Foreign Correspondent: Sarah Reid
Sarah Reid is an Australian freelance journalist who is living in British Columbia for the snow season. Read on for her tips for life in BC.
Name: Sarah Reid
Age: Old enough to know better.
Occupation: Freelance journalist and, at the moment, a retail assistant at a high-end ski store. You can find me by the Prada jackets …
Where do you live?: A teeny little room with no light fittings and unreliable plumbing in Whistler, BC, Canada.
Why did you move there?: I’ve always wanted to ‘do a season’ at the snow, and with Whistler/Blackcomb set to host the alpine events (and a series of amazing free gigs) during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, I figured there was no better place to go. I applied for seasonal employment during Whistler/Blackcomb’s annual Australian recruiting drive, and the minute I was accepted I packed my thermals and booked a one way ticket to Canada.
What do you love about your town/city?: Surrounded by stunning mountains swathed in snow, Whistler village is fairy-tale beautiful. The novelty of wading to work in knee deep snow has no where near worn off, and spending my days off on the slopes (or at the pub!) is pure bliss.
What is the most frustrating thing about your town/city?: Having to walk anywhere in ski boots is torturous, and the cost of self catering forces one to make supplies stretch as far as possible. Rice and soy sauce for dinner again, anyone?
What is the predominant faith in your area?: Après!
How does it affect your day-to-day life?: A day on the slopes isn’t complete without an après ski beverage. When the lifts close, Whistler’s bars and cafes pack out with punters debriefing over the days’ runs over a beer – or five. Missing après is missing out on Whistler.
Please describe typical local food: Carboriffic comfort food. Local favourites include poutine (hot chips drenched in gravy and topped with cheese curd), pizza (a night out isn’t complete without wolfing a slice of Fat Tony’s beef and blue cheese on your way home), burgers, beef chilli and hearty soups – no doubt the reason there are three gyms in town …
Are there any major attractions in your town? If so, what are they?: While some people come to Whistler just to party (and there is always a party raging somewhere in Whistler), for the rest of us it’s all about the snow. With more than 8,000 acres of skiable terrain across two mountains (linked by the Peak2Peak gondola, a $52million feat of engineering that opened in December 2008) there is always a new run, cornice, cliff or bowl to shred.
What do the locals do for fun?: Aside from skiing and boarding, Whistlerites can partake in dog sledding, heli-skiing, bungee jumping, zip-lining, snowmobiling and ice skating, while in summer the ski runs morph into BMX and hiking trails; the lakes thawing for swimming and fishing. Whistler also has its own cinema, a library, and loads of restaurants, bars, spas and fitness centres. Just two hours away, Vancouver is also a popular day trip.
Any tips or advice for people visiting your area?: If you hope to lose weight, save money or curb your penchant for partying in Whistler, turn around! And I can’t even begin to praise the importance of appropriate footwear – packing my wellies was the smartest decision I’ve ever made.
Sarah Reid is a journalist who recently crammed her Sydney life into a storage shed and set off to travel the globe. Indefinitely.
If you would like to know more about British Colombia, click here.
If you enjoyed Sarah Reid’s Foreign Correspondent, check out another one here.