In a new series called INSPIRED I chat to both men and women who inspire me, and will also inspire you. This month’s, and the first ever INSPIRED interview is with Faye Young, a 22 year old snowboarder and blogger. After learning how to snowboard indoors when she was younger she soon got itchy feet and knew she wanted to travel to the real mountains.
Her first trip abroad was to Lapland with her family and it instantly got her hooked on mountain life. From the age of 14 she started entering local competitions and also managed to get sponsored by her local snowboard shop Subvert. Faye also has a blog where she shares competition results for her audience and sponsors.
She now spends the winter months living in Mayrhofen, Austria and the summer months living in the New Forest, UK with her boyfriend in their Bailey caravan.
You’ve been on the slopes for eight years and have experienced six winter seasons abroad. What made you fall in love with snowboarding?
When I first started going along to freestyle nights at my local indoor slope I made loads of friends there which meant that the atmosphere was great. It’s really fun spending time with your mates on the slopes; you can chat away in the lift line and then try new tricks together. It’s amazing when you get to a resort and meet other girls there because you all have something in common straight away!
The mountain lifestyle and people I have met along the way really made me fall in love with snowboarding. My favourite days are when the sun is shining, I have my iPod in listening to cheesy pop songs and playing around on the piste together. Snowboarding takes your mind off everything, if I’m feeling stressed about anything I go for a ride and it clears my mind which is another reason why I love it so much.
What made you follow the path of endurance and adventure snowboarding?
Once I had been on my first trip to the mountains I knew I had to find a way to live there for as long as possible! Mountain life is so stress free and it’s so hard to leave when the spring comes. When I met my boyfriend he had been to Breckenridge in Colorado and told me how amazing it was, since then we have done six winter seasons abroad together so I guess having such a supportive partner who wants to do the same things as me helped give me the courage to chase the snow and new adventures.
You are always on the go! Where will your trip next trip be taking you?
Yes! I was in Austria 2 weeks ago for some glacier snowboarding! Summer is busy for us as we work on a Campsite in the New Forest so I won’t be going on any trips until winter time but I will squeeze in some indoor snowdome trips to keep me sane.
Where is your favourite place to snowboard?
Breckenridge, Colorado – It was such a big adventure for me, leaving high school and then jetting off to America just after turning 17 was so exciting. The resorts are huge there, they have the best parks in the world and I really enjoyed living there. The house we stayed in was amazing too; it was so hard saying goodbye to our hot tub overlooking the mountains!
What is your favourite gadget when you are on your travels?
My friends joke that I always look like a tourist wherever we go but I can’t help it! There have been times where I have wished I had my camera with me so now I take it everywhere and keep it in my bag so I don’t miss anything. I use the Canon SX60 which is a bridge camera so it’s really light and small enough to carry around all day but still captures really nice photos and videos.
What is your preferred mode of transportation?
I love travelling by car everywhere – road trips are my favourite, you end up seeing so much more than you would on a plane and you can stop at random places along the way. It’s so handy having a car with you too because on bad weather days you can go explore a city or find a new resort to ride.
When you are on the road, where do you lay your head? I hear you’ve got a Bailey caravan!
Yes! We have a Bailey caravan which we actually live in all year round! We tow it across to Austria in the winter and then back to the UK for work in the summer. It’s so great having all your own things with you when you are travelling, I never really get homesick because my home goes everywhere with me!
Having the caravan means we can save our money for the winter season instead of paying rent as our campsite job includes a free pitch and electricity so it works perfectly for us right now.
What’s next for Faye Young?!
I really want to keep improving my blog and encouraging more girls to get into snowboarding! I recently took up wakeboarding too so I’m trying to practise that through the summer and build my confidence up because it can be quite daunting at times. When winter comes I will be packing up and getting ready for the season to start in Austria again – fingers crossed we will get lots of snow this year!
If someone reading this wanted to get in to snowboarding where might they be able to go to learn the skills and get out on the mountain?
If you are in the UK then the indoor slopes and dry slopes are really good places to learn. It makes it a bit less daunting if you have already had some time to get used to the snow and understanding your equipment before you go abroad. Book a lesson with an instructor in a small group so that you get the most out of the lesson as it is hard work in the beginning. There are actually a lot of girls that ride at the indoor and dry slopes so you will make new friends to ride with and get advice from.
European resorts are so easy to get to now too, Innsbruck is a 1.5hour flight away and you can be at a really good resort in no time! The instructors abroad all have great English too and lots of mountain riding under their belt so within a week holiday you will be conquering red runs easily.
And finally, who is your ultimate travel partner?
Simon Cudlip – My boyfriend, we travel and work together so he is my ultimate travel partner. We have learnt how to deal with stressful situations together while travelling and I’m really lucky to have someone that has a passion for travel and snowboarding too!
Photo credit: Faye’s personal Instagram