From Oslo to Flekkefjord – Traditions, unity and belonging

By Anita Alden Frandsen

"From big city life to Flekkefjord: Making time for what's important".

This is the caption on their first post on their first post on their Instagram profile @vartsorlandshjem / Our southern home. Lawyers Julie Adolfsen Fossdal (30) and Tom Inge Fossdal (34) wanted a simpler life with their two young daughters Ellie (2) and Erle (6 months), a life where they can run into familiar faces at the local store.

Unity and belonging

We are always curious about what makes people move from one place to another, from small town to big city, from inland to the coast, etc. and ask the Oslo girl Julie what made them think of moving and why they chose Flekkefjord.

- Tom Inge is from Drangeid in Flekkefjord, and I have been here a number of times since we met. If we were to move from Oslo, it was natural for us to look for housing in Flekkefjord, which has many good qualities. We believe that you get a different sense of belonging and togetherness in a smaller town like Flekkefjord, says Julie.

- Here, you might bump into people you know at the store, unlike in Oslo, where you can roam for hours without spotting anyone familiar. After we had a child, and were expecting number two, we decided quite spontaneously to make the decision to move. It feels incredibly good and safe to raise our children here, says Julie enthusiastically.

From oil to law!

Tom Inge, a former FFK player (Flekkefjord Fotball Club) is now part the coaching duo for the A team. He has previously worked part-time on a drilling platform in the North Sea during his law studies. For the past six years, he has worked as a lawyer. Julie has previously worked in administration. First as a case manager in the Directorate of Immigration as a student, then as a lawyer and acting head of section in the Legal Department of the Urban Environment Agency in Oslo municipality.

Flexible labor market

Today's job market is different than it was a few years ago. During the Corona pandemic, employers found out that home offices were a good solution and that many employees were more productive when they did not have to commute between home and workplace. This means that Julie and Tom Inge can live in Flekkefjord, even if only one of them has a place of work here.

Tom Inge works remote as a lawyer for HELP Forsikring(insurance) in Oslo. Julie is currently on maternity leave, but will start a new job as a case manager in the Environment and Management unit in Flekkefjord municipality after her leave ends.

Traditional house close to everything!

Why did the young couple choose a traditional house and complete renovation with wodden panels, floral wallpaper and pine floors, we ask Julie:

- The requirement was really that we wanted a special house, if we were to move. We had also seen the old Swiss villa at Tjørsvåg for sale online a few years earlier, but it was only when it came up for sale again that we opened our eyes to the incredible potential and charm the house had. A location with immediate proximity to the forest, walking distance to the centre, school, kindergartens and the sea, the house had a location, However, it required significant care. Previously, we might have envisioned a newly constructed functionalist home, but that's not how things turned out!

- It was tough because we ended up doing a full renovation, especially when we lived in Asker and couldn't monitor the process. We still took the chance, and it has been quite a journey. It has been exciting to follow the construction process, read up on the history of the house and try to keep as much of the original as possible. Although we ended up completely renovating the house, we have tried to stay true to the original style. The floor in the dining room, for example, is original from sometime in the 18th century and the main staircase is from about 1850!

- It has been very important for us to preserve "the old style", because such a wonderful, old house should not have laminate floors and moulding-free plaster walls, emphasizes Julie.

Welcome to Southern Norway

As Julie's due date was in September 2023 anyway, and Tom Inge was allowed to work remotely, they decided to move to Flekkefjord in late summer 2023 to be able to follow up the renovation work more closely. We're curious about how they're settling in this small town. Have they found the peace and comfort they were looking for?

- We are having a great time! The moving process has actually gone beyond all expectations, although it has been chaotic to say the least with birth, change of nursery, job, total renovation and, for Julie, finding her place in a completely new city. Now we are very much looking forward to the house being completely finished, the grass being sown and we can enjoy a few quiet days together when summer comes. Traditions, unity and belonging - The Fossdal family seem to be well on their way to what they were looking for when they chose the Swiss villa at Tjørsvåg. We welcome them to the good life in Southern Norway!


Flekkefjord kommune

Who are we? We are a well-run municipality in positive development. Both employees and residents are satisfied, and for the past five years we have been near the top of the municipal barometer. Working in the municipality Working in Flekkefjord municipality gives you security and stability with competitive salary and pension schemes, protection of employee rights and a safe working environment.…