jobs apart from instructing, so I go on holiday for about 4 months a year, and spend a few weeks in the UK as well.

Yes I do miss some things, but right now it feels like a fun way to live, when I do something new it'll probably still be within skiing or tourism.
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As abc, says, it's something to fantasise about, but realistically it wouldn't happen, and certainly not for many years.

I'm very jealous of Steve Angus though, his job/life is amazing!

Also my skills are rather specific, so unless Radio Val d'Isere is hiring I think I'd struggle to find work!
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