Why I Will Be Snowboarding In 2012

Not too long ago I wrote about why I won’t be snowboarding this season. Well, since that accident I’ve had a lot of time to think, I’ve spent a lot of time off work. I’ve done a good deal thinking about the type of work that I’d like to do – and the way in which I’d like to be able to do that work. I know it’s hard for this to not sound like a cliche, but I’ve thought beyond that – about the other things in life that make me happy.

I get a lot of enjoyment from working on this site – writing about snowboarding. Unfortunately, this snowboarding blog doesn’t generate much money, nothing more than a contribution to an annual snowboarding trip. It would be great if it did, but the thing I get most in return from writing is enjoyment.

However, it has shown me that there is the potential to contribute more to my living through writing; with time and effort, there are ways that I could write about snowboarding, work with snowboarding, and for that effort to be closer to my job. I think.

As recently mentioned, I’m also working with a friend to write a couple of applications for the iPhone. It’s the first time I’ve developed for this platform, it’s even the first time I’ve ever used a mac (getting an iMac was such a drag), but these initial projects are going quite well. That doesn’t mean that I expect the apps themselves to be mega successful, but working on them is panning out quite nicely. I like it. It’s something I could continue to do in the future.

I used to get a lot of enjoyment from my actual job, as a software engineer. I work in the medical industry writing software to aid doctors and scientists as they help other people. It’s rewarding when you meet the customer and find that the work you’ve done is really making a difference.

But the situation, at my place, is changing. The projects we’re working on seem to fit less well with that underlying goal. And, whilst the medical industry is a satisfying sector to work in, my trade is still software development. Personally, I find our software development practices to be far from ideal, and that’s being kind. It makes work very frustrating.

I don’t suppose anyone from my company (except James) is reading this, but to avoid any potential issues, I won’t mention the company that I work for…

The result of my recent situation is that I’ve considered more enjoyable and more motivational ways in which I could work. I’ve started to dip my toes in. They might not be as well paid or as secure as a normal job, but I’m less bothered about that. I get a lot of satisfaction from working on my own projects – where I have a direct effect on their success.

Again, trying to avoid the cliche, the accident and the time I’ve spent off work have made me realise the importance of doing stuff that’s worthwhile and enjoyable. I’m not just talking about snowboarding – I’m thinking more about day-to-day life.

However, I should probably return to the title of this post – why I will be snowboarding in 2012.

If nothing changed, business as usual, I think I’d be looking to shred somewhere like Breck or Whistler. A two-week trip most likely. They’re both resorts that I’ve been interested in for a while, and I want to try them out.

However, over the last 5 years of so, one of the things that I would have really liked to do is spend the winter in a snowboard resort – do a season. I feel pretty strongly about this, and I don’t really want to go forward carrying a regret. The more I think about it, it seems like the best idea is to just do it. To make it happen.

I’m the type of person who wouldn’t like to say I’m doing a season in 2012 and then for it all to fall through. Just like the iPhone app, I’d rather talk about it once it’s live on the App Store. There is a good chunk of time between now and 2012…

Nonetheless, this is my plan. I’d like to learn more about my potential to make a living without a conventional job; to have flexibility in where and how I work. It may turn out that I can’t sustain this style (I don’t actually know what this style is) of work, but then again it might be enough to make a period of travelling more achievable. We’ll have to wrap a few things up, make some preparations, but it’s doable.

So I will be snowboarding in 2012. If I’ve got the courage to hold to my convictions, it will be for a few months, rather than a couple of weeks…


  • Reply December 3, 2010


    Hey Gavin,

    I happen to be a software engineer to. Mostly doing some consultancy on small&big projects for different companies. I’ve never tried making an iphone app before (probably because I don’t own one :D) but I’ve done my share of windows phone 7 development. The feeling your are writing about seems very common to me. My parents are living in Austria (pics on my blog) and I’m often wondering what I’m still doing here.. For some reason this reminds me of another thing I’ve read some time ago ( http://snowboarding.transworld.net/1000114448/featuresobf/remembering-craig-kelly/ ) .


  • Reply December 4, 2010


    Hey Kristof,

    yeah I knew you were a developer – from your tweets and posts. That ‘keys to reality’ article is pretty damn good! So you’re in Belgium, right? How far from mountains/resorts are you?

    I’d seen the pictures on your blog – your parents live in a pretty cool place! So are you self-employed? How mobile are you? If the answer is “quite” or “very” then yeah, that’s pretty cool!

    Just uploaded our first app today, wait and see if it’s accepted first time. You gotta be doing what you enjoy doing 🙂

    Cheers, Gavin

  • Reply December 5, 2010


    doing a season will be the best thing you ever do. not just for the snowboarding but for life experience. one tip i tell every one is that it will alway work out in one way or another. all you have to do is bite the bullet and go for it. in april this year i booked a ticket to canada with 3000 dollars to my name, a work visa and a snowboard. 6 days later i was on the flight in to canada and i didnt know a single person. nor did i even know what town i would head to. next thing i get told there is a friend of a friend in whitsler. he puts me up for free, i get a good job then eventually get my own place. now im riding 6 days a week and living on the mountain.

  • Reply December 5, 2010


    Hey Zak,

    man that’s a good situation. I think you’re totally right about just biting the bullet and doing it. I’m certain that no matter what we do, when/if we come back, stuff will get sorted out – the hard part is saying “we’re doing it” and sticking to it. Biggest hurdle would be selling/renting our house… there’s no way we could afford to keep paying the bills while being away for 6 months or so.

  • Reply December 18, 2010


    Breaking routine can definitely be hard to do if your concerned with your security, but sometimes a little bad luck can really work out well. In your case you got injured, in my case I got laid off.

    Like you, it also gave me time to think and figure out what I wanted to do rather than what I had to do. Although I did quickly get a part time job (im a web designer/developer) I ended up leaving it to freelance after a few weeks. It’s only been 3 month since, and while it is stressful making sure I make good money each month to pay the bills with my 2 kids and a house, it has also been the best 3 months of work I have ever had. Having the flexibility to work from home and go boarding midweek is a benefit no other job can offer. So while im not sure if it will work out forever, I’m making it work right now and that’s all that matters. No more waiting for weekends! When it snows, i go north, it’s as simple as that, and if necessary I just work on the weekend.

    So I say go for it, even if you cant make it out for an entire season it’s good to mix life up a bit, and who knows, might be the best decision of your life.

  • Reply December 18, 2010


    Hey Dan,

    that’s awesome:
    “So while im not sure if it will work out forever, I’m making it work right now and that’s all that matters. No more waiting for weekends!”

    It’s exactly the way that I’m thinking.
    I do, just want to mix things up a bit. I hope it continues to work well for you!

    Cheers, Gavin

  • Reply December 18, 2010

    David Z

    that “Keys to Reality” article changed my life. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I’ve been having a lot of the same thoughts as you lately, Gavin.

    Although I have no illusions about skipping out and doing a season somewhere, it has helped me refocus and re-prioritize my life. I guess the takeaway is that whether you want to get 30 days on the slopes or 100 days, the formula is the same: you need to free yourself from all the other stuff in life that keeps you off the mountain. In the extreme case that’s freeing yourself from the corporate job: become your own boss, find your own ways to make money, etc. But in the more moderate cases, it’s freeing yourself from bills, paying off debts, spending within your means, and maybe not buying that $5 Latte because you know that’s $5 that you could keep saving towards another snowboard trip.


  • Reply December 20, 2010


    Hey David,

    it’s strange isn’t it. Don’t know whether it’s one thing leading to another, or coincidence, or whatever… but at the moment, there are a lot of things that keep making me think about -> doing the things that I enjoy the most. As you put it, refocusing and re-prioritising.

    It all makes me think that life is too short (huge cliche, I know), and it isn’t worth wasting your time doing stuff you don’t like, that includes both myself and Ciara. I’m really looking forward to getting back on a snowboard 😉

    Cheers, Gav

  • Reply December 23, 2010


    You should definitely do it.

    I did the 2009/2010 season in Tahoe and loved every minute it, from the snowboarding to the partying to the peacefulness. As an independent web developer, I can work from anywhere and decided that this was something I had to do in my life (preferably while I’m young, single and mobile) or else I would regret it forever. It allowed me to reflect and think deeply about other issues I was dealing with at the time, such as family, career, friends, etc. I think without this time off/away, moving forward in life would have been more difficult, and at the end of the season, I just felt refreshed and content on so many levels.

    Now one year later, I think about the trip and it’s an easy way to make myself feel good on an otherwise down day because I had accomplished many things that were personal to me at the time… including the ability to go snowboarding like an animal at a moments notice.

    Tahoe is great because there’s over 10 resorts around the lake and they get plenty of snow, especially this season, which will probably break records or at least some close in terms of snowfall. It’s also very beautiful and scenic… a common tourist destination with plenty to do.

    Good luck.

  • Reply December 24, 2010


    Hey JL,

    thanks for the support, I appreciate it. Also really pleased that your season in Tahoe worked out well, and yeah, Tahoe would be an awesome place to go snowboarding!

    Like you said, it’s no good moving forward if you think you’re leaving something behind that you’re going to regret, because sooner or later you lose the option to do it.

    Cheers, Gavin

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