WORKING IN norway
Tromso Ice Domes
This winter season I got the chance to work in Norway, specifically in Tamokdalen, 95 km from Tromso and since I’m a mountain lover I didn’t have to think that much to accept the job that it will give me the opportunity to continue exploring the North, only this time surrounded by massive fjords, mountains and snow, a lot of snow!
Since have been living in Finland I’m used to cold winters, especially because I always work in Lapland during the wintertime and there is always cold, really cold! If you have never been there is about -35 Celsius, so as you can imagine the cold is not an issue for me anymore hahaha… we got a lot of snow in Lapland as well, so I was prepared for that, but the only thing that I didn’t think about it and that it was new for me, it was the storms, and massive wind. Now writing this I’m smiling remembering how it was to walk only 100 meters with a storm, I can’t even explain it with words, but I can say that it is not easy hahaha…
I remember when I was on the phone interview, one of the things that the guys asked me was: Do you have a problem with being in a remote location? Meaning in the middle of nowhere with nothing else than nature around you…Problem? That’s is one of the things I love the most, so no problem at all with that. There were a lot of things different to face related to weather conditions, but no doubt that what I enjoyed the most it was to be in a remote location in the middle of nowhere.
My job in there as always it was guiding, take our guests to a guided tour inside the ice domes explaining how we built the ice hotel, and tell some stories about the theme of the place, and of course outdoors experiences in the wilderness, which everyone loved, especially when it was done by snowshoes.
The guests that we got during the season, were really nice, sometimes we had big groups, where it was a little bit more demanding, sometimes we had smaller groups that you could give more time to each person, but either way big or small groups there was always nice people interested to know about the Nordic culture and how is to live in a completely different way than the way they are used to, is always fun to explain how we live without any sunlight during December and January, most of the people really don’t get it and the most common reactions were: “I could never do it” hahaha
When you are doing your tours is always the best part of this job, because is when you do what you love to do, but behind that, there is a lot of work to do previous we get our guests, not only the preparation of equipment that we will use, or the food that we will serve to them, all that is fine, because is something that we can easily manage, but there is something that we can’t control, and that is the weather, once again weather is everything for us, it doesn’t matter if is extremely cold, because we are prepared for it, but the tricky situations were when there was a storm and you needed to go to do snowshoeing or when it was raining for few days and we got water inside the domes, that was challenging, and I’m not talking about little amount of water, there was all covered by water and the only solution is take inside as much snow as we can and fix the ground until we make a new surface where the people can walk, and there is when the team work is needed, and god we had a good team, some extra hours to work, but we always made it, and every time that we needed to fix something in the ice domes, it felt like mission accomplish at the end of the day.
The bad part
Nothing it can be perfect in life, so of course, there was something that it wasn’t that easy, and that was all the paperwork that you have to do if you decide to work in that country, you need to make an appointment way long in advance, and if you have never been working there before, everything is a bit confusing. First thing is to make an online appointment (no option to do it in any other way) to get your D number, which is the one that will put you in the system, after that you need to do another appointment with the taxation to give all your papers and get your tax card, and after you get all done you can get your payments. If you are reading this, it doesn’t sound that complicated, but when you are in the middle of nowhere and all the offices that you need to go to are in the city of Tromso 1 and a half by car and you don’t have a car, is not that easy, and to get an appointment is really hard because they don’t have times available and it takes a long time to find one. To put it in a simple way, I was working since December and I got my first salary on February 10 hahaha…and that is nothing to do with the employer, because they can't pay until you get all your papers done. Norway is a beautiful country, but when it comes to paperwork, not that easy, because sometimes you need to get in touch with a real person and not to manage everything online, and that is nearly impossible, at least in my case I couldn’t, I tried many many times, and nothing! hahaha.
If you are feeling curious about working in Norway and what you need for, you can check out this link https://www.udi.no/en/want-to-apply/work-immigration/ in there you'll find all the information.
The best of this adventure
No doubt that in this experience of working in Norway were a lot of good things, but the best part of all, it was to have the possibility to work with awesome people that when you are working with them, your day feels like it was only to have fun. Our team wasn’t that big there were people from different countries, 4 of them were from Finland, and those are the ones that I connected immediately with, I have no idea if it was, because we have so much in common, the way of working, or it was that now I’m so used to Finnish people, the thing is that with them I have an amazing time, we really had fun working together, and the managers of the ice hotel also were super good! I have only good words for them, so when you have good people around you, of course, you enjoy your work.
In conclusion, I can say that Tromso and all the places around are more than beautiful, I absolutely recommend visiting if you have the possibility, this adventure for me is done now, and I got good memories that I'll always keep in my heart.