Ex-nonstopers Gap Year Adventure
Nat came on our 11 week instructor course in 2010/2011. Here’s a bit about what she got up to in her year out!
After leaving school I was super excited to get out and explore, so I decided to take a gap year. It was packed with all sorts of fun. I first visited Ireland, which wasn’t too far from home. I was out there for three months completing a 12 week cookery course at Ballymaloe. It was a great experience, I loved the lifestyle out there, the people were great fun and I managed to learn some valuable skills.
After returning from Ireland I ventured out to Canada to do a season in Fernie with Nonstop Ski and Snowboard. I was there for 13 weeks and it was such a laugh. The instructors were amazing and I met some really great friends. The skiing was awesome, there was so much snow and I managed to improve my powder skiing, as well as gaining three ski qualifications. We went on some great trips and even enjoyed some fancy dress skiing sometimes. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. It was definitely a highlight of my gap year.
Once returning from Canada I decided to go travelling with a friend I met on the Nonstop course. We chased winter and popped down to New Zealand. We started our adventure in the North Island and managed to pick up some work in a kiwi factory, which was an interesting experience! We spent the first few nights in a caravan but then managed to find a hostel, which was much more comfortable. After working for nearly a month, we then hired a car and explored the North Island for two weeks visiting the Coromandel, Rotorua, Napier, lake Taupo and then Wellington.
We then hopped onto the ferry across to the South Island, arriving in the Marlborough Sounds, which was amazing. We then got jobs working in the vineyards which was hard work! We worked for five weeks meeting people along the way, though many people didn’t last long on the vineyards as they often underpaid, but it was a good experience. We also were able to explore the South Island for two weeks after that. We walked in the Marlborough Sounds, went whale watching visited the glaciers and Christchurch. We stayed at Wanaka and did two days skiing at Cardona and then Treble Cone. The snow really didn’t compare to Canada! We finished off in Queenstown which was a fun town.
On our return we stopped off in Australia to visit family and friends. I managed to see the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru which was amazing! I managed to meet up with a friend from back home as well as someone I met in Canada. I am so lucky and my gap year really was the best year of my life. I have awesome memories and friends from it who I am still in contact with.
I am now at uni down in Cornwall enjoying beach activities down there. I have started to learn to surf, as well as enjoying some cliff jumping from time to time. Since my ski course I was lucky enough to go skiing with my uni. During my Easter holiday I got a job working for Interski in Italy, which was awesome, as I managed to get in more skiing and get paid!