Going to my first press event with Crystal Ski

So it was two new things for me yesterday - skiing and a press event.

So it was two new things for me yesterday - skiing and a press event.

When I started this blog, I wanted it to help push me to travel more. Since being young I’ve been a bit of a geography geek, obsessing over countries, capital cities, flags and the notion of travelling to different places itself.

It also made sense in being a compliment to my studies, and at that point I was in the final year of my undergraduate degree in journalism. The two went hand in hand.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was tempted by the lifestyles of the bloggers and YouTubers I had followed before, jetting off to here, there and everywhere as part of brand details, sponsorships and partnerships they’d acquired through projects of their own.

So, last month when I received an email from Crystal Ski inviting me to an event for selected press and bloggers at Manchester’s Chill Factore, I was understandably over the moon. So much so, I rescheduled a trip to Belgrade, Serbia that I already had booked and pushed it back to the beginning of December.

The Chill Factore is the UK's longest indoor ski slope and will be celebrating its 10th anniversary next year. It was also beautifully decorated in time for Christmas.

The Chill Factore is the UK's longest indoor ski slope and will be celebrating its 10th anniversary next year. It was also beautifully decorated in time for Christmas.

Yes, moving that trip came at a financial cost, but there was an opportunity on the table that I just couldn’t pass up. I’d got my blog to a point where a travel company, and a highly-reputable one at that, had taken notice. I wanted a slice of the action and, so, I went.

After battling through traffic to arrive there at a reasonable hour, I was greeted by Marion and Kirsty, the two Crystal Ski representatives that organised this #GetMoreWinter event, and my drinks order was swiftly taken.

'Get More Winter' is Crystal Ski's slogan for the 2016-17 ski season.

We spent a few minutes briefly introducing ourselves the other bloggers before gearing up in our big coats, big boots and ski pants, ready to take on the slope.

A pre-ski pint. I'm not sure whether that was a good idea or not.

A pre-ski pint. I'm not sure whether that was a good idea or not.

The Chill Factore has a large stock of equipment to hire, as you'd imagine!

The Chill Factore has a large stock of equipment to hire, as you'd imagine!

Adjusting the skis to fit my boots.

Adjusting the skis to fit my boots.

Chill Factore instructor Rob undertook the dubious task of teaching us beginners, while the more experience members of the group were given lift passes to use the main slope.

Rob helping Nafisah get to grips with the slope - you can find her blog, Bamblings of Naffy, here.

Rob helping Nafisah get to grips with the slope - you can find her blog, Bamblings of Naffy, here.

It was great to feel, the albeit artificial, cold and the snow beneath my feet, but navigating our way proved to be quite the challenge on skis.

Standing side-by-side with Sindy, another blogger at the event. Check out her blog, Article 21!

Standing side-by-side with Sindy, another blogger at the event. Check out her blog, Article 21!

Our lesson was beginners’ basics, and we needed it. Even clipping our boots onto the skis was a task, but once we got going it was a lot of fun.

The first part of the lesson was to just slide around on the skis.

The first part of the lesson was to just slide around on the skis.

The much smaller, and probably safer, nursery slope at the Chill Factore.

The much smaller, and probably safer, nursery slope at the Chill Factore.

The advanced slope, where the more experienced members of the group went after getting their complimentary lift passes.

The advanced slope, where the more experienced members of the group went after getting their complimentary lift passes.

It consisted of walking with one ski, then with two, before the real excitement kicked in and we got to slide down a section of the nursery slope. Although a couple of the girls fell over (I hope they don’t mind me telling you that!), everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Leanne (Little Babble) and Asma (Jet Set Chick) also joined us on the beginners' slope.

Leanne (Little Babble) and Asma (Jet Set Chick) also joined us on the beginners' slope.

But one of the best parts of the night was getting to know people over a buffet and drinks, and it was both awesome and refreshing to meet so many like-minded people.

Not only was Crystal Ski’s #GetMoreWinter evening a lot of fun, but it was also educational and a real eye-opener. I learned a lot, and got some great insight and tips from industry professionals, and bloggers who are successful in their own right.

The buffet proved to be a popular choice, although I think that may have had something to do with the chocolate brownies on offer!

The buffet proved to be a popular choice, although I think that may have had something to do with the chocolate brownies on offer!

A better look at the spread.

A better look at the spread.

And to top it all off we were given goodie bags!

And to top it all off we were given goodie bags!

I had a fantastic time meeting everyone, and the experience we had out on the slope confirmed that I do, indeed, want to try it out for real. Hopefully this is the start of the slope to success.