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!
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.