“Air-on” Blunck talks travel essentials, epic destinations and eating sharks

May 21st, 2014 by

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Photos by @Shay_Will.

Aaron Blunck, one of the hottest up and coming skiers—and recently anointed adult—has been thrown headfirst into the ski scene over the past couple years. And with that comes a pretty hectic globetrotting schedule, as pipe skiing isn’t limited to North America or the winter months anymore. We caught up with the nascent skier from Crested Butte who spends about, “175 days, maybe more” on the road. Here’s his own words on the subject.

Blunck says…

Normally when I travel I like to dress in black pants and a collared shirt. You’ve got to look respectable.

For long trips my essentials are phone, wallet, passport, headphones and lots of socks. I have an obsession with socks. I have always loved wearing socks; they keep my feet warm ‘cause my feet are normally cold.

[For security] take everything out of your pockets, shoes off (if you are not TSA Pre-Check) and sweaters or hoodies off before you get to the bins. Makes things way faster.

On long layovers the best way to kill time is walk around a little and go into some shops. Then find a cozy place to sit and people watch… maybe scope the airport talent. I also like to go into the United or Star Alliance lounges and get some coffee, cheese and crackers. Best cheese and crackers are found in the United lounge!

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Blunck practicing for his second Winter X Games appearance.

Long flights are huge part of skiing and I am the kind of guy who when the plane starts moving I almost immediately fall asleep. If it is your first time flying internationally, get some melatonin and take those right after you are served dinner. Nothing is worse than staying up the entire plane ride, so the faster you can fall asleep the better.

To beat jet lag there is only one way to do it: Stay up as late as possible the first day you get to your new spot. You are going to be so tired but you have to not take a nap and stay awake until at least 10.

The airplane food is not the best but it is the only thing you get. If you have the time before your long flight, go somewhere in the airport and get an actual meal.

I would rate the plane food about a 4 or 5 out of 10. It is getting better and better so soon it will be gourmet.

A lot of times we do not get that much time to sight-see but when we do we all take full advantage of it. For us, sightseeing includes skiing to the top of the mountains and looking at the small mountain towns. I typically like to buy gifts from each place I go to give to my parents and sometimes my brother if I find something sweet.

Favorite place I have been was Oslo, Norway. I have always wanted to go to Norway. Also the halfpipe was just outside of the city, so we got to stay in the city and had lots of down time to go walk around and do tourist things. And not to mention everybody we met was so nice and friendly and stoked that we were skiers because skiing is so huge over there.

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Blunck spends his days like many other 18-year-olds: chasing tail.

The biggest travel no-no would be make sure you do not miss you shuttle to the airport. [laughs] You end up either missing you flight, spending way more money to find a new way to the airport or both.

When traveling I like to eat locally because I like to try the new foods. I am always interested In what other cultures eat.

On my latest trip I ate whale which was actually pretty good. And also tried fermented shark which I will never try again [laughs]. Those damn Icelanders are crazy.

Advice for anybody who wants to travel? Save up and go to a destination that you are really interested in.

Related: The best and worst of New Zealand, with young star Aaron Blunck

Note: The photos used in this gallery were aptly taken in three different countries. For more about Aaron, follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

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About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.