Off to Sweden!
Image source: www.themanual.com
James, my husband is now set to fly to Sweden in less than 24 hours from the time of writing. I am actually excited for him but he honestly told me that he is not that happy about leaving me behind. He just wishes we could go together but not for now.
The company where he is currently working sends employees for training in Europe, specifically in Sweden. He never thought he will be included in the next batch. Five of them are traveling this year while the first batch was only three.
With this, I have documented a few things that he had to prepare and thought of blogging about it here.
SWEDEN TRIP REVEALED
It was two months ago when we learned about the company's plan of sending another batch to Sweden and their company boss met the five of them together in a closed room meeting.
As per James, he was a bit scared as to why they were brought in in that room but later on, their nervousness were replaced with smiles when Alan, their company owner revealed that all five of them are going to Sweden. It was a revelation that which they never expected but nonetheless, the merriness on their mood were obvious.
Image source: www.renetimmermans.com
James hurriedly informed me via Slack message about the plan and I was happy for him about it. This will be his first travel to Europe and I can't be any happier but as the travel date is coming closer and closer, it seems like I am feeling this emptiness and I know this is just two weeks but boy, I just hope we were together in that first Europe travel.
PREPARING FOR SWEDEN
James will soon experience snow.
Living in the Philippines, what we as Filipinos experience only are summer and rainy season. There's no other season and most importantly, no snow. However, upon learning about the date of their travel tickets, we found out that it is winter in Sweden and thus, certain important preparations have to be made to ensure that he'll survive the winter coldness.
Winter in Sweden started on Sunday, 29 October and ends on Sunday, 25 March 2018 as per Google as such, January is actually the perfect month to head to Stockholm. It is one of the coldest months of the year, with temperatures dropping down to -5°C at night. During the day, the average high temperature is -1°C. Overall, the daily average temperature is -3°C this month. Info source: www.holiday-weather.com
This is the coldest weather James will ever experience all his life and I am feeling both excited and worried for him because he is the type of guy who dislikes cold weather. He gets easily cold and most of the time, it results getting infected with a cough and worse, getting sick with fever. It happened a lot of times so I am praying that he'll survive the two-week training without getting sick.
Image credits: komonews.com
I have been feeling bad as well with the scary things I learned from my own boss who is from Belgium where he said when winter comes, their skin has the tendency of becoming itchy and reddish.
With such huge winter challenge, I am making sure that he is ready for the weather and to expect the worse so that he is prepared for it.
VISA and TICKETS PLUS BOND
I was surprised that processing their visa was not a hassle at all. The office was just in Cebu Business Park, a few blocks away from my office and the interview only took a few minutes! It was surprising that after just a few days, he got a confirmation that the visa was out!
Image source: employmentpermit.com
This trip won't actually cost my husband anything in terms of the accommodation, tickets and Visa. There will be zero fees for that, however, there's a company bond for one year.
This means that James will stay with the company for a year and if he would ever decide to cancel his contract, he will have to pay an amount equal to the amount paid by the company for this trip.
The papers had been signed for the bond when his tickets were and passport were provided. Aside from this, they were given additional allowance on top of the salary they'll be receiving while they are away.
Fortunately, their company had prepared everything for them. From their accommodation to their winter clothes! Their winter jackets and hoodies are already ready in Stockholm where they'll be staying. As per their boss, they'll only have to prepare their thermal underwear and other thick clothing.
Image source: www.winterclothes.com
Image source: guide.alibaba.com
That gave me a relief. We were window shopping last December for winter clothes and jackets and they are just expensive! On sale, the usual pricing for a jacket is at Php 2000. Imagine when it's not on sale?
Well, I am glad that we are spared from buying those which he won't be able to use in the country. But we had to buy him thermal clothes instead which I still found expensive but had to buy for his health's sake.
As this is his first out of the country trip, we don't know what to expect or if he should be bringing any other things such as toiletries and snacks but I would like that he'll have his other necessities beforehand instead of doing the grocery when he arrive there.
Image source: www.ikahon.com
Which is why I had prepared all his toiletries and personal hygiene items. I also had prepared him some Filipino snacks and items which he might miss while in Sweden. I am sure that he won't be able to eat rice because that's expensive there and that it is not always accessible so I made it a point that he'll have these snacks to munch on whenever he is feeling hungry.
He is all set and his luggage is ready. I am really feeling oblivious about being left at home so I am also going to Bohol while he is away. We'll meet again in two weeks.