This past weekend was the annual ESADE “Snow Daze” ski trip to Andorra.
Andorra is, in fact, a small country located in the Pyrenees between Spain and France, and about a three-hour drive from the center of Barcelona- which makes it quite convenient in terms of logistics. As for the country itself: its tiny- with great skiing- and a tax haven. As far as I can tell, that's about it.
Last year, I missed out on the ski trip due to the fact that it was planned over Valentine’s Day weekend- and as much as I love my fellow classmates, the ski trip debauchery wasn't my ideal way to spend V-Day. Luckily this year, I had the occasion to enjoy both- Seperately.
It was my first (and probably my last) Business School trip with over 100 students to a location outside of Spain. It began with two busses leaving from school Friday afternoon and ended with the same busses dropping us off at about 10 p.m. on Sunday evening. We left fresh faced and bushy tailed and came back sore, sick and hung-over. It was perfect.
The two days in Andorra were passed on the slopes, getting to know the students we have not yet bonded with, and of course- getting drunk. Within the madness, were mixed a few inspiring conversations about future plans to make a real difference in the world. It was in these exchanges that I took note of the fact that I was not just amongst a random group of 20-somethings on a weekend vacation…but I was on vacation with amidst my MBA classmates – a group of individuals comprised of great minds and future leaders- who know how to drink.
After speaking with a number of students, I have decided to highlight the highlights of the Snow Daze experience and share a few photos.
The weekend, of course, demonstrates one of the best parts of being an MBA student. That is- comprising part of a group of people who have been through life-altering experiences together and in the end, can all go on holiday and truly enjoy each passing moment. It was as if ESADE took over the mountain. Every lift line had a representative in it- every run had an MBA skier- and at the end of the day- the bar was filled with students from every race, religion, professional background, educational background, culture, and age- the one thing we had in common was the ESADE name on our CV’s.
My personal favorite moments, and the things I will probably never get to experience again are:
-A two-o-clock- a.m. Michael Jackson dance-off followed by a group of 50 MBAs swinging their arms and curled fingers to “Thriller” in the middle of the dance floor. (I think my biggest regret in the past two years, thus far, is not filming it. But I was too busy dancing…)
-Sunday’s blizzard where all of a sudden- each student stumbled into the mid-mountain café frozen and exhausted…too cold to get back on the slopes and too ambitious to call it a day. Therefore, about 30 of us sat staring at each other- red nosed and short of breath, drinking mulled wine and hot chocolate. It was so cold, even the Swiss and Germans had to turn back.
-Bus ride card games- specifically: noting that no matter where we went to university- on what continent, we all new how to play “asshole.” The only problem: the rules were different. For everyone. You can imagine how that turned out.
-20 guys in bathing caps crammed into the tiny jacuzzi in the hotel’s spa. Admittedly, I did have intentions to partake in the spa situation: until I walked in (flip flops, bathing cap and bikini in tow), and felt more like a lamb in a lions den than anything else.
-Learning that (unsurprisingly) Spanish law states that the bus driver had to take a 45-minute break after 2 hours of driving. Only in Spain… It was then that I was told the lifts would close for two hours for “siesta” in the middle of the day…and I believed it.
-The 4 a.m. poker tournament in the hotel's hallways between myself, three students and our "Andorra" guide.
-Amidst racing down one slope or another, après-ski celebrations, sweating in line in the ski rental shop and stuffing our faces at the hotel’s breakfast and dinner buffets- sitting down at the bar, speaking to a student I have never met, and realizing that he has intentions to change the world (in the good sense)…and moreover, I think he will.
-And of course, “King Bong Carlos” made an appearance. Bong Carlos is our resident beer-bong-and the cause of a bit of upheaval, but I won’t get into that. Nevertheless, I just have to share the information I received from the roommates of King Bong’s owner the morning after he made his appearance. Apparently, this student (who shall remain unnamed for everyone’s sake), made it back to his room- quite inebriated- and although he failed to change his clothes, brush his teeth, or wash his face- he DID thoroughly wash, rinse and delicately hang the beer bong up to dry over the shower rod in the bathroom. Now that’s love. (and a testament to the fact that this individual will one day, make a great father…)
-Below are a few pics…enjoy: