Jamie, originally from the UK, moved from Stockholm to Helsinki due to an intra-company transfer within a finance company. Jamie has lived in many countries before, so moving from Sweden to Finland seemed relatively simple, as the two countries are very similar. However, the coronavirus epidemic made the seemingly easy relocation significantly more difficult.
From Sweden to Finland
Jamie had already made the decision to move to Finland last year. In March everything was ready for the move: the apartment, the flights and the moving of the furniture were organized. However, the closure of Finland’s borders changed the situation. They had to reschedule the flights and reorganize the move of goods, which wasn’t very simple as moving companies were changing their schedules as well.
According to Jamie, the help of a relocation expert was really necessary in the challenging situation. “The FRS relocation consultant kept me updated about the instructions and restrictions of the Finnish authorities, and found out what they meant in practice in my particular situation. It was especially important to get very clear advice on what documents we need at the border to get to Finland.”
Arriving in Finland during the pandemic
After arriving in Finland, Jamie and his spouse were in quarantine for two weeks. They were not even allowed to meet the people moving their furniture. Thus, the move of the goods to the new apartment had to be done before their arrival, and the relocation consultant was there to let the moving company in the apartment.
“Our relocation consultant coordinated the whole move, we wouldn’t have been able to move without her help. We also loved the apartment she found us, even though we weren’t able to visit it beforehand. We were a little bit anxious as we were moving in without having seen the apartment. However, it turned out to be exactly what we were looking for.”
Jamie is grateful for the support he received from the relocation consultant after moving to Finland as well. “She advised how to make life as easy as possible despite the circumstances. For example, she recommended where to do the online grocery shopping during the quarantine, and helped to arrange the utilities and phone contracts. All the registrations were handled smoothly and efficiently as well, it was very well organized.”
Living in Helsinki
Of course, the corona epidemic has also affected the life in Helsinki. Jamie now works mostly remotely, and due to the restrictions, leisure options are also limited. “It’s nice when you move to a new city to meet new people. It helps to get to know a bit more about the city, the country and the culture. Now meeting new people is more difficult, so we haven’t gotten to know the culture so well yet.”
However, Jamie likes it in Helsinki. “I knew that Helsinki is a nice city, but I’m still positively surprised. It’s a very beautiful city, and there is a lot you can see and do even though many places are closed. Maybe when things are closed you have to make an effort and explore more to find places in nature and things to do.” They have, for example, found good outdoor opportunities such as jogging trails by the sea.
Compared to Stockholm, Helsinki is a bit smaller city, but according to Jamie, it has everything you need in a city, and it doesn’t seem too small. Of course, the different corona restrictions in Finland and Sweden can be seen. “We arrived in Helsinki on the day the restaurants closed, so of course it was much quieter here than in Stockholm. However, the difference is not so big, as people in Sweden follow the recommendations and mostly stay at home as well.”
Jamie is very happy they made it to move to Finland. He is looking forward to exploring the country even more when restaurants and other services open.
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