You’ve just come back from an amazing week in the mountains, your head is full of candy-popping memories of deep snow and blue skies, your belly is happily gurgling its way through 15kg of melted cheese, your kids’ cheeks are all a-glowing and rosy red, you’re all riffing on “that eurocarve” and the amazing run you all had through the trees, your better half is looking at you like they did on the first night of your honeymoon when you bust out the body lotion, and then you start thinking back to the frothy days of being a saisonnaire – the hedonism, the shred-energy, the pot-washing, the soggy baguettes in your coat pocket… and you think… maybe we could do it again. Maybe we could do a season en famille?
Act on that instinct. Go do a season. Get the kids, get your other half, pack up the bags, stuff all the spaces left in the car with Marmite and porridge oats, and just go.
“We did a season together last winter, and it was the best thing ever. Here’s how you can too…”
Now, I don’t usually go in for the back-of-a-cornflakes-packet Facebook-grade rent-a-quote philosophy that is so beloved of digital people in shared workspaces, but this is one of those occasions where the phrase carpe diem is not out of place. Kids grow up so fast, and time goes way too quickly, just like my Grandma told me it would – so don’t wait. We did a season together last winter, and it was the best thing ever.
Here’s how you can too. By the way, if you want lots of detailed practical advice, this is not the article for you.
Deciding What Kind Of Season You Want
Are you doing this for fun? Are you doing this to broaden the kids’ minds? Are you doing this to road-test a completely new life? Your answers to the above will dictate how you tackle your season and which bits of advice you ignore.
“Stop spending all money immediately, and instead divert it into your ‘wahoo’ pot”
If you are doing this for fun, I would seriously suggest you try to save up in advance and just spend as much time snowboarding with your gang as possible. There’s plenty of time for work in your life (say…about 50 years’ worth), and I think it’s better to put some extra nose to the grindstone while back in the UK than soak up precious snowboard time doing a badly paid temporary job in resort. Stop spending all money immediately, and instead divert it into your “wahoo” pot.
If you are doing this for more sensible reasons (e.g. reducing a tax liability or making your children into better people), then you are reading the wrong article. You need to speak to your national embassy and use a spreadsheet.
The fact you are thinking about doing a season probably means that your job is not the most important thing in your life, so you should feel comfortable about walking away, even if they slam the door behind you after they have stuffed your resignation letter into your mouth and lit it with your flaming pubic hair.
Jobs are two-a-penny these days; you will easily find something to do when you get back. Worst case scenario, you could sell a kidney, become an accountant (no one else wants to do that) or if that fails, become a journalist writing about snowboarding – because there are loads of those gigs going and they pay a shit-load of cash for really short articles.
b) Kids’ school
Considering that some people would quite happily eat beyond-sell-by-date dog food and wear their testicles on the outside for years and years just to get their kids into a good school, the idea of extracting your progeny from school once you got “the place” can bring folk out in pustules, itchy hives and a host of other stress-related conditions.
This wasn’t an issue for us, as we live in rural West Wales where the schools are generally under-subscribed (for which the blame lies with capitalism, FIS and above all Step-On bindings) so it was a piece of cake to leave and have the kids waltz back in six months later…
Just walk out the door and shut it. If you are worried about burglarists, you could pay an art student to house-sit for six months or a year. Yes, they will probably cover the walls in abstract graffiti when high on LSD and soak the bed linen with undiluted cynicism and deadstock CK One, but you may be able to sell some of the rubbish they left lying around for millions after they’ve gone (if you wait until they die).
There are of course a million desperately boring things to worry about whilst you are away (bills, post re-direction, lawn-mowing, keeping the local drug dealer sweet) but this is so dull that every time I try and write about it my fingers turn into carrots.