Tak­ing the Leap: Ladislav’s Jour­ney to a Bet­ter Life


What hap­pens, when you take a leap into the unknown, leav­ing your own life behind in search of some­thing new? Meet Ladislav, the cur­rent Head of Oper­a­tions in Bloom Oulu, who moved to Fin­land from Slo­va­kia, inspired by Oulu’s peace­ful nature.

It’s been almost a year since I made the leap from the famil­iar com­forts of my home­land to the tran­quil streets of Oulu, Fin­land. The deci­sion was­n’t an easy one, but it was a nec­es­sary step after real­iz­ing my val­ues no longer aligned with those around me back home. I sold my house, resigned from an excel­lent job, and set off into the unknown.

Why Oulu, you ask? It wasn’t a dart-thrown-at-a-map kind of deci­sion. I did my home­work – read exten­sive­ly about the city, par­tic­i­pat­ed in online events host­ed by Oulu, and final­ly, four months before the big move, vis­it­ed the city in per­son. From that moment, I knew this was where I want­ed to live and raise my daugh­ter. The archi­tec­ture might not win awards, but the seren­i­ty that emanat­ed from every street, every per­son, and every tree was cap­ti­vat­ing.

Com­par­ing Oulu to larg­er cities I’ve lived in, like Bratisla­va or Lon­don, is like com­par­ing a calm, slow riv­er to a roar­ing, unpre­dictable sea. Here, life flows more slow­ly, peace­ful­ly, and hap­pi­ly. The Finnish work cul­ture was a rev­e­la­tion. Com­ing from a place where 12-hour work­days are the norm and your phone is nev­er off, the bal­anced and respect­ful work-life eth­ic of the Finns was both shock­ing and refresh­ing.

This move has been life-chang­ing. It’s giv­en me the time and space to tru­ly decide what I want to do and use my skills to cre­ate val­ue, not just prof­it. From the start, I dove into the com­mu­ni­ty, attend­ing and lat­er orga­niz­ing events, meet­ing won­der­ful, intel­li­gent peo­ple who share the same val­ues.

Believe it or not, I’ve even start­ed cycling – some­thing I used to resist vehe­ment­ly – thanks to Oulu’s per­fect cycling infra­struc­ture, unmatched by any place I’ve seen before.


One of the great­est dis­cov­er­ies here is the care and oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able for fam­i­lies and chil­dren, from beau­ti­ful play­grounds to excel­lent edu­ca­tion­al facil­i­ties. The com­mu­ni­ty I move with­in, both Finnish and inter­na­tion­al, is amaz­ing. I’m slow­ly lean­ing more into Finnish cus­toms, much to the amuse­ment of my wife, who often jokes, “You’re more Finnish than a native Finn,” a nod to the stereo­types about Finns.

Before this Nordic adven­ture, I wore many hats in my home­land through the years. As the Head of Cus­tomer Ser­vice, Head of Mar­ket­ing, and Head of Sales, I prac­ti­cal­ly ran the show for my depart­ments – or at least, that’s how it felt most days. Jug­gling these roles though the years was like being in a cir­cus with­out the safe­ty net. But these expe­ri­ences honed my skills in man­ag­ing peo­ple, projects, and the occa­sion­al cri­sis.

Now, in Oulu, I apply these skills to build some­thing mean­ing­ful for the com­mu­ni­ty, where the only jug­gling I do is fig­ur­ing out which amaz­ing event to cre­ate next.

“Here in Oulu, life flows more slow­ly, peace­ful­ly, and hap­pi­ly.“

As an immi­grant, I believe it’s my duty to learn the lan­guage of my new home. I’m cur­rent­ly study­ing Finnish in an inte­gra­tion course, and while it’s chal­leng­ing, it’s also log­i­cal, which makes the learn­ing process enjoy­able. From the out­set, I became a vol­un­teer with Bloom Fin­land, even­tu­al­ly becom­ing the Head of Oper­a­tions and a board mem­ber. This has been one of the best things to hap­pen to me.

Bloom aligns per­fect­ly with my ideals, giv­ing me the free­dom to cre­ative­ly approach event plan­ning and com­mu­ni­ty work. The effort to improve inte­gra­tion and under­stand­ing between Finns and immi­grants is incred­i­bly impor­tant to me, and Bloom has become part of my iden­ti­ty.

I must com­mend the city of Oulu for its exem­plary sup­port in help­ing immi­grants inte­grate into soci­ety. A spe­cial place in my heart will always be reserved for Inter­na­tion­al House Oulu, where won­der­ful peo­ple do amaz­ing work for immi­grants.

In con­clu­sion, a few pieces of advice: learn Finnish, be active, be active, be active. And come to Oulu. Because Oulu is great.