Thursday, January 1, 2009

Why we live in Skien

Skien is the place to be! You wonder why?!

Some of my business contacts keep wondering why I'm living in Skien; hinting that it's neither central nor "significant". Besides it being my birth place, is there any other reason why I've made this my base? Of course there is!

You know, both my family and I myself have been living quite a few places abroad, so we know full well Norway is not the center of the universe. But we're back in Telemark again, anyhow. Of all the reasons I could give you, here are a few of the most meaningful criteria to me.

Enough quality people to make a difference
It's all about people. My human network is in fact mostly abroad, but there are a few quality people in Skien I just love being around. Not only are they excellent, but they want to achieve something bigger and more meaningful than just "conquer the world". I spend my time with people that believe in more than just fame and money.

Peaceful and less costly
Crime is relatively low. People are mostly good to each other. Optimism about Grenland is growing. It's not hectic, not even in the city center. (Above is a picture from 1910 of what it used to be like. Slightly changed - heh.)

And then there's the price tag. This totally gets me! I really don't know why, because it does not make sense at all. Living in Grenland is less costly than many other places in Norway. I only hope we can keep it a secret (not really ;-) but I'm sure it won't last long.

Small, but well built
I like it small, but not too small. Skien is perfect that way. We have everything we need and then some, and most of what we need and where we need to go only takes 7-8 minutes to reach. Among those, the office!

Rich culture
Everybody seems to know that Henrik Ibsen comes from Skien. However, the heavy emphasis on the Ibsen brand has caused all the other "good stuff" to suffer from being discovered. I guess someone will have to speak up - some time - in English!! For instance, one in a million things is the UNESCO Geopark. Why is this website in Norwegian only? That's marketing for ya' - NOT!

Family and friends
Most of all, my family has reached consensus; home is where the heart is, and our heart lies with family and friends. Most of them live in Skien, so for now, this is where we'll stay.

p.s. If you read this and can think of other reasons why Grenland is nice, please feel free to add them.


  1. Well spoken.
    We love our town :-)

  2. - and very close to town, we have a wonderful nature for relaxing. for walks... and it's peaceful :-)
    - And Skien is the starting point of The Telemark Canal with 100 years old locks. Not only tourists, but the habitants of Skien should all take the trip. It is wonderful.

  3. Great article Vidar! Ass an extension to all things mentioned here, my choice of still living in Skien is based on a lot of things. Attractions like the canal with its history and a great national landmark, the geoparks mentioned and of course the source to these cultural monuments, the placement of the town Skien.
    It's not accidental that the great canal was built here. Things like near by and good connections to the coast (and probably the nicest fjords on the eastcoast), but still very isolated from intruders in the good old days. This strong connection to the rest of the Europe, together with the good conditions for industrial establishment and the actual large sum of natural goods further into the county totally tells us why Skien has grown and survived all these different eras.

    Now all the historical events are long gone, but the placement, the wide areas of great and varied outdoor recreation areas and the memory of all its great people will make sure the saga continues...

  4. s/"Ass"/"as"/g

  5. What a great way to explain what this is all about. Thanks folks! In Grenland we simply enjoy a solid heritage - a legacy to take care of.

  6. Not to mention a great and safe place for my son to grow up in. It's also good to know that Grenland is growing in competence and variaty in choices for future careers for our next generation. Maybe we can enjoy seeing our kids actually live in the same city as us becouse of this.
    Good article and important to market.