Tag Archives: stress

One Week On

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.

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Why There’s Been No Posts (We’re Not Being Lazy, Promise!)

So, we apologise for the lack in blog posts of late and hope it doesn’t become a regular thing. I guess it’s just what happens when you start fulltime study and you’re out of the house 12 hours a day and you’re trying to plan a 6-week holiday itinerary. To make things worse, Johan’s managing on dial-up speed internet from his phone until he can get broadband, and yesterday mucked up video calling on his phone (with what was possibly an update), so we’re stuck on limited voice calls at the moment! Johan has also given me a 70min vlog of his move to cut down…

In the meantime, I’ve stayed up ’til 2am the last two nights trying to sort out our itinerary.  Last night alone I sent off 8 emails to tour guides, and have half a dozen more to go. If I thought deciding on the accommodation was bad, it’s nothing compared to reading through countless tour descriptions, comparing everything that’s included in the cost, the duration and value for money.  I’m going to need a 6-week holiday after spending the last 6 months planning for it (and being such a perfectionist… It’s not over yet!).

The Aussie dollar is ridiculously low at the moment which  isn’t helping.  Some tour prices we had written down back in February which seemed reasonable, have now increased $40-$50pp just in the conversion rates, let alone the conversion fee when we go to pay it. I’m not sure when we should either:  now, before it gets any lower; or hold off, in case it increases.  Incredibly frustrating.  But I think considering how much we have planned on our itinerary, and the budget I’m managing to squeeze it into, I’m doing very well.  We seem to be saving a lot of money by doing it ourselves and mapping out our own itinerary rather than 3+ day packages.  I have spent hours and days reading up reviews on all the tours, so I have high hopes for our favourite picks.  That, in addition to seeing the Northern Lights on more than one occasion over the course of our three weeks in Lapland, greatly helped with Johan’s new apartment in the very south of Lapland and free accommodation with him in-between certain destinations which form a kind of V-shape. I’m sure no matter how much I try and plan there will still be things that will go wrong, I just hope to minimise that!

Just 100 more days until I see my boyfriend again; 93 until I get on my plane to London. I bought the first of my Christmas presents yesterday too which makes it seem even more exciting! For anyone in Johan’s family (or my family for that matter!) that might be reading this, please remember that we’re not buying Christmas presents for people this year, and in return we don’t ask for Christmas presents. Your gift to us is this holiday. “But you just said you’d bought Christmas presents!” I know, for the young kids of course 😀 Johan’s younger sisters, Alma and Elsa! Can’t wait to see their faces when they open them!

Finally, I’m doing well at getting Swedish nursery rhymes stuck in mine and Johan’s heads. On Friday it was Min Hatt Den Har Tre Kanter, yesterday it was Bonden och Kråkan, and today it’s Blinka Lilla Stjärna! What else happened today?  My holiday leave was finally approved at work (at least up until our contract end date), yaaay!