“There’s more to Jakobstad than meets the eye,” says Danielle Berclouw
Meet Danielle Berclouw, a Dutch/Irish copywriter who moved to the Jakobstad region in 2020. She talks to us about her experiences as an expatriate, Finnish coffee culture, and hiking more kilometres than you can shake a walking stick at!
Why did you move to the region?
Nautor Swan gave my significant other, Lorenzo, ‘an offer he couldn’t refuse’. I work from home, so it was easy for me to pack up and follow him here. At the time, we lived in Mallorca, so the move to Finland came with a big change in lifestyle!
Was it easy to settle in? Kind of. There’s the paperwork and getting to know how to set up a company. Then, there’s the language. I’m still trying to learn Swedish. My excuse for my slow progress is that everyone speaks English so well here. 😉
What’s best about your job? The freedom that comes with being my own boss and having my dog Marta curled up under the table while I work. I love learning new things and enjoy getting to know the ins and outs of my clients’ companies.
What’s best about the region? I love the clean air and the fact that people here don’t seem to sweat the small stuff. I’ve yet to have an argument about a parking space or someone jumping the queue. It was relatively easy to find new, interesting clients here too. I’m now as busy as I was in Spain.
Where do you live? In Skata, Jakobstad. We have a garden for the dog to run around in and our house is over a hundred years old. It’s got bags of character and there’s room for our friends and family members to stay.
What do you do after work? We love going on long-distance hikes. We did a 110km hike last year and will do the Karhunkierros trail this year. I also love drinking coffee with friends, chatting, and feasting on local pastries.
What’s on your regional bucket list? Ice swimming. Hopefully next year I’ll summon the courage to finally take the plunge!
What one piece of advice do you have for people who’d like to move to the region? Don’t be fooled by Jakobstad’s size. From cinemas and live music to art exhibitions, there’s more to this small town than meets the eye. You just need to know where to look for it.