Rural challenges of attracting new residents

While the storm out side is almost tearing my little house apart – and believe me there’s a good reason why Samsø is big on wind energy – I am wondering about the challenges of attracting more residents to Samsø.

Samsø definitely has a lot to offer: Sense of community, nature, cozy little villages, a perfect environment for children, friendly people, fresh products and cheap houses – you can by a family house for half the prize of a similar house in the big city areas!

But of course the lack of job opportunities is the prime obstacle in attracting new residents or prevent them from leaving again. Like in any other rural district the question of how to create and sustain jobs as well as creating an attractive environment for new businesses to establish themselves is crucial. In addition being an island and surrounded by water Samsø has specific infrastructural disadvantages.

A a new observer in this field I am still only trying to watch and learn and obviously I don’t have qualified answers on how to deal with those challenges yet.

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First Challenge: Moving

It seems like the first challenge of moving to an island like Samsoe is actually getting there. The moving company that I have hired for an extensive amount of money was supposed to show up at 6 am in order to catch the morning ferry at 8.50 am. They never showed up and when I called them their response was: Ooops, we thought the job was tomorrow. Hopefully they will remember tomorrow. I don’t think I need any more excitement of that kind right now.

Exit Copenhagen

A week from now I will be waking up in min little yellow house at Samsoe with the white fence and the pretty Hollyhocks right outside the window. I can’t wait to have birds singing to my ears in the morning instead of city noise, to walk right out in the garden with my coffee and my newspaper.

The last couple of months has been quite hectic. As PR assistant at Copenhagen Jazz Festival I went to New York in June to promote the festival and in early Juli I had the pleasure of being a host for international journalists at this year’s jazz festival – which was one hell of a party! It was simply the ultimate way to exit my time in Copenhagen.

But here and now I’m busy packing my little shoe box sized apartment down and saying goodbye to all my sweet friends. These goodbye meetings tends to get somewhat emotional and yes it is perhaps a bit hysterically – after all it is only a 4 hours drive (and some water) that is going to separate us – but since we are used to meet and follow each others doings on an almost daily basis, that is definitely about to change.

Anyway I am pretty sure I will soon develop a whole bunch of new and inspiring friendships at Samsoe.

Well maybe a little scared actually..

Just returned  from a nice evening with a good friend eating sushi and drinking white wine. On the 15 minutes ride on my bike back home through the streets of Copenhagen I suddenly realized this: The friends I hopefully meet at Samsoe and are hanging out with on an evening like this is not necessarily living just around the corner.

And I don’t have a car,  there are no late buses, the road will be pitch black and in winter they will be covered with snow!

For someone with a social need that equals oxygen I wonder how I am going to face that challenge.

My neighbor asked me today if I am scared and I just couldn’t help laughing. But maybe I am a little bit scared after all….

Island Fever

Hi everyone!

In 13 days from now I will start my new life at the small Danish island called Samsoe. And believe me – it’s a VERY big step for me being the incarnated city girl who has been passionately in love with Copenhagen my home for more than twenty years.

But I have decided that the time has come to challenge the urban image and explore new dimensions of life and myself.