The Holdersen/Andersen family has fallen for Ågård in Vejle Municipality. It’s where they hope to stay forever.
When Kristine Holdersen and Andreas Andersen go for a walk with their three children in Ågård, located to the south of Vejle, they’re sure to stop several times along the way. Because in Ågård, people don't just say “Hello”, but stop to ask how the kids are settling in at nursery or whether the family will be attending the next event in the village... or something completely different.
“It's just really nice,” says Kristine with a big smile. She freely admits she was sceptical and had preconceptions about moving out to a small village like Ågård.
“I was afraid people would gossip about each other. But I don't experience that at all. We’ve only met open people who show genuine interest in us,” she says, while Andreas adds:
"Just after we moved in, all the neighbours came by in turn with a flower or to invite us to dinner. This meant we were quickly able to put names to faces. We also quickly became really close friends with one of the neighbouring families, who sometimes look after our children.”
When Kristine and Andreas moved to Ågård, they only had Mads Emil. Since then, Carl Oskar and Thea Sofie have also joined the family. The toys in the living room and playhouse, and the swings in the garden show that, here, there’s plenty of room for their little bundles of energy.
Vejle is cheaper
Kristine and Andreas’ life together began in Copenhagen, where they met while studying. Kristine is from Aabenraa and considers herself a real city girl, while Andreas grew up in a small village in southern Jutland and always dreamed of buying a house in the country. Their plans for settling down pulled in different directions and, to begin with, Kristine got her wish for city life when the couple moved to Horsens.
Their first child was born in the eastern Jutland city, but Kristine had a hard time settling in. When she got the opportunity to work as a nurse at Kolding Hospital, it was time to head south. However, they opted not to move to Kolding due to house prices and their overall financial situation.
“We found out that an institution place costs 1,000 kroner less per month in Vejle Municipality, and since we wanted to have more children, it would quickly make a difference. The municipal tax is also lower in Vejle,” says Andreas, a sales manager at a French company that produces seed.
Andreas sat down with a map to see which smaller towns might be suitable, located close to both Kolding and Vejle. It’s there when Ågård caught his eye.
“I could see that Ågård is close to everything. It’s near major cities, such as Vejle and Kolding. It’s also close to Billund Airport where I often travel from with my work. And it only takes 10 minutes to get to the motorway, from where we can easily get down to our family in southern Jutland,” he concludes.
A strong sense of togetherness
Although Kristine was sceptical about the idea of living in a small village, she ended up giving it a chance because she could see all the benefits of Ågård. And she hasn't regretted it.
“The sense of togetherness here is really strong. People drive from other towns to be part of our clubs and associations. People are so open that it really makes me feel I’m home. At the last street party, the big boys ran around with our small ones on their shoulders, and everyone had a great time,” explains Kristine.
Kristine has also joined a women's club for newcomers to the village. The club has four events a year, but she’s become friends with several of the members whom she sees often.
Coffee in mini-Aarhus
Ågård has a kindergarten, 9th grade school and a sports hall with a fitness centre. There’s also a pizzeria and a supermarket. This means that Kristine and Andreas don’t have to drive out of Ågård to drop the children off or go grocery shopping.
“It really meant a lot to us that the school went up to 9th grade,” says Kristine, who has a hard time thinking of anything she’s lacking in Ågård and the surrounding area. When she needs to feel the pulse of the city, the family drives into Vejle for a cup of coffee at a café and goes for a walk down the pedestrian street.
“Vejle is like a mini-Aarhus. It's a really lovely city,” adds Kristine, whose job often involves her working at Vejle Hospital.”
The couple speaks so warmly of Ågård and Vejle Municipality that several of their family members are considering buying a house in the village. For Kristine and Andreas, Ågård really hit the ‘sweet spot’. Andreas has the final word:
“In reality, the house is too small and we’re missing an extra bedroom for the kids. But we don't want to move so we’ll just have to extend.”
Translated by Tony Langford (Influentsy ApS)