One year ago my friend and co-worker Mindaugas asked me, what would you do, if every month you would get 75 000 Eur into your bank account. I answered promptly: “I would snowboard all the time”. My best friend Viktorija laughed and replied: “No!!! This is impossible! You wouldn’t do it! You would be bored and miss other things you like to do.”
Eleven months have passed and… I am snowboarding (almost) everyday. An if you ask – I am not getting 75 000 Eur to my account, haha 🙂 By the way, Viktorija was right: of course I cannot only snowboard, I have other missions to accomplish!
Me and my partner came to Gudauri (Georgia) on 13th of December and plan to stay here till early April. He is working as a snowboard instructor, also, rest of the time he learns new things, rides a lot and improves the technique every day.
Life here is not cheap: for the same money we could rent two decent flats in Vilnius. The prices of food in the shops are similar to lithuanian, though it is not what you would expect to pay in Georgia. Skiing resorts are separate republics and country standarts do not exist here.
As I’ve mentioned before, I do not snowboard from dawn till dusk – I am freelancing here, making online courses, managing social media communication and basically enjoying stillness of life. My everyday is full of slowliving: I work from home, chat with clients, create Facebook content, prepare for the courses, write the blogposts. I do learn a lot: read articles about social media marketing, follow the news, attend online courses. Yet, when I decide to go snowboarding, I throw myself in absolutely opposite sphere: I conquer myself trying to ride faster, getting into the off-road or powder, sometimes falling and overcoming my fears. So this is a totally different side – full of extreme experiences.
So, what is it like to live in a skiing resort the whole season? Firstly, I will mention the things I was expecting to get here:
#Snowboarding at the convenient time, circumstances and weather conditions. Earlier in my life, when I used to go to skiing resorts on holidays for a week: we did the maximum: snowboarding in the fog, in the snowstorm, snowboarding being exhausted or even injured – all because we had only 6 days to do that! Now I choose when and for how long to snowboard, usually you can meet me on the slopes on sunny days. On snowy days I work from home, clean the flat or make dinner.
This photo was taken last year while snowboarding in France on the stormy day. When they closed the lifts because of the snowstorm, we climbed the mountain on foot and kept on snowboarding. Maniacs.
#People. I meet a lot of new people and like-minded persons. I talk to many of them: in the lifts, on the slopes, at the cafes. Often I tell people my dream-come-true story. Yes, usually they are so suprised and shocked: living at the skiing resort? Snowboarding without limits? How come? I share this with everyone, honestly, I like the little flashes appearing in their eyes just listening to that! I want to inspire people to follow their dreams, so I share my journey and DREAM BIG philosophy with pleasure.
#Work I have been planning to work a lot: to blog, learn and enjoy the freelancers lifestyle. We have a fast and good internet here, although sometimes it dissapears, but, oh god, I cannot stress enough, how grateful I am for the internet and the opportunity to work from various countries.
And here are things I was NOT expecting about living in Gudauri, Georgia:
#Tourists (arabian mostly) walk on slopes as on boulevards or streets. I have never seen that in any EU skiing resort.
#Resort workers retrack the slopes on random times or sometimes do not retrack at all.
#Dogs are running or laying and chilling on the slopes like they don’t care!
#The lifts often stop and leave you hanging in the air. Good opportunity to chat or play games with other skiers though.
#Snowboarders! Yeah, in France, Italy, Slovakia usually snowboarders are the minority, because skiers form about 70 percent of all riders. Here, in Gudauri it feels like 50/50.
I was not expecting, that it will be such a challenge to get: good coffee, cacao, oats. Vegetables and fruits are not necessarily usual thing in the shops. Yes, in Tbilisi, you could dive and swim in the floods of apples, oranges, pomegranates, tomatoes and greenery. Here, in the mountains, normal food (veggies, some grain, flour or even bread!) can be a #deficit sometimes.
I did not know that we will be consuming so much authentic #chachapuries here. To tell you, we are counting them: statistically we eat from 1 to 4 a week, in total – 19 pieces in 7 weeks.
I did not know that almost every day I will be observing Georgians, sweeping the snow from the roofs, standing on the edges and making it in a life threatening way.
I was informed, but still cannot get used to that Georgians talking so loudly! I looks like they constantly fight, argue and shout. Emotional people.
Oh, don’t worry, at the end of my journey here, I will write an article about Georgia, culture and way of living.