We meet Josefina Fontana traveling the world to find amazing places and outdoor fun
The UAE is a place where you find people from all trades and backgrounds but certainly, it is also the place in the world where you can find the highest percentage of cabin crew compared to the total populations with so many airports and airlines in close proximity. If you are young and an adventurer there is no better job than working as cabin crew which will give you access to almost any place around the world.
We met with Josefina in Ski Dubai preparing for the first Columbia Adventure Academy this winter season. The Columbia Adventure Academy is all about getting people outdoors and active so it’s a perfect fit for OutdoorUAE to support this great initiative of Columbia Sportswear removing entry barriers to give easy and fun access to outdoor activities the region has to offer. Josefina perfectly represents the identity of this initiative – you don’t need to be a professional athlete to be actively adventurous and try out new and exciting activities.
Tell us a bit about you and how you came to Dubai?
I am from Argentina and came to the UAE two and half years ago to work as cabin crew for an airline and to discover the world and the exciting metropolis of Dubai.
You are an active person, are you also an athlete?
No not really I just love the outdoors and to be active. I have done sports since I was a child, played hockey back home and did a lot of running. But in the past couple of years I have tried many different things all around the world and found my love for the underwater world through scuba diving and the mountains through snow sports.
What are your favourite outdoor activities?
Here in Dubai its mainly water sports like diving and wake boarding and if it gets too hot I love to go to Ski Dubai. If I am travelling I love winter sports, I started with skiing and then I learned snow-boarding since its closer to wakeboarding and a lot of fun. I feel I have a special connection with snow and mountains as I love the pristine white which makes the landscape look like it’s been drawn with a soft brush and the cold winter air is so clean that you have amazing views from up top on the mountains.
What is your favourite outdoor place here in the UAE?
It’s difficult to choose one, but I really enjoy Kite Beach and Ski Dubai. Or going to the desert with my friends to spend the day… but there is so much to do and explore that I cannot decide on a single place!
What is your favourite place in the world?
My home in Argentina, because its where I have my roots and it’s so green with untouched nature. But I love the ocean, and the mountains, so my perfect combination is places where I have both.
What is the most memorable experience you had in snow?
I went to Finland’s to ski, and being there so high up in the mountains surrounded by snow as far as you can see. Sometimes the slope and the sky seemed to merged together which was magical. Racing down the long and steep slopes, feeling the cold wind in your face is just an incredible and indescribable feeling. You need to experience it for yourself since you cannot put it in words.
Do you have any specific preferences for clothing when you go on an adventure?
I have to trust the brand and to be comfortable because most of this sports activities require professional equipment. Especially if you go in snow it’s important to stay warm but don’t sweat inside your clothes. I always buy my gear from Columbia before I travel since the price value is great and I like their design. So it’s the perfect fit for me functional and fashionable, yet very affordable.
What are your next adventures you have lined up?
Of course the Columbia Adventure Academy where I will hopefully meet more like minded people who want to experience the outdoors and I hope to be able to give them a taste of adventure and share with them my love an passion for winter sports.
I’m also looking forward to do more a hiking, it’s one of my dreams to go to Kilimanjaro. Or to dive in Iceland and see the tectonic plates underwater with 100mts visibility. For Dubai I’m am planning my sky dive experience!!!
What would you recommend to our readers where they can start if they want to get active?
The easiest way is to sign up to the Columbia Adventure Academy and join one of their free events or just ask some friends to take you with them since you will have the best experiences if you share them with the right people. ■
Words by: Daniel Birkhofer