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in Moving to Finland


  • October 25, 2020
  • By Phil

The international couple

Our story is quite a cliche nowadays: Two students from different countries meeting on a semester abroad, falling love and so on and so on…

It all started back in Sweden in 2009 when Hanna and me met and, after quite some considerations, talks and so, decided to spend our future together. After one year of frequently flying to the other’s country, we arranged to move together to Austria in 2010 for our studies as this was the most obvious solution for that time.
Months and years passed by and we always kept thinking or questioning if it would was better in the other country. While you can make up many, many thoughts and scenarios about it, there is only one way to figure it really out:

Just do it.

And that’s where this adventure really started for us: August 2020 in Finland. That’s the point when Hanna got a serious job offer from Finland and we decided to take it. We dared to challenge our status quo, the world we were living in to figure out if we can find greater happiness somewhere or somehow else. Follow us on a journey to a new way of living, to a new lifestyle, yes, also to a new country and a way of being true to ourselves.

A recurring topic for us

Actually, this thing did not start just in August 2020.
Since 2009 we were thinking about living in Finland and tried several times to get there: before and after studies, as well as during my employed job. About one year ago we got again a bit more into the moving discussion as our kids were growing up and we had to reconsider what Hanna was gonna do with her time. Would she stay still home with the kids, would she go and work part-time or full-time or would she grow her self employment with gymnastics? And with this discussion also came the question if it was a good time to change countries. Since we moved together to Austria in 2010, already 9 years had passed to experience this country in times of studies, different works and employment types, during a phase of buying and renovating a house and also growing up three kids. Had we already experienced Austria long enough? Was it finally time to make that change that did not work already many times before when we tried it?

Things to consider when moving to another country

  • Jobs for you (and your partner)
  • Place to live
    • Country
    • Exact place/town
    • House or apartment
    • Bought or rented
  • Financials
    • Salary level
    • General living costs
    • Moving expenses
    • Can you (easily) sell or rent you current home?
    • Do you need some short-time financing for moving expenses or buying a property before you got your current property sold (or paid)?
    • Do you have loans or other financial obligations that you are bound to?
  • Kids
    • Are they well integrated and connected to friends and family?
    • Can they make new connections easily?
  • Do you know the language? Do your kids know the language?
  • Do you know habits, politics, general things, history or habits about your new country? Have you ever been or lived there?
  • Moving
    • What to move?
    • What to sell or give away?
    • How to move?
    • And when to move what? (Is there space for your stuff when it arrives at your destination?)

The order for these questions is rather random. For us it was important to move only if one of us got a serious job to sustain our living there. And that is the reason why it is on place #1 of our list. We thought that everything else would fall into place or could be arranged.
With all our thoughts (ever) about moving to Finland we started creating possible ideas or scenarios about the above mentioned questions. But with so much uncertainty it is difficult to already paint an exact picture of the future.

How to make a decision about moving to another country?

Oh my gosh… a decision with so many (quite serious) consequences and so many questions in your head. How are we gonna solve this? Typically, we were recommended to compare Pros with Cons and include financials and other aspects and maybe make some kind of evaluation table. Based on that pile of information we could make an educated decision.
But this is not a rational situation. This is not a rational question. This is a topic of feeling and emotion. And that’s where the decision has to come from. So we decided to ask this really simple question:

How would we feel if we would not take this opportunity?

“I would immediately start crying”, Hanna said.
Putting such a big topic into such a simple question gave us a really clear picture of what we needed to do to stay true to ourselves. (Note: she would have cried for letting this chance pass by and not taking it)
And so we did it and decided to go.

And you gotta have faith…

When we made the decision to accept the job and move to Finland, we had a lot of work and many decisions ahead of us. And by far not everything was fixed…actually, only Hanna’s job was really fixed.
The big questions for us to solve were:

  • Where exactly are we going to live?
  • Would we rent or buy a house?
  • What or how much could I (Philip) work?
  • What was gonna happen with our house in Austria?
  • Would we need any extra money for the moving process (especially if we did not sell the house in time)?
  • What is with school and kindergarten for our three kids? Especially if we do not know yet where we are going to live…
  • Are we going to like the cold, dark and long winter?
  • What is going to come with? What are we going to sell or leave behind (stuff)?
  • How are we going to move our stuff?
  • And probably many more…

With the decision made, time would come to take care of all these aspsects of moving to another country. And as you can image, you’d easily be able to run yourself into a serious burn-out syndrome with all these questions to be answered. But we decided to go a different route. The route of trust. And that despite our probably pretty tight timeframe of about 6 weeks between decision and physically moving.

Jep, you got it right: 6 weeks.

Read more about the route of trust and other things in our next blog post about moving to Finland.

By Phil, October 25, 2020 Philip finds his inspiration in everyday life and finds profound messages even in basic tasks.
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Philip finds his inspiration in everyday life and finds profound messages even in basic tasks.

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