By Camilla Pizzini
With Life in White
By Camilla Pizzini
With Life in White
They are Laura and Gabriel, a Spanish couple living between Austria and Chile, who also spend a few months a year in Japan. Each year their aim is to experience an “endless winter” by travelling in a camper van. The rest of the year, Laura is a nurse who loves her profession while Gabriel has a box and modelling tool company called Playground. So much could be said about them, but perhaps the main point is their boundless love of snow!
2020 was a difficult year for travellers, how was it for you? And now?
True, it was a difficult year, but we focused on the little things close to home that we had never really observed. It was our first summer in our home in Tyrol. We did a lot of cycling and hiking in the same place where we used to go snowboarding. Of course it’s not all sunshine and roses, Laura had to go to Spain to work on her nursing job, which is very difficult these days. But the winter was a mix of happy and sad, we were not able to organise our guided tours, but there was still a lot of fresh snow until May. In fact, right now we are answering the interview inside our camper van in Kauertal Gletscher, at 2750 metres above sea level!
Laura, how did your passion for photography begin?
Photography came into my life naturally. I have always been a great observer and have always tried to capture the beauty of nature and the outdoors, especially what I like most: snowboarding. The magical light of fresh snow and winter, the simplicity and beauty of fresh snow…I wanted to keep these memories, my ‘Life in White’, vivid forever. I started with an analogue camera and tried to shoot as much as possible with my old cameras, the mix of analogue photography and snowboarding is the best combination ever! I realised that for me taking pictures is an easy way to express myself and share my lifestyle. When people ask me, “What do you do?” And I then show them my photos, they start to understand a little bit more. Gabriel always says that I am an eternal tourist, because even in those places where I have been many times or where I live, I keep taking pictures. I am always impressed by the beauty of this planet and I try never to take it for granted!
What does snowboarding mean to you?
It is difficult to answer and not fall into the classic stereotypes, but snowboarding is our life! We may regret it one day, but it is one of the biggest priorities we have and it is quite clear that it has shaped and still shapes our present and future. A clear and simple example of this happened last season. We wanted to go to the Balkans, but for different reasons, we procrastinated until the last minute, mainly because of the good conditions and the absence of tourists. In the end we loaded the van with everything and were about to leave for Slovenia, but just at the last minute, when we were already in the camper, we decided to drive 2 hours in the opposite direction because it was snowing in Kaunertal and we didn’t want to miss the fresh snow for any reason! We are crazy, aren’t we?
How did your project start?
The project started very naturally, nothing forced or artificial. We have been together for 11 years and from day one it was like trying to put out a fire with petrol. We are and already were both crazy about snow so we started travelling even more than before and sharing our crazy adventures on social media and in magazines and eventually people seemed to like it!
We have been travelling by camper van since day one, actually our first date was in my old Mercedes Vito. We don’t conceive of any other way to chase snow than travelling in a camper van. We’ve had several and the latest purchase is a Mitsubishi Delica 4×4 that we imported last year from Japan, which we are madly in love with!
You have been to some amazing places, which is your favourite? What do you take home with you at the end of each trip?
Tough question, but I guess we both agree on one place: Chile. It’s like our second home and we actually have a cabin and another Mitsubishi Delica there and that’s where we spend our summers. One of the hardest things for us was not being able to go there last summer.
What are we taking home? Apart from all the memories of the fresh snow, the crazy mountains, the landscapes we see and the different cultures we are privileged to experience, it is the moments we share with the people we meet on each trip that we take home! We are so lucky that some of these people have become our friends, this is the best part of our travels!
“Abbiamo viaggiato in camper dal primo giorno, in realtà il nostro primo date è stato sulla mia vecchia Mercedes Vito. Noi non concepiamo altri modi di inseguire la neve che non sia viaggiando in camper.”
If there was no more snow and no more winters, what would you do?
Put a rocket in our motorhome and travel to another planet with snow, like the one in the Star Wars saga!
Without snow and winter there is no future for this planet, so we’d better change a lot of habits to keep the snow, cold and winters. There are many ways to combat climate change and in our opinion a plant-based diet is the best way. We think a lot of organisations should go in this direction and it seems that none of the big NGOs are committing to this.
Do you have sponsors accompanying you on the trip?
We are very honoured to have Burton Snowboards as a partner in our crazy adventures. A brand that has involved us as a family and that we really love, respect and share both the philosophy and the passion for this beautiful sport.
Which Burton boards do you have and how do you get on?
At the moment we both have the same board, because from this season the Family Tree collection, the one specialised in off-piste and powder, is unisex and we think this is a big step forward! So for the first time in our career we have the same board!
Family Tree Hometown Hero Splittboard X in size 158 and 150. Another big surprise this season was the 3D collection. We use the Family Tree Deep Daze in sizes 159 and 149. We always relied on the Camber and were not sure about this new shape, but now we are in love with it!
A message to all those who would like to start a project like yours?
It may sound trite, but it’s what we feel like saying: Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you which way to go. Take your own path and follow it with passion, it will not always be easy, in fact it will be quite difficult, but in the end it will always be worth it!
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