- Liisa Hämeri and Ville Lucander found a common home in Uusikaupunki. In the small town, their living environment has shrunk, but their quality of life has improved.
When the Espoo-based couple, Liisa Hämeri and Ville Lucander, found themselves with empty nests, it was time to consider where their first shared abode as a couple would be. They had been together for years, but they had not yet lived under the same roof.
Or, to be precise, they had lived under the same roof, but in different apartments.
“For the last few years, we lived in opposite apartments in the same building. We both raised our own children, but we were still very close. It was a terrific solution,” Liisa says.
It was clear that when both of their children left the nest, the adults would acquire a shared home. Still, for a long time, it was unclear what kind of home it would be and where it would be located.
Uusikaupunki entered the picture during one of the many cottage trips that the couple made to Ville’s family cottage in Putsaari. There was something charming about the atmosphere of the small seaside town, and the idea of moving from the capital region to the southwestern coast slowly took shape in both of their minds.
“My father is from Uusikaupunki, so I have a connection to this place,” Ville mentions.
When the right opportunity arose, Liisa and Ville seized it immediately. The idea had been brewing in their minds for so long that making the final decision was easy.
“On one cottage trip, Liisa noticed that there was a nice-looking house for sale in Sorvakko. We arranged a private viewing for Sunday, and the deal was sealed by Tuesday,” Ville recalls.
It will be two years in October since the move. Ville’s business moved with the moving truck to the study in the Sorvakko house, and Liisa, who works as a primary school teacher, immediately found work at the local school.
The change in lifestyle was total. Previously, they had a view of the entrance to a massive shopping center from their windows, but now they have a view of the autumn Kaupunginlahti and the red-brick tower of Uusi kirkko from their living room windows. Liisa’s workplace is just a short walk away, as are all the services, including their favorite restaurant.
The couple’s car mostly stands idle in the driveway. They enjoy their new home so much that Ville hasn’t visited the capital region once in the entire year.
Although the move happened in the fall, against the backdrop of the small town’s quiet winter season, the couple has never regretted their decision. Boredom has not had a chance to set in; the lively couple has seen to that.
During that first winter, we had fantastic skiing conditions. We skied on the groomed trails and on the open sea ice all winter. We even have running trails starting from our backyard. And a ski tunnel! There’s a ski tunnel in this small village, and I’ve been there a few times too,” Ville enthuses.
“I immediately noticed that all the amenities were connected to the school. A swimming hall, an ice rink, a sand field, a cross-country ski track, and a ski tunnel. And of course, here in Sorvakko, we have fitness stairs, a padel court, a frisbee golf course, and so much more. The opportunities for physical activity here are incredible,” Liisa adds.
However, what truly drew the couple in was the theater. Musical enthusiast Liisa was persuaded to join the cast of the musical “Vuonna 85” at the Uusikaupunki Theater, and Ville followed suit. Though, he ended up in the audience. But there, during the play’s run, he attended a record-breaking fifteen times.
“In the last performance of the spring, the theater’s production team unexpectedly called me up on stage and awarded me the ‘serial watcher’ of the musical,” Ville laughs. “Now I must admit, it feels a bit nostalgic as it’s all over. Even though I was just in the audience.
This is an incredible place. There’s always someone who knows someone who can help,” Ville says.
“And people here are incredibly friendly and nice. In the capital region, strangers don’t greet each other during a walk, but here, it’s an everyday occurrence,” Liisa continues.
Currently, the couple is in the final stages of renovating their backyard sauna. Even for this project, they found helpers through word of mouth – when the talkative Ville brought it up in the right place, they found people willing to help.
Soon, they will be enjoying their first sauna in their backyard sauna. It will be yet another happy moment in their new hometown’s warm embrace.