- Last winter, Anu Kallio told her spouse Harri Soini that they would not move back to Uusikaupunki. However, a year later, their family of four has settled excellently into their native region.
At the end of a peaceful little street, their detached house greets visitors with their mixed-breed dog Nuppu, whose wagging tail joyfully welcomes new people.
Apart from Nuppu’s excitement, a serene atmosphere prevails in the home of the family of four. With 9-year-old Jessica busy in her room and 6-year-old Amanda napping on the sofa after a day at kindergarten, parents Anu and Harri find time to sit down for coffee at the dining table.
You wouldn’t guess that they’ve only lived in this house for a few months. They moved in July, marking Anu and Harri’s return to their hometown. Both of their birthplaces are less than a kilometer away from their current home.
“This has been a ‘milk train project’,” grins Harri.
However, the couple’s return to Uusikaupunki didn’t happen overnight. They spent years in the capital region and Turku, with the last eight years in Nousiainen.
There had been a pull towards their old hometown for a while, even though Anu rejected Harri’s suggestion of moving back last year. The children’s grandmothers live in Uusikaupunki, and Harri frequently visited the city for his beloved hobby, floorball.
“I’ve always been a small-town girl, but the idea was to move back here after retirement and buy a house in Lepäinen,” says Anu.
We are now on the road leading to Lepäinen, so we’re heading in the right direction, adds Harri.
Eventually, jobs brought the family to the city. Harri started as a GIS engineer with the city of Uusikaupunki, and Anu, working in a laboratory, managed an internal transfer for her job.
Both the old and new houses were sold within three months. Initially, 9-year-old Jessica was firmly against moving.
“Now, the opinion has turned to ‘why didn’t we move here earlier?’ School seems fun, and friends have been made,” says Harri.
The family notes that Uusikaupunki offers a lot of ‘extra’ that they haven’t encountered elsewhere. The city’s rich event offerings are praised by the parents, while the children enjoy Saarnisto kindergarten and school.
“The kindergartener is thrilled they have a bathtub there. We’ve never had that before,” laughs Harri. “This is also the first city that sent a welcome package to new residents, with a Uki app and more.”
The parents also appreciate the city’s great recreational opportunities. Harri now coaches Nystars men’s floorball team, and Anu participates in Ellen’s fitness classes.
“I also walk a lot with the dog. I went to the Santtioranta closing event and Hehku Carnival. It’s easy to get around here as distances are short,” Anu reflects.
Although they’re still getting used to some aspects of life, living in Uusikaupunki feels homely as things fall into place. The grandmothers are happy to have their children and grandchildren nearby, and there’s mutual support and assistance.
“Services here are all around excellent. Everything a family needs is available,” summarize Harri and Anu.”