Frank and his Swedish adventure part four: nearly home time
Consultant anaesthetist and sustainability champion Frank Swinton is taking a sabbatical from Airedale to study for a Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, in Sweden. Frank has been sharing his experiences via this blog over the past year…enjoy!
So now it’s pretty much all over bar the shouting. You might remember from my last instalment that I was writing a thesis about school lunches and organising the graduation celebration. Both of those things came to a head in the last ten days, first with my thesis defence presentation and then the graduation celebration weekend. I passed my thesis course so now I just have to wait for my final grade. The celebration involved a beach BBQ, speeches and certificate ceremony in a room so hot it felt like a sauna, and a wonderful meal in the Swedish Naval Museum.
That marked the end of my course so I now have a couple of months before I start work again and I’m really pleased that I have that time. Firstly because the kids are still at school and we didn’t want to take them out before the end of term and secondly because the course has been very fast-paced and I feel that I could with a bit of time to process the things I’ve learned and really get to grips with them before I return to Airedale.
In order to help me pass the time, we are planning to travel by train, all the way up Sweden, across into Finland on the Arctic Circle and then down to Helsinki before getting the ferry back here. We’ll then pick up the car and come home refreshed and ready to go – well, that’s the idea anyway.
In anticipation of all that travelling, we’ve begun to sell our bikes and the winter tyres for the car, as well as saying goodbye to our friends from my course. They’re going all over the world, like a star-burst to set up businesses, establish new ways of working and (like me) bring some new things back into their old workplaces. We will certainly not be short of friends to visit no matter where we go next – and I hope that lots of them will come and visit us in Yorkshire too.
Looking back on the year and thinking about all the planning, paperwork, saving, anxiety about the kids in school etc, I feel that moving abroad for a year is definitely not for the faint hearted, even to a “tame” place like Sweden. If you do have the stomach for it though, I would definitely recommend it. We have had a wonderful time, met great people, we’ve all learned a lot and grown a lot, we’ve revised our views of the world and enjoyed a lot of time together as a family which has been a particular bonus.
If anyone wants to hear more then please do stop me in the corridor when you see me back in the hospital at the end of the summer!