Woohoo! I just received news that I have a job as a guide in the north of Sweden this winter. By half of November I’ll be moving to the small village of Kangos in the county of Norrbotten and I’ll be staying there until the end of April. During this time I’ll be taking guests from the Pine Tree Lodge on excursions to the Ice Hotel and the Moose Park, on day trips with skis and snowshoes and on overnight safaris to look for the northern lights.
It has been a long process realizing that I actually wanted to do something completely different from what I studied (political science). After an internship in Stockholm last year and a lot of time up north this summer, I realized that life is too short for 9 to 5 office jobs. I’m just not a fan of sitting behind computers all day or of getting stuck in rush hour. It was a hard process too, since society seems to think that this is the only way to go after finishing your studies and I very much felt pushed in a certain direction.
I’ve met many people this year that showed and told me differently. Most notably were the free-spirited guides we walked around with on Spitsbergen. There are other ways to live and make a living so I figured I should find one. Getting this opportunity to work up north for a season is really exciting.
On one side it is a scary prospect: I come from a very populated country, I’ve always lived in cities, so the idea of living in some dark forest in Lapland the whole winter is strange to say the least. I’ve made a lot of very close friends in Stockholm and leaving them and my boyfriend behind is a sad thought. I probably won’t be able to visit my family and friends in Belgium for the entire winter.
On the other side I am unbelievably enthusiastic: I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time, and now I get a chance to. I’m pretty sure it is going to be amazing, that I’ll learn tons of new things and meet a lot of nice people. The high north is my special place, and I’m happy I can go around with other people and give them a chance to learn more about it. I want to make something of this and now is the time to do it!