"Mom I have a problem, I think Vancouver Island is my new home"
I'm sure you have been in a situation at some point, where you say enthusiastically: "Yeah I can do that!" and afterwards you think: "Hmmm, why did I say that?!"
My journey started on the 31st of January in the Netherlands, as I left the Dutch winter for an exchange program with the University of Newcastle in sunny Australia. While living the Australian life of surfing and barbeques. I met a couple of Canadians. They told me that if I wanted to combine all kinds of adventure and action sports, then Vancouver Island would be the ideal playground.
Luckily, I had to seek out an internship for the semester after my exchange program in Australia. My university allowed me to choose a company anywhere in the world, as long as it ticked all the required boxes. With the words of the Canadian guys in mind, I started the search for a company with internship possibilities on Vancouver Island. In the end I managed to get a marketing internship at Section 8 Snowsport Institute. Additionally, I'm also taking a 12 week snowboard course to get my CASI 2 instructor certificate.
On the 29th of July I set my first step on the Island. A step that that would end up having a bigger impact on my life then I could've ever expected. The Canadians I met in Australia didn’t lie about the Island! In less than ten days I went surfing, downhill mountain biking, fishing, hiking and kayaking. It was love at first sight! After only two weeks I called my family and said: "Mom I have a problem, I think Vancouver Island is my new home".
In early September I got in touch with a Dutch Freeski magazine, called the White Freeski Magazine. During our time e-mailing we were joking about which discipline is more fun, snowboarding or skiing. And then I got an e-mail saying: "Erik, I challenge you to take the twelve week instructor course on ski’s instead of your snowboard"..
Although I never touched a ski in my life, I replied: "Sounds like an interesting challenge,
I will take it!" White Freeski Magazine is now covering my journey in learning to ski at Mount Washington. To make it even more interesting, we're adding a 360 spin and a back flip by seasons end to the challenge of learning to ski. We need to make this interesting!
After sending the e-mail to the magazine, I said to myself: "Why did I take this challenge?!" The problem wasn't the skiing part, it was the lack of funds for the project! I had to make a decision, back out of the challenge or try to do everything I could to become a ski hero by the end of the season. I knew it would take hard work, soliciting of sponsorships and lots of time.
The last option was the only right one in my mind. So here it is, I will take you with me on my Canadian journey on Vancouver Island this season with the project "From Zero to Ski Hero". I will not just share the ski adventure, I will also talk about how it is to be a blond Dutch guy at Mount Washington. With all of the highs, the lows, the fun, the new friends and the great adventures.