One week after celebrating that exciting night, I have received my decision in writing. It’s really happening. Have I started packing like I said I would? I’ve done a bit of cleaning, but no, not really. Instead, I have been going mad with notes and figures from travel agents and vets and computer repair companies. Yep, that same day my PC decided to conk it, decided it didn’t want to wait three months until after I left, meaning this year I have so far broken my phone, iPad, and computer. And I need it now more than ever to organise our Etsy store, Gumtree listings, scan all my important documents into electronic form, and back up my files. Oh, my harddrive and files are perfectly safe, but I’ve been told the rest of it is too old and dying and it’s not worth repairing that I’m better off getting a new one. For three months. Needless to say, I’ve barely had a chance to be able to consider this. It’s been a very stressful week with a lot of late nights.
Every night I have been looking up flight comparison websites trying to find cheapest days and best deals for a return flight for Johan to come out to Australia, and a matching one way flight for me. All Sunday I spent the day at four different travel agents explaining our situation, Johan has looked at his end and I’m about to spend another two and about half hours looking at travel agents in the city this morning. The hope is that I will have flights locked in this afternoon, and booked and paid for by the weekend. And a vet appointment and cat’s flights booked next week. I am totalling fearing the flights will increase over the Easter long weekend if we don’t, and there’s already some flights were looking at that are saying there’s few seats left. Hence the rush to get it all booked as soon as possible.
Part of me wonders why I’m delaying so much in booking. But now more than ever we need to get the best possible deal, especially if I’m up for another $500 for a new computer. Problem is, I know the flights we want with Singapore Airlines. But no travel agent (in Brisbane or Stockholm) seems to be able to book the return flight for Johan for the prices that are showing online ($1200- $1400). They can book my one-way flight ($989!) but not his. So if we want to fly together, the next cheapest we’ve been given is $2775 for both of us with Emirates (my one way flight being $200 more and his flight $200-400). And the Emirates flights are not as nicely timed arriving in Stockholm as the Singapore Airlines flights (midnight and midday vs. 8.30am) to meet my cat’s arrival at 7am. And all of this doesnt even include the travel insurance yet! So a lot of worry, and lot of stress. I’m feeling more stressed than I can ever remember being. Not the least of which because I’ve never made so many phone calls in my life! AND, my work contract is due to finish on April 28, and like my last job it seems they are leaving it to the last minute to tell us whether the contract will extend or not.
The tragedy in Stockholm last week hit us hard, but all of Johan’s friends and family are safe. My eyes have watered more than once reading the articles on The Local about Swedes (natives and foreigners) coming together and holding signs about love, not fear. Over 20,000 people, including Johan, turned up in the city to honour the victims and emergency service workers that stepped up to the event immediately. I was impressed too, that they had a crisis management plan implemented within 8 minutes of the attack. But it was the regular citizens too, offering hugs and opening their homes up to strangers who couldn’t make it home on public transport. This is the country I want to live in, that I will – very soon – live in.