Vaasa is one of those “good life” hidden gems most people outside Finland have never heard of.

Vaasa is one of those “good life” hidden gems most people outside Finland have never heard of.
July 17, 2017 TEDxVasa

If you are one of those people that who to walk out of their tiny apartment directly onto a busy street and consider fighting their way through a mixture of commuter and tourist traffic as something worth living for, you might want to stop reading right now.

However, if you are tired of spending the best parts of the day on hours of commuting and seeing your hard earned money evaporating each month for housing and childcare fees, it is probably time to type “Vaasa” into your favourite search engine.

Now you see the pretty pictures of the archipelago, forests, small but numerous beaches, playgrounds and sport areas. Too good to be true? Well, there is even more to discover!

Many call Vaasa the 15min City, since it is pretty much how long it takes to get anywhere in the Vaasa area. If you prefer to take the bike, you don’t have to assert yourself between the rivers of cars but enjoy a great network of cycle-paths. It comes as a surprise to many to see that Vaasa is home to booming international companies always on the lookout for highly qualified staff. Those make Vaasa hugely liberal and international. The English literacy is overwhelming. Wherever you go and whatever you need the person opposite you will speak English fluently.

After having lived in four different countries and travelled the world I learned to appreciate to be able to own a large house with a nice garden without bringing the family to the edge of financial ruin or behind high fences of gated communities for protection. It is great to know that pretty much the only danger to my young son is falling off his bike or a tree. And it is also great to know that he can enjoy the world’s best education independent of my financial means. Sounds boring and conservative? Well, it allows our family to enjoy the time to its full, boating, kayaking, cycling, skiing, playing games or chilling out in the garden. I often feel bad about not being active enough, there are simply so many great things one can do just few minutes away from the house.

Vaasa has some cultural events, but obviously it is not London or New York. However, the culture hubs of Helsinki and Stockholm are just 1 hour away. And as I mentioned before, since we don’t have to bankrupt ourselves on housing, commuting and child care, we can afford a nice culture weekend away from home.

Ilona Söchting


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