It all started several years ago on a lazy sunday afternoon. I turned on the TV and started surfing channels when all of a sudden a show on National Geographic caught my attention. It was a show about amazing structures mankind build. This particular episode was about the world famous Icehotel in Sweden. It is still online for you to watch. So if you are up for a 45 minute treat, watch the full movie I put on my homepage. Or you can always watch the short movie below for a sneak preview:
I’m pretty sure I have watched the entire show without blinking my eyes. Man this is awesome! I was really inspired and for me being part of a team building an Icehotel would probably stay a dream forever. As of that moment I added this challenge to my imaginary ‘bucket-list’ and kept on dreaming. As I would never have the time, money nor skills to make this happen…… OR… Could I, Should I, Would I……..? Hell yes, go for it!!
Working for eBay is truly a great and I have a challenging job as a project manager. It’s is something I’d love to do. So how to get from sitting behind a desk, focussing on the digital world, to building an Icehotel freezing my butt off! Well one of the cool perks working for eBay is that they offer employees a sabbatical, once every 5 years. This sabbatical means a fully paid additional month of time-off, on top of my regular time-off. By now you probably can guess who’s eligible to take a leave of absence? You bet ya! I am!
Knowing I had my sabbatical coming up, I simply decided to reach out to the Icehotel to first find out if there are possibilities to join in on the build. Simply contacting them via their website, quickly resulted in an regular mail contact between me and te Icehotel. They were wiling to give this unusual request a change and their management team agreed to have me over for a month to help out.
By overcoming this biggest hurdle, I focussed on my next steps. The first one was…. going on holiday. Since we got to an agreement pretty early this year I decided to go on a nice relaxing holiday with my girlfriend to Spain. But OK you are right, that’s not that impressive and not really a challenge. But it gave me enough time to think about the upcoming adventure and start thinking about necessary preparations.
Laying on the beach, getting a lovely tan I decided I will keep a blog during the build of the Icehotel to keep my friends, family and colleagues informed about this great adventure. Since I like a good challenge I figured, let’s build a proper site te keep a blog instead of using existing templates and lack functionality.
After registering a domain, selecting a hosting party, installation of wordpress I ended up with a blanc canvas and am able to do whatever I like with my site. Yay!! After selecting a reponsive theme and installing a bunch of plugins, the only thing left is to fill this page with content. Which will be done in the coming weeks and when I will start blogging of course.
Enough talkee-talkee about a website. There are other preparations I also needed to focus on. Think about clothes for example. Since I’ll be gone for a month, living in extreme cold and snowy conditions my current wardrobe isn’t really set for this. In the Netherlands we have no real fierce winters and once it gets really cold here, it only lasts a couple of days. Luckily I can borrow warm clothes from the Icehotel to work in. This was a real welcome surprise since that meant way less costs to buy all of this stuff and way less luggage to carry around. But still I would like to be able to wear my own clothes every now end then, especially when I’m not working. Since I still haven’t had the feeling that I was biting off more than I can chew, I decided to add another challenge to the list. Since one of my first concerns was covering all the costs, I will prove that there are always other ways to make dreams come true.
The challenge I created is to find sponsors who are willing to donate some necessities I have in order to make this trip a success. I have a list of stuff I need and based on that list I started to approach a bunch of A-brands and boldly BUT politely ask them for their support. Currently I have found 4 awesome cool companies who supported me and helped me out big time! 2 more are in the pipeline of becoming a succes. So please stay tuned and keep a close eye on my sponsor page for updates.
Travel! Yaiks… must not forget to book a flight. This turned out to be less easy then expected. A return-ticket under €500,- from the Netherlands to Sweden are easy to find. But I need to make a national flight from Stockholm to Kiruma airport which is causing a challenge. This additional flight messes with my time schedule and a lot of time going is to waste in transit. The total travel time for just one way easily takes me up to more then 12 hours. So more news to come in the coming weeks. I’ll make sure to update my page especially about my travel.