I am an ex-ski bum from America who lives in Adelaide, Australia – a place that gets no snow. I was working at a Colorado ski resort when I fell in love with an Aussie boy and I have since fallen in love with his hometown.
I explore my wonderful adopted home of South Australia, while we plan our next amazing ski trip.
Hi! My name is Ashley, and I am so excited that you have found my website, Altitude to Adelaide.
I am an American living in South Australia. It’s the driest state on the driest continent on Earth, which makes it kind of an odd place to end up for girl who loves to ski.
I found my way to South Australia through a series of life choices that revolved around skiing, creating a path that I never would have guessed but that, in hindsight, clearly had a theme.
From Chicago to Adelaide by Skis
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and my parents took our family on week-long ski trips to Colorado every year. I started skiing at three, and I haven’t missed a year since. When it came time to apply for colleges, I looked for one in Colorado because I wanted to be closer to the mountains and skiing. I chose my college because of skiing.
In college, I studied journalism and when it came time to graduate I applied for every newspaper in the country I could find that was within 30 miles of a ski resort. I ended up in Michigan. I chose a job and new home because of skiing.
After one year at the paper, working 60 hours a week (and not getting paid for nearly that) I decided that I needed to do one crazy thing before long work hours became the rest of my life. The only thing I had really ever wanted to do was be a ski bum, but it was approaching June. I thought I could follow the winter to the southern hemisphere, ski for a few months, then try to find a job back in Colorado. I chose to quit my job because of skiing.
I got a Working Holiday Visa and landed a job at a ski resort in New Zealand’s South Island. I ended up staying in New Zealand for a year. I loved the country, backpacking and travelling. I also wasn’t quite ready to go back to a “normal” job. After my year (the maximum allowed on the visa), I ended up back in Colorado working the lifts at Copper Mountain. I also had two other jobs so I could save money to travel again. I chose to be a ski and travel bum because of skiing.
After a summer backpacking around Europe, I returned to the ski resort for another season. That was the season I met my husband, we worked in the same department and he shared my love for sport and skiing. I don’t think you choose who you fall in love with, but I was always going to choose a skier.
This one just happened to be from a small city called Adelaide, in South Australia. After two seasons together in Colorado, we moved to Adelaide for a good job opportunity. I was happy to give it a try, upon the condition that I never missed a year skiing. We have kept that promise, travelling within Australia and overseas to ski on our holidays. Recently, skiing even played a theme in our wedding – we got married on top of Keystone Ski Resort during ski season. I chose to move across the world because I chose to be with a skier.
South Australia and Writing
My Next Adventure
I have been in Adelaide since 2007 and, despite its complete lack of snow, I have fallen in love with my new home. It has great beaches, lots of festivals, good food, excellent wine, and good weather year round. It’s not a huge city, but that’s also one of the things I like about it.
I started this blog in July 2018 because I needed a creative outlet and wanted to get back into writing. I hadn’t really written since 2003, when I quit my job as a reporter to backpack around New Zealand. However, like skiing, writing has played a big part in my life. (I even wrote my first story when I was four about a family ski trip.)
My hope is that over time, my writing continues to improve. I also hope that I am able to share skiing and South Australia with others, and communicate with like-minded people. I am excited that you’ve found me and I would love to hear from you – either via email or through comments on my posts. Please feel free to follow my blog as well.
Thanks for joining me!