Annika Ollila

Annika Ollila

Sometimes I forget that I'm not from Helsinki.

Can you forget your birth place? Momentarily yes, says Annika Ollila, a social media influencer from Lahti. 

"I moved to Helsinki five years ago, so fairly recently. Yet it feels like I don't even remember another time, it feels like I always lived here. Before I moved, I had hardly any friends here and I would have had every reason to feel like an outsider, but instead I began to feel at home almost immediately. My partner is a Helsinki native and has lived here his whole life. Our life here feels so natural that I sometimes forget that I'm not from Helsinki."

While Ollila still appreciates her birthtown Lahti, she enjoys the open-minded attitude in Helsinki. "It was so refreshing that all of a sudden there is so much around to see and do, events and other life. That is the biggest difference compared to everyday living in a smaller city." 

Kallio is a focal point for Ollila, a district where everything is within reach. "I feel I have become a homebody. It's a little bit amusing that there are endless options for things to do around me and still I enjoy myself most at home. Here in Kallio, everything is right outside my door: my favourite restaurants and terraces, services, and the beat of the city centre. It's easy to do whatever you want even on short notice." 

Now this idyllic lifestyle is somewhat under threat: Ollila is moving to northern Helsinki with her boyfriend, where they have bought their own home for the first time. "The transport connections are good, so it is unlikely that we will be isolating ourselves completely. But the change is a bit intimidating as I've lived in different apartments in the same district within the same 100-metre radius for the past five years. Even though I get around a lot, my view of the city might be a bit narrow due to my everyday stomping ground being so small. I think the change will definitely be a nice one and open new perspectives to Helsinki."    

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