Stina Mydland (29) and Fredrik Trydal Horjen (29) had not thought of going home to Flekkefjord for quite some time. Then the dream house came up for sale.
Stina Mydland (29) walks across the floor, which is covered by a thin protective paper. Warm evening sun slides down the walls of the semi-fitted kitchen. It smells of paint and putty. Sharp and new. In the background, the racing saga of roommate Fredrik Trydal Horjen (29) buzzes.
Here, among saw dust and tools, a residential dream is created. A house and a home.
Stina opens the locally produced sliding door in the kitchen. It opens the house to the world, letting in the fjord sides with crooked pines and birches that have just started to pop. At the very bottom, the fjord sparkles, as if it has decorated itself a little for the occasion.
- Getting hold of such a property at this price in a larger city would not have been solvable. But by moving home, we suddenly had the opportunity to get it the way we wanted with house, view and garden. It's got an extra dimension now, says Stina, stroking her belly, which contains what will soon be a new patch of feathers.
Detour to get home
Stina and Fredrik were in Flekkefjord hospital at the same time when they were born. In first grade they sat under the desk and held hands. The parents are close friends and they have followed each other throughout their lives. Both have spent their childhood summers in the family cabins further out in the fjord, and have been brought up on boats, swimming and crab fishing.
In high school they became lovers and have been together ever since. But that did not mean that they would end up back in Flekkefjord. Both had a need to discover the world on the other side of the fjord sides.
- It was important for us to experience what lies outside Trolldalen. It's probably a familiar thing to many, the detour you take to get back home, says Stina.
The dream house for sale
They took their education separately. Stina took a master's in social security in the oil capital in the west, while Fredrik took his degree in marine engineering in Tønsberg in the east. Fredrik eventually got a job as a mechanic on a boat, while Stina was employed as a project advisor at Netpower in Stavanger. The base was in Stavanger, a city they both enjoyed.
Then they heard about a house in Skottelia in Flekkefjord that was going to be for sale. Fredrik could not ignore that.
- It's a house I've driven past almost every day growing up. It has been my dream house for as long as I can remember, says Fredrik.
Into the thinking box they went. Conversations and thoughts back and forth. Values. Education for future children. Job opportunities, or the lack of them.
- What we both knew was that we would rather be close to family, fjords and mountains than the nightlife in Fargegata in Stavanger. So we jumped at it and put in a bid, says Stina.
A private viewing later was their house. After taking over, they stripped the house from 1975 down to the travel agency. They wanted to rebuild everything. Create new solutions, make it your own. They have done most of it themselves.
- But we have also had a lot of good help from friends, parents and parents-in-law. There are many people who have stopped by with a helping hand, says Fredrik.
White-painted wooden buildings and mountains look in through the window of Stina's office in the center of Flekkefjord. Emma the dachshund snores in the corner. Voices buzz and clinking plates from the hallway. People going in and out of doors. Lunch in the office community is taken on the pier when the sun is shining.
Stina was quickly offered a job at a local company, but she wanted to speak to her boss at Netpower before she accepted.
- He wondered if I could imagine continuing to work for them if I was allowed to start a new branch office in Flekkefjord. That opportunity had not struck me, but it was an absolutely perfect arrangement that has given me the best of both worlds, says Stina, who today works remotely for the company.
In the long term, they will employ more people and expand the branch office. As of now, she sits in the office community S32 in Flekkefjord, where 19 companies are gathered under the same roof.
- When I'm sitting remotely, it's a little collegial, physically, but at the same time it's surprisingly easy to work so much digitally. I think many people became aware of that after the corona. And then it's extra nice to sit in an office community with other companies, says Stina.
The contact is recruiting
Emma the dachshund wags happily along the street in Flekkefjord on a walk with her mother. The sweeper looms in the distance. Cherry and magnolia trees are in full bloom. Stina greets several people who wander past.
She is happy that the boss saw opportunities in her wanting to move home.
- He not only wanted me to take the job, but also to build up the company and invest in Flekkefjord. It has made the whole thing an exciting opportunity, both for me and the company, says Stina.
Through contact with recruiters, Fredrik was offered a job at the cornerstone company AMV in Flekkefjord. He warmly recommends it to others who are thinking of moving home.
- A recruiter knows the business world, the need for expertise and the opportunities available locally. Your dream job may be found here, even if the job advertisement is not on Finn.no, says Fredrik.
In the sea between Flekkefjord and Egersund is a point where the tidal waves balance each other. This means that there are no high tides here, which makes the coastline completely unique in the world. It is a zero point, a built-in resting pulse for those who live here. Perhaps something that is difficult to be aware of when you have grown up here, but which at the same time is clearly missing when you have left there.
- One of the things we value most here, and which we missed when we lived away, is the peace and freedom. Being able to spontaneously take the boat or kayak out to an island after work and just be, says Stina.
When they lived in an apartment in the middle of Stavanger, they had to drive to get out into nature. Now they can go straight out the door and into the forest. Bathing area is a few hundred meters from the house. Kindergarten and school just a stone's throw away.
- Things feel closer and more accessible here, precisely because it is a smaller place. You may not have all the same offers that a larger city has at any given time, but you have so much else of value, says Fredrik.
Worth moving home for
Like so many others who have grown up in a small place, they had to get out, like the salmon that wanders into the sea after having grown big enough at home in the river. And just like that, they have also turned their snouts back at regular intervals, until one day they could take the step of moving all the way back home.
- Even though it is a smaller place with a slower pace, time does not stand still. There is a lot going on here. The companies that engage in exciting innovation and develop the workplaces of the future. More time for things that bring joy and fulfillment, and a sense of security in growing up in a small place. It was worth moving home for, says Stina.
Who are we? World-leading technology – AMV is a high-tech workplace that develops and supplies advanced machines for tunneling and mining in a global market. We deliver world-leading technology and have an innovative organization with a culture of openness. This creates a positive working and development environment. Which means that AMV has a very low "turnover".…