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Homeless in Austria

Finding a job was easy. Finding a house on the other hand, was harder than Nat expected.

It’s been three months since I arrived in Austria and a hectic three months it has been.
When I first arrived here, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Things are quite different in the small town of Mayrhofen, Austria than what I was used to in Canada. In my first week, I secured a job as a snowboard instructor, which is what I do back home in Vancouver. I was eager to start work, as I love what I do.

But I was shocked to find out just how different being an instructor in Austria is to back home. I’m used to teaching beginners between the ages of seven and 12 and then heading inside for a hot chocolate to break up the lesson. Instead, I find myself teaching advanced riders in their mid-20s to late-40s, and heading to an après-bar for a beer after the lesson (which is encouraged by my ski school)!

Finding a job that I enjoy was easy, but finding accommodation was the stressful part. It is nearly impossible to find a place to live in this small town. Residents refuse to rent their apartments out to “seasonaires” because they have a reputation for destroying the place. And unfortunately my ski school’s staff accommodation was already full, so I was on my own.

My first month I lived with seven friends in a beautiful home, but on Christmas we had to move as it was rented out for the rest of the season. I then went to share a single bed with a friend for almost three weeks. After that, I moved from bed to bed for another three weeks until I finally secured myself a spot in our staff accommodation for the rest of the season.

It was tough being technically homeless for almost two months, but I think it helped my toughen my skin a little. This was definitely not what I thought I was going to get myself into when I first arrived in Mayrhofen, but I’m having a good season and I have met some amazing people that I’ve had quite a bit of fun with.

It’s now halfway through the season. I’m going to continue enjoying my time on the mountains shredding fresh powder, drinking beers out in the sun, and working through more obstacles that may come my way!

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Published in Work Abroad Blogs
Natalie Segovia

Natalie Segovia, 23, is originally from Vancouver, BC. You can find her on the mountain or at a hostel somewhere in the world. She's currently residing in Mayrhofen, Austria, teaching snowboarding. Follow Natalie’s ventures!

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