My Swedish Adventure

An introduction

Hi! For those of you who don’t know me, I am Kathryn, a 21-year-old orienteer from the North of Scotland who moved to Dublin three years ago to study Veterinary Medicine at UCD. Since then I have really enjoyed running for UCDO in various orienteering events around Dublin and Ireland. However, this year has given me a different kind of adventure.

I planned to take six months off studying to travel to the Rocky Mountains in Canada to work in a veterinary practice to complete the placement required for my course. I was really looking forward to this. I planned to stay with family friends, work my days in the vet practice helping animals (it has been my dream all my life to be a vet), and run in the mountains at the weekends. It was going to be the perfect break from university, especially with all the disruption COVID was causing.

But as usual for COVID, my plans have been turned on their head! Through the summer holidays I was beginning to look at flights out to Canada and apply for a VISA, only to find that the Canadian Government had closed their borders for any unnecessary travel. I waited and waited for them to re-open, but unfortunately this never happened. Just as I started to give up hope and realise I might be sitting at home for my 6 months off unable to do anything productive, I saw a job avert on Facebook which changed all my plans!

This job advert was for an au-pair job in Stockholm for an orienteering family from Australia. Just 4 days after seeing the job advert, the job was mine! I would be spending the next 4 months living in Sweden, looking after 3 awesome children during the days, and training and racing orienteering in the evenings and weekends. I couldn’t wait to get started!

Over the next few weeks I will be writing about different parts of my adventure and how I have escaped an Irish COVID lockdown. I hope you enjoy it!

Kathryn Barr UCDO