Time for family life
Having time for the family while still pursuing careers is important for Anja and Martin Nytofte-Bæk. They moved from Horsens to their dream house in Brørup in 2011.
From student life in Horsens to a strategic crossroads - in Brørup
Neither Anja nor Martin had thought they'd move to Brørup. Anja grew up in Kolding and Martin in Vester Nebel, a small village near Kolding. Although the plan was to either stay in Horsens or move back to the Kolding area, work, infrastructure and house prices attracted them to Brørup.
Martin studied building engineering in Horsens while Anja studied accounting. After completing their studies, they stayed on in Horsens as their first son Markus was born six weeks early. After a brief period looking for work, Martin got a job with Styropack in Glejbjerg in Vejen Municipality. Initially, he drove the 125 km there and back every day. That didn't leave much time for little Markus, though. When Anja lost her job, they therefore decided to move closer to Martin's work - and preferably before Markus was to start in childcare.
Everything within reach
From her childhood in Kolding, Anja was used to cycling everywhere and thought it would be difficult living somewhere where this was not possible. They therefore looked at houses and plots in Kolding and several of the towns in Vejen Municipality. In the end, though, they chose a large plot in Brørup.
By settling in Brørup, they have moved much closer to their families while getting much more house for their money than they could in Kolding. "And I can even cycle or walk to most of what we need," smiles Anja. "It's important to us that Brørup has a well-run health centre with both duty and on-call doctors, a recycling centre, a bank and a cinema with all the latest films," adds Martin.
They've settled well in Brørup. Martin designed the house himself, and made a 1:10 scale model before building commenced. So now they live in their completely unique dream house, which is both large and light.
The family also make use of the things on offer in other towns in the municipality. Almost every Sunday, they visit the Rødding Centre swimming baths, where there's a wonderfully warm pool. "And the children are completely worn out afterwards," smiles Martin. "Vejen Sports Centre in Vejen is a great concept, from the point of view of both sport and culture. It's fantastic that they can gather an audience of 800 for a performance by Andreas Bo, for instance," says Martin. "We can also easily visit attractions and events outside the municipality, taking the train, for example, or the E20 motorway which passes the town."
"There are several towns in Vejen Municipality with a lively shopping environment, including Vejen, Brørup and Rødding. There is also a great variety of cultural attractions and events. That's something that is crucial for attracting newcomers," agree Anja and Martin.
Time for a sense of belonging
"We were ready to swap student life for a life with a sense of belonging and commitment. In Horsens, our downstairs neighbour moved without us even noticing. Here in Brørup, everyone knows each other. That was difficult at first because everyone knew us while we knew no one. But that's precisely the closeness we want," says Martin.
"And we've been welcomed with open arms," smiles Anja. "One example is that I was allowed to start in a post-natal mothers' group in Brørup while we still lived in Horsens - for we were on our way. And as soon as we moved here, the children's health visitor was alert to the fact that Markus was born prematurely and provided plenty of information and support. That was a particularly good experience," says Anja.
Since moving to Brørup, Anja and Martin have had another baby boy: Oliver. He's already started in childcare and Anja has returned to work. Not in the job she had in Give, though. On 1 January 2013, she started at Vejen Utilities. Theirs is a small family with a busy everyday life. "The fact that we can balance family life and work means everything to us. It's essential that there are efficient childcare facilities, local shops and good infrastructure. Everyday life works for us here in Brørup, where there are good day care facilities, although the childminder's opening hours can cause slight inconvenience."
Martin and Anja knew no one in Brørup before moving there, but they have established a local network via day care, nursery, home-owners' association and the childminder's neighbour, who moved into a house on their road. They participate in many local activities, including Lurfest, the annual fete.
Anja and Martin are both trained sports instructors and are therefore looking forward to having enough time to help out in local sports and leisure activities. "But that won't be until the boys are a bit older," they smile.
Interview held in March 2013