Serendipity and Skiing in Switzerland

I grew up skiing the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado. Being raised in the Panhandle of Texas, I was within four hours of the nearest ski resort. Considering I was ten hours from the nearest beach, trips to the mountains were the norm. Spring breaks were spent on the slopes, and some of my favorite childhood memories occurred while wearing skis.

Leah_Ski

Yeah…that’s me on the far left with the smallest bangs.

Three am wake-up call times with a 4:00 am departure were usual for my dad. The Suburban was loaded and coolers were packed the night before for the trek northwest. Loaded down with my favorite pillow, cassettes and extra batteries for my Walkman, and issues of Seventeen magazine, I looked forward to these adventures.

As the hours passed, the sun rose to reveal a different landscape. No longer was I looking at the flat, cotton fields of West Texas. Instead, the earth rose before me and trees became pine and aspen. To touch the window with my hand left me feeling chilled. Rolling down the window to breathe in the fresh mountain air invigorated me. The familiar smell made me nostalgic for previous trips and caused my pulse to race in anticipation for the one that lay before me.

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I was reminded of my love for the mountains on a June trip to Keystone, Colorado. Although in town for TBEX {Travel Blog Exchange}, I couldn’t help but think back to the countless vacations to Colorado from my youth. I hadn’t skied since college, but as I rode the gondola up the snowless mountain, I knew that hitting the slopes would be a travel priority for me in the winter. All-inclusive ski holidays are readily available and for the most part, a pretty good deal. Thankfully my vacation time will start over in the new year. I could think of no reason why I shouldn’t be braving a blue trail in the winter.

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A few months after visiting Keystone, something strange, wonderful, and unexpected happened. I was in the thick of planning my Go with Oh European tour, when a very special invitation arrived to my inbox.

“How does skiing in Switzerland sound?”

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Excuse me? How does it sound? Like a thousand angels singing the most glorious rendition of Hallelujah. It also sounds like a pen scratching numbers 73 and 75 off my to-do list. So, along with my favorite European blogger, Mrs. O Around the World, in January I’m off to Verbier, Switzerland.

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It’s going to be a quick trip, but as I learned when I visited Spain in September, some Switzerland is better than no Switzerland. I suppose I should be a bit concerned that I’m 38, haven’t skied in 20 years, and have a hard time believing there is nothing I can’t do. This could be a dangerous combination given the fact that I’ll be hurling myself down the highest point in Switzerland. And since I’ll be with Mrs. O, there will probably be gin and tonics and Irish coffees involved.

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Switzerland was nowhere on my radar as I was riding that gondola up Keystone Mountain in June, but when an opportunity like this crosses my path, I’d be a fool to question it. Thus, the flight is booked and I’m awaiting my travel itinerary.

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I’ll still hit the Colorado slopes this winter. I’m eager to revisit the place that gave me so many happy childhood memories. However, there’s something to be said for thrill felt when seeing a new place. I can’t wait to experience the storybook setting that is Switzerland. And don’t forget the chocolate.

One must NEVER forget the chocolate.

 

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32 Comments
  • Graham GlobalGrasshopper
    October 14, 2012

    Superb news! Yet to even try skiing, but would love to have a go one day 😉

    • Leah Travels
      October 14, 2012

      I agree, Graham. I used to love skiing, and I hope I still do! The thing is that I’ll be with Ana, so I’ll have fun no matter what I’m doing.

  • Kieu ~ GQ trippin
    October 14, 2012

    Ahhh great news! Gin and tonic with Mrs. O in Switzerland sounds like a whole lot of fun on the slopes. I’m not much of an athlete on the snow but Gerard can’t wait to go snowboarding when we get home. Looking forward to hearing about your big trip!

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      I think that gin and tonics with Mrs. O anywhere sounds pretty awesome. Does Gerard snowboard in Northern California?

  • @mrsoaroundworld
    October 15, 2012

    See how you are getting to know me? I will also introduce you to vin-chaud, an apres-ski must. Lovely when it is cold. What you didn’t mention were the afternoons in the spa, massages and all 🙂 that is what afternoons are made off 😉

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      I figured that was obvious given the two on the trip. I’m just hoping that they’re not massaging around a cast. Fingers crossed, my friend.

  • Allison GoWithOh
    October 15, 2012

    Hey Leah! Sounds like an incredible trip! I have been skiing in Breckenridge, CO and let me tell you, you are in for a real treat when you hit the Swiss Alps! I trained throughout Switzerland over my Christmas holiday two years ago and it is too beautiful to describe! Let’s hope you have the energy after a month of travel with us!!

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      The fact that you’ve skied in Colorado and Switzerland makes me really happy. I can’t wait to see how they compare for myself. I’m sure the chocolate and cheese will in no way sway me in favor of the European mountains.

  • icoSnap
    October 15, 2012

    Awesome! I was in Switzerland last January and didn’t get a chance to skii but I went sledding. Definitely an awesome experience.

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      Oh, sledding! I didn’t even think about that. Consider it added to my itinerary.

  • Charu
    October 15, 2012

    so beautiful! I’m not a skiier but I’ve been snowshoeing in Wausau, WI (that too with a lot of powder, and beer was involved) but I’d love to revisit Switzerland one day.

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      Isn’t beer involved in every activity in Wisconsin? I think it’s a state law or something. 😉

  • the lazy travelers
    October 15, 2012

    we’d like to make the official hashtag for this trip: #bringbackthebangs2012.

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      Listen, ladies, I will take no hair smack talk from two grown-ass people wearing bows and headbands. Bam!

  • Raul (@ilivetotravel)
    October 15, 2012

    I am jealous! I have already skied in the Andes but skiing in the Alps is still in my bucket list. Right before skiing in Iran… That last one will be a harder one to check off, I fear…

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      Well, Raul, color me envious. I’ve never skied the Andes. We’ll have to switch and compare notes.

  • Spencer
    October 16, 2012

    I would so love to go to Switzerland one day. I hear it is amazing.

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      I’ve never been either, Spencer, so I trust I’m in for a treat. I’ll take lots of photos for you. 🙂

  • Scarlett
    October 16, 2012

    Haha too true; one must NEVER forget the chocolate!! I’ve always wanted to go skiing and this post has made me want to try it even more! xx

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      Hello!?! It’d be a crime against human nature to forget the chocolate. Perhaps I’ll eat chocolate while skiing. Now that’s an idea!

  • lola
    October 16, 2012

    love the photos you chose! i’m wanting to know Switzerland better than just the airport at some point soon. i’m so much more of a beach bunny than a snow bunny…but this is tempting!

    xo – lola

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      I know you’re a beach girl, but if you go late enough in the ski season you can ski in your bikini.

  • Lisa
    October 17, 2012

    Such exciting news!! I don’t downhill ski but I was in Switzerland for 1 day in March and the chocolate was divine!!

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      Ohhh…thanks for the chocolate report. I’m sure I’ll get my fill of skiing and chocolate. 🙂

  • Traveling Ted
    October 17, 2012

    Great childhood memories. I have cross-country skied for years, but my first downhill only happened a couple of years ago in Salt Lake City. I was hooked. Hope to get out west and to Europe someday to ski.

    • Leah Travels
      October 17, 2012

      That’s really shocking that Mr. Outdoorsman never skied until later in life. Maybe we can to a Colorado tweetup!

  • Villa Toscane
    October 18, 2012

    This is really nice blog. I love Switzerland and I want to come there to live my life so thanks for sharing this info,Its so nice and hope in future I will come there.

    • Leah Travels
      October 18, 2012

      I hope Switzerland is as wonderful as I imagine, and I do hope you get a chance to visit it as well.

  • Pola (@jettingaround)
    October 23, 2012

    Wow, this should be fun!!! I am no skier (twisted ankles in childhood have left me traumatized), but I absolutely adore mountain views.

    • Leah Travels
      October 24, 2012

      Yeah, I can see how twisted ankles would put you off skiing. I had plenty of those in my basketball days. 🙁 But yes, the views are worth the trip alone.

  • Tiana Kai
    December 7, 2012

    There is nothing like a good mountain! Great chosen pics byt the way, they make me get really excited for this season! I had two great snowboarding seasons in Colorado 2010/11 and 2011/12, going every weekend and it completely changed my life. I skied Verbier as a kid and scared myself to no end… 20 years later I decided boarding would be better for me. Every kid should ski or board, there’s nothing better, no great happiness than a full day boarding a mountain with great friends.

    • Leah Travels
      December 11, 2012

      I’ve never tried snowboarding. It didn’t even exist (I don’t think) when I was a kid. That really shows my age, doesn’t it. I can’t wait to strap on the skis again and give it a go. Lord help me and all those in my path.

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