Why you’re not going to find your soulmate in a ski town

Unqualified life advice from a former ski bum - part one

Snow addict Jen Houltham gives SnowsBest readers her ski bum unqualified life advice.

You’ve just booked your working holiday in Canada. You’re psyched – you’ll be heading over there a happy-go-lucky single with the world at your fingertips, ready to see the world.

In the back of your mind, you’re already imagining the super-babe Canadian you’re going to fall in love with and have beautiful half-Canadian babies and raise them on the slopes of Whistler. The kids will be pros at 12, your retirement will be paid for by Red Bull and life will be a dream.

I’m not even sorry – I’m here to crush that dream. Ah well.

I get it, I’ve totally been there. Young, dumb and full of a life fantasy of love in a wood cabin, at the foot of your favourite mountain, on the banks of a beautiful lake. You’re exploring the world, you’re getting out there on your own – why shouldn’t you be rewarded with the love of your life?

But reality is a cruel, cruel mistress and she’s here to slap you with a whole lotta wake-the-heck-up so you can either choose to listen to me, or find out for yourself the hard way.

Here’s a couple of the main reasons why your Ski Town Romance (STR) is never gonna be your One And Only (OAO).

The timeline doesn’t work

So, let’s face it, the average ski season lasts at max six months from woah to go if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, and around four months in Australia or New Zealand.

The first issue with that timeline is that you need to pack in a lot into just a few months, because one or both of you will have a visa expiring soon and you don’t have much time to decide whether they’re the OAO you want to travel the world with (or bring back to Melbourne to meet your parents).

You’ve got to speed through every “next step” – dating, spending every evening Netflix and Chillin’, moving in together. You’ve got to do it all in the space of a few months. Eek!

Now let’s factor in the hidden math – the super reliable source Primer Magazine say the average honeymoon period lasts between six months and a year.

Even if you meet your STR in the first couple of weeks in a Northern Hemisphere season, they/you have the potential to hide their/your crazy for the entire length of your season together. Then you’re stuck in Rome with someone who’s more concerned about the angle you’re taking their latest Instagram post on (“make sure you get the whole Colosseum in, you’re doing it wrong!”), than the real life next steps of your relationship.

Turns out most ski towns are full of people from home

You want to meet some gorgeous foreigner? Here’s a fun fact: most of our favourite ski towns are full of Kiwis and Aussies. Whistralia, Niseko, Fernie, all those other ones, they’re all full of twangin’ Down Unda accents you thought you left behind when you set out to see the world.

But then, you think, maybe I’ll meet someone adventurous from back home. They’ll be the best of both worlds (you’re welcome for the Hannah Montana reference) – you’ll have a whirlwind romance, and then head home to start Real Life once your working holidays end.

Yeah, a good friend of mine thought that. She thought she’d met her OAO in Whistler, moved back home with him a few months ago, and has just signed up for Love Island. She’s totally gonna win – she’s a bloody legend. But still.

Let’s face it – barely any of them actually work out

Here I’m speaking from personal experience. Out of the 26 couples who got together in my winter season in Canada (and I was part of one of them), just three couples are still together four years later. And they were the exception – there was a heck of a lot of compromise for at least one of the halves in each relationship. They just got really lucky that they managed to find their OAO when all the odds were against them.

For what it’s worth, there are damn good people out there, and chances are they’ll be closer to home than you think. Just don’t expect to find someone perfect for you while you’re out “finding yourself” as you travel the world – the truth is that if you’re not grounded, you’ll probably frustrate the heck out of someone who is actually ready to settle down with you.

So don’t give up hope on finding your OAO, but don’t expect to find them in your STR.

Do you agree with Jen or did you meet your one true love while working a ski season?

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After starting out as a freelance journalist & snow bum (to pay the bills) in both New Zealand and Canada, Jen now has one of the snow industry's elusive "real jobs". She works & plays in the mountains of Wanaka, NZ.

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