Destinationbetween with Nikolai Schirmer

First off, what do you do?

I’m a skier, photographer and filmmaker. I go do fun stuff, and then I make a living telling the story about it in films, series and my own channels.

You live a life pretty much always moving. What does home mean for you?

Home is people. Friends I’ve known for a long time, or new people it feels like I’ve known for a long time because they’re so friendly.


When your on the road there’s always so many temptations. Do you have any tips on how to focus when you need to get the boring stuff done?

Honestly I don’t find there are more temptations to procrastinate when I’m on the road compared to at home. The big time drain and what makes productivity hard on the road is that you don’t have a routine. Everything takes more time when you’re doing it for the first time - from finding the goods at the grocery store to the local ski hill. My solution is I let my bad conscience dictate my day. You can feel it in your tummy when something needs to be done. Then I do it. 


What do you always bring on your travels?

I always bring a book when traveling. The old paper kind, not a digital one. It’s the only form of entertainment that still works after the power’s been out in that Albanian village for three days. Finish it, then trade it for another one.


What would you tell yourself as a teenager?

I would tell my teenage self that all my dreams were gonna come true, but that I should reconsider quite a few of them.

Which is your favourite destination?

My favorite destination is wherever has safe good snow.

What would you tell people who would like to follow your path?

If anyone wants to follow my path I would tell them to have fun and take your time. No matter what you’re trying to do in life, be it filmmaking, skiing, writing, surfing, school or programming - all it takes is time and effort. You’re going to put in that time and effort if you have fun.


Have you studied?

I did law school, and I’ve worked a total of zero days as a lawyer five years after graduating. Some days I think it was a waste of time. Other days I think of it as a status symbol for my brain. Most days I just appreciate that my mom and dad appreciate it.

What was your first job?

My first job was carrying buckets of dirt at a construction site.


Which stuff brings creativity to you?

My biggest inspiration is other people’s work. Most of what I do is just piecing together little bits of influence that I pick up from films, books, music and other art. Failing too. At the start of my career I failed very hard at conveying the experience of the mountain in my work, and so the following decade I spent trying to figure out how to do that right. 

Do you have any packing trick that you use while always on the move?

My latest packing trick is using the Db pack bags inside my split duffel. I must have saved at least a week of time not rummaging through layers of stuff looking for socks the past year!

What’s is your favorite activity at home besides skiing?

I love surfing. Sometimes even more than skiing. I’m just worse at it haha. Would love to have a little old boys pro surfing career when I’m too old to ski professionally. There must be a niche for freckly 50 year old.


Learn more about Nikolai here