WORKING HOLIDAY ADVENTURES: a ski season in Whistler, Canada

working holiday

Getting a Working Holiday visa is becoming more and more popular as people start to realize that travelling is awesome and don’t want to stop. But seeing this incredible world is pricey and unless you’re a super hot Instagram superstar (seriously, why are there so many?!), it takes a lot to save enough cash to fund your travels.

If like me you just can’t wait to travel, doing a Working Holiday is the perfect option for becoming Dora the Explorer ASAP. So I’ve decided to start a series of interviews with fellow travellers who have done a Working Holiday anywhere in the world to help fuel your wanderlust and encourage you to do a Working Holiday, because it really is the best way to broaden your mind and your experiences of the world.

The most popular countries we travellers are choosing to live and work in are the UK, Canada – this is where I started in 2015 – Australia and New Zealand, but there are so many more options for living and working abroad. This series will cover all these countries and more, including China and even Russia!

Happy reading!

WORKING HOLIDAY ADVENTURES is a series of Q&A’s with travellers from around the world who have completed, or are currently doing, a Working Holiday. A new one is added every #wanderlustwednesday. To find more incredible personal stories to read, go here. Or sign up on the right to receive a monthly dose of travel stories straight to your inbox!

If you have a great story to tell from your Working Holiday and want to be featured email hilltopsandflipflops(at)gmail(dot)com.

Introducing…Alice from Tasmania, Australia

working holidayWhy did you decide to do a Working Holiday (WH)?
I love travelling and have always wanted to have a gap year. Instead I went straight from college, to university, to a full time job. I still remember the exact moment I decided to finally do it… I was on a bus in Europe and it was nearing the end of my trip. I was staring out the window watching the beautiful sites go by when it dawned on me, I wasn’t ready to go back to my 9-5 job. I wanted more than just a holiday. I wanted to travel with the freedom of not having a return ticket home.

Where did you go/are you on your WH?
I travelled through Europe for two months before going to teach in London for a few more months. After London I moved to Canada and have been living and working in Whistler, BC for a year and a half now.

How did you go about getting your WH Visa? 
In London I went through a teaching agency called SmartTeachers. For Canada, I went through The Working
Holiday Club.
working holidayHow did you prepare for your WH? 
I was living with my parents prior to going away so this helped with the saving process. I was also a Primary School Teacher in Tasmania so I was fortunate enough to have a solid income.

What job do you/did you do? How did you get it?
I work as a Lift Operator in Whistler which I got through The Working Holiday Club.

What’s been your highlight so far?
There have been so many unbelievable experiences. If I was to narrow it down I would choose…Europe – Hang gliding in Switzerland, it was an incredible feeling. Canada – snowboarding terrain I never thought I’d be capable of.
Also seeing bear cubs up close while hiking.
working holidayHow much travelling did you/have you done whilst on your WH?
Since living in Canada I have been to Seattle, Portland, Lake Tahoe in the USA and Mexico. I have also been to Big White ski resort in BC for a mini snowboarding trip and have visited two other ski resorts closer to Vancouver.

Have there been any down sides to a WH visa?
The hardest part is saying goodbye to the close friends you make. Everyone’s visas run out at different times so at the end of each season many people are heading home.

What have you learnt from the experience?
Travelling solo has made my self-confidence grow significantly. I now know that whatever situation I find myself in I will be ok. It has also reminded me of how I want to live my life when I do eventually go back home to work – outdoors, active and surrounded by people who share the same need for adventure.
working holidayWhat advice would you give to others thinking of doing a WHV to Canada?
Stop thinking about it and do it! Make it happen. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.

Give one travel tip for someone going to Canada
Don’t book a return flight home, you’re never going to want to leave. I only intended to stay overseas for a year, I’ve now been gone for two!

Name 3 of your favourite places or things to do in Whistler, Canada
Snowboarding on Blackcomb mountain
Hiking – Garibaldi Provincial park (Garibaldi Lake, Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge)
Swimming at Rainbow Park (Alta Lake)working holiday

Sounds like a great adventure! I also did a ski season working as a Lifty in Whistler – it’s how Alice and I met! Read about more what it’s like doing a ski season here.

You may also like: 

4 Rules for Living Abroad in your 20s

A day in the life of a Whistler Lifty



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