By Kevin Fraser Park •
Updated: 25 Jan 2024 • 12:04
Johanna Pesonen’s sister has lived in Spain for over 20 years so her whole family have always had one foot on the ground here and one foot still in Finland.
“When I was young, I studied in Valencia where I learned Spanish so it was easier to come to a country where you already speak the language and know the culture (up to a point). The weather is definitely the thing for me: the sun and the relaxed atmosphere, things that appealed far more than in my home country. If we could have this climate in Finland, we would be overpopulated”, said Johanna.
Johanna Pesonen is CEO of Fuengirola real estate agency Huugo247 and has no regrets about moving here, “if anything it has only got clearer that I may not be able to ever move back”, she said.
For her the best things about living on the Costa del Sol are, the views, the sun, the light, the possibility to enjoy outside life almost every day of the year. “I am more active in my free time here and have had more time for my family” she added.
The only thing Johanna thinks is worse here than in Finland is the bureaucracy, “I miss being able to do whatever I need online. Here you can lose an entire day in an office to sort out just one contract”.
However, she really likes Spanish people, who she describes as open, positive and supportive. She learned Spanish when she was 20 and believes it is much easier to get by and find your place if you speak the local language.
Johanna visits Finland whenever possible, “I have my family there, I have friends there and I will always have Finland as my home country even though I have found a better lifestyle elsewhere”.
“In Finland we wait nine months every year for the sun so we can emerge from our caves! Here, life is lived every day, outside activities are available all year round and family time is more valued”.
Johanna went on to say, “In my line of work in Finland you worked seven days a week, here they really take time out at the weekend and I do appreciate the time taken off from work, even though I love my work. Mondays then start with more energy and more focus. Morning coffee in a cafeteria in a nice plaza with some beautiful views, I can’t imagine a better way to start the day. This was not the lifestyle Finland with its harsh weather allowed me to enjoy”.
Looking to the future Johanna believes she will stay here for the rest of her life. “Of course, you never know, but at the moment that’s how I feel”, she concluded.
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Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.
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