Yesterday was my 25th day on the mountain, 28th if you count training. The ski bum life is all about the mountain. And my job as a snowboard instructor makes it difficult to ignore. Yet despite convenient access to endless winter activities, at times I'm overcome with wanderlust.
Living in a ski town is pretty awesome. From bars and restaurants, to grocery stores and even a movie theater, all of our basic needs are covered within a five mile radius, all easily reached by free shuttle. I can walk out my front door and be on a lift in less than ten minutes. On off days I can shuttle to Breckenridge for a lap and beer, or ride the steeps at A-basin. But sometimes, when the slopes are crowded, or when the lighting is just right, I want nothing more than to get in my car and drive.
No destination, no schedule, just me, my car, and the road.
When I moved out here last month, I made the decision to leave my Saab 9-3 behind. I wasn't ready to sell it, but the thought of purchasing snow tires and dealing with potential maintenance issues just seemed like too much of a hassle. Whereas with previous moves I had packed my car to the brim, this time I was determined to downsize. Ultimately I was able to fit all of my necessities into one medium sized suitcase, and one snowboard bag, a decision I hardly regret. But less baggage aside, I really miss my car.
After two years of driving a family hand me down, and saving all the while, I purchased my 2008 Saab 9-3 in December of 2012. Hardly the most popular choice for an 18 year old kid, I fell in love with the car as soon as I inserted the key fob into its center console ignition. Filled with quirks like hidden cup holders, a boost gauge, and night mode, this car was endless amusement. Powered by an efficient yet exciting 2.0L turbo, and upholstered with a soft premium leather, my new car was the perfect blend of luxury and sport.
Despite warnings of high repair costs and almost certain issues, in my five years of ownership, the car has been nothing but dependable. From countless trips back and forth to Lubbock from home, and several more to Colorado and back, I rarely went a day without driving it, an act that was always more pleasure than chore.
The whistle of its turbo as it smoothly accelerated around mountain turns. The smell of its leather. The quality feel of the steering wheel in my hands. And most of all, the freedom of the open road and all of the possabilities it represents.
I often find that wanderlust is over romanticized, particularly amongst my generation. This grandiose idea of endless travel is one that can been seen promoted on any social media platform, at any time. The thought that somehow constantly drifting will lead to some sort of enlightenment has, in my opinion, become far too common and misunderstood. But god dammit, I really miss my car.