Joe Branagan is 25-year-old male from Brisbane Australia. After finishing his university degree and working for a year back home, he decided to come to Fernie to live out his dream of being a ski bum for the 2016/17 winter season!
How did you hear about Fernie?
I only really found out about Fernie a few months before I decided to come over to Canada. I have a few friends who have been travelling around North America for the past year and now reside here. They told me I would love it here and that the ski resort is really awesome. After that, my mind was pretty much made up. I also preferred the idea of living in a small town rather than a big city.
What do you do for employment?
I specifically came over here to not work haha. It was something I’ve always wanted to do. I just saved up before I came so I can enjoy the full winter season and go snowboarding every day.
What were your initial thoughts after arriving?
I didn’t really know what to expect. The only information I had was from my friends who had been living here for a few months, and they only ever had positives things to say. After a few days of settling in I knew I had made the right decision to come here and spend the winter. It’s a great little town, with lots of friendly people and a big ski hill. It ticked all the boxes for me.
Ski or Snowboard?
I did a little bit of skiing back in Aus, but I’ve come here to focus more on snowboarding. I’ve picked it up much quicker than I thought and am really enjoying it, probably even more than skiing!
What do you hope to achieve with your time in Fernie?
I think it’s pretty clear that I’ve come here to focus on snowboarding as much as I can. So yeah if I were here to achieve any sort of goals it would be to just have as much fun as possible, meet great people and to enjoy the mountains.
Do you have a favourite place in town and why?
Well the place I go to the most is the hill. I love sushi so I have been going to Yamagoya a lot recently haha. I enjoy the bars in town also. There are lots of cool spots but I wouldn’t say I have a particular favourite.
What has been your favourite experience in Fernie so far?
Australia Day would definitely be a highlight so far. We kept it traditional and had a BBQ and some drinks and listened to the hottest 100. It was just like being back home but much colder. Improving my snowboarding has also been a great experience. Like I mentioned I was a bit of a novice before coming over here, but I’m more confident in my riding every day.
Tell us something interesting about you?
Haha ummm when I was younger, maybe 13 or 14, my friends and I thought it would be cool to brand ourselves. So we heated up a spatula and we all burned the same mark on our arms. Needless to say it got infected and looked terrible, but fortunately it has almost disappeared, ten years later.