Moving to Kalajoki Changed Johanna’s Life

Be Active | Tuesday, July 23, 2019

I knew that Johanna ヨハンナ (39) who works as Sales and Marketing Manager at Visit Kalajoki moved to Kalajoki about a year ago. I wanted to hear about her first year’s experiences on living in Kalajoki…

Kalajoki was not a completely new place to Johanna, I learnt. Moving to Kalajoki in early 2017, immediately took Johanna back to her childhood summers which she spent camping (and living in a caravan) by the sea in Kalajoki. The water activity park JukuPark in Kalajoki immediately reminded Johanna of those summers too… “Oh yes, I remember this place!”

Furthermore, Johanna said she was very pleased with her “return” to Kalajoki. People seem to be receptive and easy to work with, she pondered about her work. Before Kalajoki, Johanna had lived in Oulu for five years and worked for the Northern Finland Outdoor Life Fair (a large trade show for outdoors activities, fishing, camping etc.) and for an outdoors person like Johanna, that work had suited her well. But moving down to Kalajoki had been even a better choice in this respect, she said.

At the summer cottage

Her boyfriend Jarno has a summer cottage in the Rahja Archipelago near Kalajoki, and during the first winter, the two of them had done long cross-country skiing trips to different islands of the archipelago. “In the spring, it was lovely to see the season change and see masses of migrating birds return to Rahja,” she explained with a delight in her voice. “In the summer, the Rahja Archipelago offers wonderful opportunities for kayaking, SUP boarding (standup paddleboarding) and fishing as the archipelago has such calm waters.”

Johanna seemed to lead a very active outdoors life in Kalajoki. She mentioned Siiponjoki シーポンヨキ also as one of her favourite local nature destinations, and that there is a 20-kilometre long beautiful nature trail there. “A great place for fatbike riding, camping and enjoying pinewood scenery,” she explained to me. Overall, in Kalajoki, Johanna does a lot of water activities as the sea is right there, and a network of local cycling paths easily take her on her bike to smaller villages and nature locations nearby. (In Finland, there are usually cycling and pedestrian walking paths separate from car traffic in towns and smaller villages. This makes walking and cycling much safer.) Johanna shares similar outdoors and nature interests with her boyfriend Jarno ヤルノ, and I think this makes their life together harmonious, and Johanna and Jarno well suited to each other.

I asked Johanna to list her favourite things for each season and this is what she described them…

Autumn: forests full of wild berries and mushrooms, migrating birds leaving

Winter: cross-country skiing possibilities on the winter-time sandy beach of Kalajoki offer endless amount of routes

Spring: opportunity to observe animals and migrating birds returning

Summer: Kalajoki’s sandy beach and dunes offer a great setting for beach life and numerous water activities

A Porcini mushroom in the forest

”What is the most enjoyable every season are the sunsets. For instance, in the winter, the sun setting on the vast, open frozen sea is such a beautiful scene! I feel very lucky that I can live right by the sea,” said Johanna.

Sunset in the winter

I asked Johanna if moving to Kalajoki has changed her life in some ways. ”Moving to Kalajoki has totally changed my life!” revealed Johanna. ”Kalajoki doesn’t have a big city feel but you still have all the necessary services nearby. People are very friendly and they are easy to get along with. The nature is right out there and I have spent more time outdoors and trekking than before. Over all, I feel that I have a more relaxed approach to life and work here. But I also wanted to have a change in my life and change the pace. Now, as we have a summer cottage on an island, Jarno and I can sometimes come to work directly from there… by cross-country skis, by kick-sledge or by boat. That really is wonderful!”


Monika Luukkonen

Monika is a Finnish lifestyle expert and published non-fiction author.

Monika’s new book マイタイム 自分もまわりも幸せになる「自分のための時間」のつくり方 by Discover 21 has come out in Japan in April 2018! With this book, she wants to tell you how Finnish working parents can handle both family life and career at the same time. With adding the concept of ”my time” to your days, you can find balance in your busy work-family life situation and learn to nurture yourself. This new book is Monika’s third book published in Japan and it continues her series of books about Finland, its people and the Finnish lifestyle. Read more about this book at

You can find information on her previously published books ふだん着のフィンランド and フィンランド人が教えるほんとうのシンプル through these links:

Monika has a nearly 20 years of experience dealing with the Japanese market. She also has a background in international marketing and sales (e.g. in telecoms, medical technology, and business consultancy).

Monika has lived both in Japan and the UK twice and is currently living in her home town of Oulu, in the Northern Finland, with her daughter. Monika enjoys reading, walking, meditation and spending time in the nature.

You can follow Monika on Twitter and Instagram at

翻訳:Miki Kanda
写真:Johanna Nakkula & Visit Kalajoki