Monster Energy’s roster of world-class skiers have seen it all. From the peaks of Alaska filming to the Winter X Games in Aspen, the collected experiences of these athletes is innumerable. And as these guys and gals have traversed the globe in search of pristine snow, daunting mountains and bigger and better jumps, they’ve learned a thing or two about how to travel. Here, seven of them share their trials, tips and tribulations from a life on the road..
Gus Kenworthy // United States
On combating jet lag:
One thing I think about is that it`s easier to force yourself to stay awake than it is to fall asleep. When you’re flying from North America to Europe, try and sleep as much as you can on the flight but since you`ll be arriving in the morning. The most important thing is to make sure you don`t sleep during the day. Force yourself to go see the sights because if you can hold out on sleeping until 8 or 9 you’ll be set. From Europe to the US you`ll be arriving in the evening so try to stay awake on the flight to ensure you can sleep when you get home!
What he’s reading:
I read 10% Happier by Dan Harris and it was really good. I know that a self-help book about meditation might not sound like something worth reading but I actually took a lot from it and would recommend it to anyone. Justin Dorey introduced me to it as something he had read and told me it had resonated with him so I decided to check it out.
On not switching seats:
I hadn’t been traveling too much but [once] on a flight I was sitting in the window in the bulkhead row and the woman in the middle asked if I would switch with her husband who was also in a middle seat toward the back of the plane. I responded—as politely as I could—that I preferred the window seat and didn’t want to move. She gawked at me like I had just said something horrible. I considered elaborating and telling her that I had recently had a knee surgery but I decided not to waste my breath and put my headphones on instead.
On the road health:
Ugh, I feel like I kind of binge eat when I`m traveling. Like, for a few days during my trip I’ll eat and drink whatever but then as soon as I’m able to eat healthy again I`ll try and tighten down on my diet. It`s hard to not indulge when you’re on the road but most restaurants have healthy options, too. If I’ve been eating a lot of burgers or pastas then I’ll try and have a day or two of mostly soups and salads and stuff. If there is a grocery store nearby fruits and veggies are the best for snacking and if you’re road tripping you can always find nuts and trail mix at gas stations as a healthy choice.
For me the hardest part is when you’re flying all over the place without going home in-between, you have to pack for a lot of different types of weather. Then when you`re between trips and half your clothes are dirty and half of them are clean, that is my nightmare! [laughs] One tip would be to bring a plastic bag with you for all your dirty clothes so that they don’t have to touch your clean stuff!
Check out Gus’s Instagram and Twitter feeds for more on his travels.
Alex Beaulieu-Marchand // Canada
I had been looking for a portable chessboard for a while, but I was never able to find a nice one. In Italy, I found this amazing store that specialized in society games. They had the perfect wooden, hand-carved, travel-sized, portable, magnetized chess board. It was expensive, of course, but it’s a souvenir that I carry on with me in most of my travels and I am so glad I bought it.
On expanding his horizons:
I am currently reading a book titled: Zero to One. Written by Pay Pal’s co-founder Peter Thiel, it’s a book about starting up new tech companies. It give’s you advice on ways to build successful startups that can change or influence our future. I stumbled on it in while watching a TV show and I ordered it right away.
On how he beat the system:
I was going from Dubai to Innsbruck to meet up with the Canadian team. Two days before they canceled the trip for lack of snow. I had to figure out a way back to Canada but traveling out of Innsbruck was impossible. Since I had a flight from Dubai to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Innsbruck, I thought I could just get out in Frankfurt and not take my second flight to Innsbruck. I looked online at flights from Frankfurt to Canada and found a pretty good deal. When I got to the airport in Dubai and told the crew I didn’t want my luggage to go to Innsbruck and wanted them out in Frankfurt, they told me it was impossible and I had to pay $3,000 to change my flight to go only to Frankfurt. I was freaking out because I had booked from Frankfurt to home and now they fucked my plan up. Since there was no way I was going to pay $3,000 to fly only to Frankfurt, I told them I was going to go to Innsbruck as planned. I took everything I could from my bags and piled them in my carry on, left all the rest in Dubai. When I got to Frankfurt I got out of the airport and back in to check in my next flight to Canada. When I was waiting for my flight, I was hearing them calling my name for the Innsbruck flight, but since I had no luggage aboard, they left without me and I left to Canada peacefully.
While traveling, you need to be proactive and resourceful to make sure everything goes well but at the same time remain calm and ready for anything to happen. If things don’t go your way, freaking out never makes it better.
For more info on ABM’s travels, check out his Instagram page.
Maggie Voisin // United States
On another way to deal with jet lag:
So far I’ve only been to two places where I have had to deal with bad jet lag and you probably don’t want to take any tips from me. I did the opposite of what you want to do and just sleep and never fought it.
Can’t live without…
Well as crazy as it sounds—but it’s the truth—I can't live without my beanies.
Well my tip to you is to be a cute, blonde [teen] girl, and if something isn't going your way just cry and act like it's the end of the world. [laughs] Just kidding. My simple tip to you is to just keep a positive attitude no matter the situation as hard as that can be. Whatever it may be, missing a flight or being delayed, find the humor out of it and I promise that will get you a lot further. That's much better, use that; I sound like a mom but whatever.
The biggest challenge for me used to be packing way more than I ever needed but I’m slowly starting to learn how to pack more appropriately. Then again, I don't know if I’ll ever be able to keep my bag under fifty pounds.
One of my favorite places so far is New Zealand. I've never been somewhere so beautiful. And it one of the most fun ski trips I’ve had in a while. Norway is definitely on my list of places to go along with Japan. I've had a craving to ski powder lately and Japan seems like the place to go!
For more on young Voisin’s life, follow her on Instagram.
On how to combat jet lag:
Just sleep when you want. Time is just a number. And jet lag’s for bitches.
His secret airport find:
Once I found a Chingy CD in the London airport. I listened to it for years. Still got it.
How to deal with bad luck:
There is always a way to deal with getting stuck somewhere you don’t want to be. Last summer my friends and I flew to a beach and then we got weathered in. In that case, we just surfed and fished while we waited… Not too bad.
What he forgets and wishes he could bring:
I’m not the best packer… Mostly, I forget important things like socks but end up with a bunch of things I don’t even use… I wish I could bring my dog everywhere.
Why travel is the best:
My favorite thing about traveling is the adventure. Skiing has taken me to some pretty awesome places.
For more information on Rory’s exploits, follow him on Twitter & Instagram.
Brita Sigourney // United States
I found a cool piece of green sea glass on a beach in New Zealand about years ago that still hangs out in my backpack pocket. I don’t know why, I just like it.
On traveling with a cankle:
I was traveling back from Switzerland after I broke my ankle at a training camp in Saas Fee. I had to leave a few days earlier than everyone else so I could get surgery right away, so that meant I was traveling alone with my ski bag, large duffel and crutches. I was supposed to fly from Geneva to Paris and then to SLC but of course there was an airline strike going on in Paris that caused me to get re-routed to Amsterdam and JFK with long layovers. I had wheelchair assistance but for some reason they kept forgetting to pick me up. Luckily, I met a lot of nice people that helped me but it was still one of my least favorite travel days. My ankle/foot was unrecognizable by the time I got home because it was so swollen.
When you’re weighing your ski bag (which is always overweight) keep one end propped up on your foot so it looks like it’s fully on the scale, but really you are taking 20 pounds off.
On extracurricular travel:
I love traveling because we get to see so many cool new places that we might not visit without skiing. Whenever I go on a trip I usually try to extend it by a few days to leave room for adventure outside of the competitions or training. We visited the Cook Islands coming back from New Zealand a few summers back. In hindsight, I don’t necessarily recommend the Cook Islands with your ski friends who you just spent three weeks with, but it was a learning experience.
Keep up with Brita on Instagram and Twitter.
Old is new:
The last [movie] I was watching was Happy Dayz, Poor Boyz Productions. I just really enjoy watching ski movies and this is a classic that will forever be one of the greatest.
Be polite at the desk and it will only make things better [at the airport].
On trying to be healthy:
I usually try to always eat right before boarding the flight since the plane food might be even more questionable as far as healthy food. Exercise-wise I usually don’t really do anything during the travel but try to stand up for a little during my flights and straighten the body so I don’t get stiff. Then when I arrive, I take care of the rest.
On life on the road so far:
I reminisce on great times; it always gives me lots of time to think back on all the great opportunities life has given me and how lucky I am for traveling around the world doing what I love the most. Which motivates me to do more.
On what he wishes he could pack the most:
That I can’t have all my friends with me and [they won’t] experience what I get to see during these months.
To keep up with Harlaut on the road, track his Instagram and Twitter feeds.