This year, I’ll be experiencing my first real winter–ever.
I say real because I never lived in a place where it snowed. I grew up in the Philippines, a tropical country located in southeast Asia. There, we had two seasons: Tag-init and Tag-ulan which, I’d say, closely resembles the summer and spring in Northern America.
Tag-init wasn’t just warm, it was usually sweat-inducingly hot. The other half of the year,tag-ulan, we get a lot of rain ranging from the afternoon drizzle to a terrible typhoon that floods multiple cities at a time. No that isn’t an exaggeration, if anything it might be a bit of an understatement.
From the Philippines, I moved to Southmost Texas (right by the Mexican border) where it was often just right; sometimes a bit too humid; occasionally chilly when there is a cold front. And by chilly I mean between 50 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It sometimes frosts but it didn’t really snow.
Earlier this year, I moved to Canada–northern Alberta, no less. I arrived just as the winter was leaving, and I thought that was COLD.
The past week, the temperature was consistently in the negative 20s, except for one day when it warmed up a little at a low of -11 C. It was definitely quite an adjustment. I didn’t even know how to properly dress for the cold. I didn’t even own winter boots or winter jackets.
Back in the Philippines, I didn’t even own a hoodie or a jacket! I only ever wore light sweaters when I’m in a cold air-conditioned classroom. Even when I was in Texas, boots felt like they were only worn to look fashionable, not for keeping yourself warm or trying to keep your toes from falling off!
Here’s a few things that I used to consider optional or even unnecessary but have now come to really appreciate:
- a humidifier
- lip balm
- scarves, gloves, hats: I used to think they were more for fashion than function. WRONG.
- REMOTE CAR STARTER: Saved me from freezing while the car desperately tries to defrost and warm up.
How’s the weather been treating you? From what I’ve been hearing, it’s only going to get colder here (because it’s not really quite winter yet)! Any tips and tricks for surviving the winter without having to look like a bundled up marshmallow all the time? And what are your winter must-haves?
I seem to be moving to colder places everytime. Where to next? Alaska? The NORTH POLE? 🙂