How To Survive Your First Winter

Winter is coming... here! It's time to bring out the coats, boots, leggings, beanies, scarves, and gloves.

Winter is here - is that good news or bad? I say it depends! For someone who lived most of her life in tropical countries, I should hate winter. I am not used to it. My body is not built for winter. I should fear winter because winter is cold and grey. But I don't... 

I like winter. I like it when it's a little cold. I like stomping on fresh snow. I like it when almost everything I see is covered in white. 

Am I weird? Oh yeah! :-p

So, you may ask, how did I manage to like winter? How did I live through my first winter? 

Well, here are the things I did to survive:

Signed up an indoor activity.

Winter can get boring. Most of the time you need to stay indoors to keep warm. Maybe I am exaggerating, but it can be painful to be out for long hours in the cold. 

Just before the last winter started, I enrolled in a language school that allowed me to attend German classes twice a week. While the snow flakes were dropping outside, I sat in class learning die, der, das, and learned how to say snow in German - Schnee! ;-)

Enjoyed the mulled wine.

I really had so much mulled wine last winter, and I loved it! Mulled wine, or Glühwein in German or vin chaud in French, is a traditional warm beverage made of red wine, cinnamon, orange, lemon, and other spices. This drink is very common in the Christmas markets in Germany and France. If you prefer the non-alcoholic drink, there is also the kinderpunch (I ordered this a few times when I was being a killjoy). 

You can also try the feuerzangenbowle. It's another variation of the Glühwein for which a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drips into the mulled wine. Drink it with an extra shot of rum!
Feuerzangenbowle Stall at the Nürnberg Christmas Market

After a cup of warm wine, I am pretty sure you'll feel warmer. Funny, my boyfriend's parents even made some homemade vin chaud when I came for the holidays in France (a bird told them how I was enjoying it a little too much in Germany). Aren't they the sweetest?!

Learned the art of layering.

I wasn't used to dressing up for winter. Before moving to Europe, I never really knew how to dress up for winter. I remember when I first experienced winter in Switzerland, I got very sick because I felt super warm in my thick winter coats (Hello, Michelin!) . Since then, I tried wearing layers of clothing, just to make sure I don't feel super cold nor super warm. And if needed, I remove a piece of clothing (either my coat or my scarf) to feel more comfortable.

Mastered a new skill - knitting.

So, one day I decided I wanted a purple knitted scarf. I checked on YouTube and told myself how easy it was. I went to the knit store on the next day to buy some materials, and guess what, I couldn't even properly tie the yarn on to my needle! Yes, I almost felt useless! Pretty sure, my Home Economics teachers won't forgive me if I couldn't properly use a yarn and a needle. 

I know that one of my friends back in Singapore, Aiza, has been knitting on her free time. She knitted several scarves for her, her husband, and kids. When I almost gave up on my knitting, I kindly asked Aiza to teach me. She sent me links to tutorials that really helped me start knitting. Taaaadaaaa, after a few weeks, I created my first scarf! 

Knitting is fun

FL joked that I can definitely use the knitting skills to my advantage when I retire. Duh.

Practiced a new sport.

Of all the things I did last winter, joining a ski class was the best of all. Skiing was in my bucket list, and I am so happy that I finally learned how to ski the alpine slopes without falling. With skiing, just like any other sport, I learned to be more determined and disciplined. I also learned to be more patient and to have that never-say-die attitude.

On my third skiing day, I was already happily skiing the slopes and even going faster. Gosh, I loved it when I went super fast. My instructors thought I was nuts!

Alpine Skiing

If you're living in Munich and you want to learn how to ski, check out Parallel Skiing Munich. The ski course is in English and uses the short ski method. My instructors were absolutely cool and awesome people! They were very patient with me, and really encouraged me to keep improving. I really loved every skiing weekend! Since I didn't finish my third weekend with them, I am joining them in the next ski season and I'm definitely hitting the slopes in Austria again! 

I'm slowly preparing for the slopes by getting fit at the gym. It's good to do fitness training to become a stronger and injury-free skier. Yaaaay!

So on to my second winter, I'm still going to do most of the things I did last year. But I am not going back to my German classes yet. I'm keeping myself busy with dance classes! Dancing will no doubt help me get by and forget the cold, dark nights. 

My friends, I hope you can follow some of the things I did to survive my first winter. I also hope that you can find some other interesting things to do to get through the cold winter months. Here's to a fun-filled and more enjoyable winter!

By the way, if you have any recommendations on what to do during winter, write a comment. It'll be great to hear from you, and who knows we might do those things together! ;-)

P.S. Special thanks to my friend, April (the loony bin), for suggesting this topic. I am hoping that she and her family enjoy their first winter in Poland! ;-)


Miss A


  1. We're gearing up for our first winter, and hoping it will be a great first experience :) Also looking forward to checking out the Christmas market and mulled wine :)

    1. Yes! I'm bundling up like a human burrito. :-) Weeeh, hope you will have a fun winter experience!