Preparing for Winter in Austria
Winter in Austria is beautiful as the Alpine towns come alive with the skiing season, but amidst all of the magic and fun is the fact that it is FREEZING COLD. As I prepare for my first full winter season in Austria, I thought it would be worthwhile to share some of my preparations as I gear up for the cold months ahead.
To begin, here are some amusing facts about how naive I was about cold weather when I moved to Austria:
- Before coming to Austria, I had literally never seen snow fall from the sky. I knew of snow and I had visited snow a couple of times, but the whole process of snowflakes falling from the sky was completely new to me.
- As a San Diego native, I used to consider 55 degrees Farenheit/13 degrees Celsius cold. No joke, you would catch me in a scarf, jacket, and boots at that temperature like I was preparing for a trip to the North Pole.
- I have never been skiing. Yes, I know, I live in Austria right by the Alps and have no idea how to ski – the humanity!
Now that you know that I am in no way a cold weather person, let’s get down to business.
Where, oh where, would I be without my winter coat? Oh, I know, freezing. A good winter coat is the best investment I have made in the last five years. After reading lots of articles, here is the summary of what makes a good winter coat: insulated, water resistant, has a built in hood, easy to transport, and preferably falls to at least your thighs. I purchased a coat from Columbia before moving to Austria and wear it almost every day November – March. In addition to a coat, I also recommend thermal layers to stay cozy on outdoor adventures. Last but not least, make sure you have an excellent pair of winter boots. Your winter boots should be water resistant, have excellent traction for slippery walkways, cover your ankle, and offer some form of insulation.
Protect your skin during the cold winter season by drinking plenty of water, moisturizing your skin daily, and wearing SPF. I have a good quality hand cream and face cream that I use before bed to help prevent my skin from cracking. Don’t forget the SPF, sunscreen is not just for summer!
During the Winter, I have learned the importance of finding the positive in each day. I definitely get the winter blues, and it can be hard to feel energized and optimistic when daylight hours are scarce. I try to create new routines that are special to winter time to help me appreciate the season a little more. I treat myself to new tea varieties, return to a weekly yoga practice, and light candles each evening before bed. Find something that awakens happiness in you and make a habit of finding the positive in every day.
Now that Winter is just around the corner, I need to figure out how this whole skiing thing works. And while I am at it, I should probably figure out the whole ice skating thing too.
For now, I will just savor the things I enjoy about cold weather – homemade soup, movie nights with all of the cozy blankets, crocheting scarves, and admiring the natural beauty of Austria in winter.
Feel free to comment with any additional preparation tips, I can use all of the help I can get!