The 'ultimate' bucket list for snow addicts...No.3
The Snow Rehab Bucket list returns with our first entry into the medals places with our number 3: riding powder in Japan or skiing/boarding an entire winter season!
In previous entries we've mentioned skiing in South America, Australia, New Zealand, France and America but we feel that no holiday can match a ski trip to the Orient, and in particular; Japan!
Where once skiing in Japan was prohibitively expensive for all but the highest earners in Europe, those 'bubble' days are over and Japan now offers far more competitive rates for accomodation and food while also offering lift passes at a significantly reduced rate over many of the bigger European and North American resorts- right now there has never been a better time to visit!
Furthermore, a visit to the far east will offer you far more than an incredibly skiing holiday. As we previously discussed in our skiing down under (Bucket List No.10), one of the greatest reasons for skiing in such places is that even when your holiday is over, a weekend city stay in the likes of Toyko or Kyoto will be as affordable as it could ever be! If you're out there already enjoying some of the deepest snowfalls (10-18m a season in many Japanese resorts) then why not hop onto a Bullet train at the end of the week and finish with a couple of days enjoying the delights of one of the world's biggest cities? Certainly it's what everyone in the office of Snow Rehab would love to do!
Our bucket list has been prepared to list the 10 things (budgets not included) that we'd love to do should the chances arise. Sometimes costs are not the preventative obstacle, it's rather time from work, time from families and the fear of the unknown that prevent us from pursuing certain dreams. But with the extension of the retirement age and kids growing up, many of us are left with a void of 15-20 years of work where the kids have left the family home but we still feel young and sometime the day-to-day jobs just no longer feels fulfilling. At Snow Rehab we've built a course for those in this position, our 'Did You Miss Your Gap Year?' campaign is tailor made for exactly people with these experiences. Often accomplished professionals with a paid off mortgage, or just those wishing for an adventure that was never an option when they were 18 or 21, for those with more ambition and keen for more than a one or two week experience, nothing can possibly beat an ENTIRE season's skiing or boarding!
Regardless of age, experience or degree of snowsports accomplishment, a season (or more?!) spent in a mountain environment will have a fundamental and lasting impact on whoever has the opportunity to live it. You'll find a whole new respect for your own independence, dexterity and ambitions for your skiing! Skiing will never be the same and you may never be totally happy with it again... Skiing is one of those few lifelong sports like walking, golf or riding a bike. It's something you can do whether you're 7 or 70- indeed, many of the very best instructors throughout the world are not those who spent more time the air than on the ground- they are the ones with the life experiences, analogies and stories to keep their classes entertained. After all, when you're having fun, learning is so much easier!
Seasons can be spent abroad in many roles. Some people opt to work in bars, chalets or running the lifts. Though these are all valid routes to spending a season on snow they simply can't offer the same experiences and time on the snow that instructing can. Demonstrating short radius turns for a class of pensioners or skiing backwards to watch your class of 7-year-old groms will improve you infinitely faster than any extended skiing holiday, whether it's in New Zealand or Japan!
A season abroad isn't for the faint-hearted, but neither is it only for the experienced and uber-confident. No doubt those with kids have already experienced some level of ski instruction, be it shouting at the youngest to stay in a snowplow or yelling at the oldest to slow down, to some extent we've all already done it! Ski resorts are crying out for the personable and those with great life experiences to help sell and share the love of snow to the next generations. To ski 100 days in a winter season must surely be on anyone's snowsports bucket list. If nothing else, entertain the idea. You deserve it!