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The Stews Go To Scandinavia: Meet Jörgen!

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Greetings from Sweden! While here, we picked up the coolest souvenir!

jorgen

No, it wasn’t an impulse buy. It was actually pre-planned and the main reason for our trip to Sweden and Norway. When we were car shopping in December, we realized a Volvo was the best car for our family.

Volvo’s incredibly high safety ratings, they are one of the few car manufacturers still utilizing a steel frame (sturdier in accidents), and they add so many safety features to their car it’s ridiculous. Since we live in Alaska where moose like to jump on roadways and ice likes to make cars slide all over, I knew we needed what Volvo has to offer for peace of mind.

It doesn’t hurt that they pair luxury with safety, making a Volvo an incredible ride as well.

So once we decided we wanted a Volvo, we went to the dealership. And their selection wasn’t huge. There were zero used ones on the lot (people don’t really trade them in in Alaska – they said they get maybe 5 a year), and I didn’t love the selection of new ones. Looking around, the closest dealership that had what I wanted was in Kansas.

I was not about to go to Kansas to buy a car, and then try to figure out how to get it to Alaska.

That’s when the guy at the dealership told us about Volvo’s Overseas Delivery Program.

We also got to take a tour of the Volvo factory

We also got to take a tour of the Volvo factory

The overseas delivery program is awesome: I got to custom build our Volvo with every feature I could ever want (AWD, heated windshield, Blind spot detection, parallel parking assist, heated seats, heated steering wheel, navigation, etc.). I got to pick the inside and outside colors and fabric: it was awesome! When the dealer told us the price of my custom made Volvo, it was actually a lot cheaper than the one on the lot in Kansas.

On top of designing our Volvo, Volvo flew Matt & I to Sweden to pick up our car and test drive it around Europe. We are only here for a week, but you can stay up to 6 months! When we drop off our car, Volvo will take care of shipping the car to Alaska for us, and in a few months we will be reunited again.

Views on the Open Road

Views on the Open Road

This is actually the first car I’ve ever bought, and man. What a way to buy a car.

Once we received our new car, Matt and I struggled to find a good name to call it. Was it a he or a she? Did it demand something fun or serious? We finally settled on Jörgen: a strong Swedish name for a strong Swedish car. It’s essentially the Swedish version of George.

Jorgen Interior

Oh Jorg, you’re adaptive cruise control made the traffic not so bad.

 

The reasons why the Overseas Delivery Program are so great:

  • You get to custom build your own car. Everything is what I want, in the color I want, and how I want.
  • Free trip to Europe. Volvo pays the airfare for two people. Once we decided to buy the Volvo, we swapped our 2015 international trip to Sweden from Italy. Sorry Italy, maybe 2016?
  • It was more affordable than buying a new one in the US. Our theory on how this is possible is that, because Sweden has such a high VAT tax (25%), by having us come over and drive the car, it technically becomes a used vehicle in Sweden. This probably changes the tax percentage, and the value of the car for shipping. It also probably benefits them because the car is already purchased and sold, money up front, instead of sitting on a dealers lot for an undetermined time.
  • The Volvo staff were so friendly and nice, and able to offer great recommendations. Just wonderful people.
  • If we had chosen, we could have received the car in 12 other European cities, and explored other parts of Europe. Germany, Spain, Italy, UK – all places we could have picked up our car instead of Sweden.

If you don’t need another car for about 6 months, this is definitely the way to buy. (Because the car is custom built, it takes about 12 weeks to build, and then once received, it takes 8-12 weeks to ship. Alaska is obviously on the long end of the deal, so we will be reunited with Jörgen roughly 5 June 2015.)

The program definitely inspires loyalty: it was such a great experience buying the car and getting to receive it with only 10 miles on it. I can already tell that when it’s time for a new car in the future, it will probably be another Volvo.

What’s the coolest experience you’ve ever had buying a car? 

A Beautiful Day in Kodiak

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Last week I got to go to Kodiak, Alaska for the first time since moving to Anchorage!

It was a pretty special trip for me because my parents lived in Kodiak in the 80’s when they were the same age as Matt & I are. My parents haven’t been back to Kodiak since they moved to North Carolina roughly 28 years ago, so I spent the day sending my mom photos of the town.

I was actually supposed to make the trip 2 weeks ago, but the weather in Kodiak is notoriously awful. My original flight got cancelled due to fog, which is a common occurrence. For this trip though, we had nothing but clear skies! Continue reading “A Beautiful Day in Kodiak” »

The Quarter Life Crisis

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I don’t think I’m alone in the millennial generation in saying that I am in the full swing of a Quarter-Life Crisis.

Similar to a mid-life crisis, the Quarter-Life Crisis involves a daily mantra of “What am I doing with my life?” “Am I making a positive impact on my community?” “Am I doing everything I can to further my career?” “Do I even want this to be my career?”

Sigh.

Continue reading “The Quarter Life Crisis” »

The Stews Go To The Virgin Islands: Christmas On A Boat

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I’ve already told you about how we started off our Christmas vacation in grand Griswold fashion: with a sea urchin attack; and about how much fun we had in St. John.

The rest of our trip was painless, and we actually spent a lot of time on a boat. Hey, when you’re in the Caribbean, what better way to explore?

Continue reading “The Stews Go To The Virgin Islands: Christmas On A Boat” »

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