– The best thing about Lapland is the way of life. It is totally different than in Southern Finland, Mid-Europe or even in Rovaniemi. The Lappish way of life is soothing. There’s no need to pretend or to be a very important person.

These sentences embody the thoughts that eventually lead Lissu to move into Lapland back in the day. Now she is 80 years old, but still works as a wilderness guide all year round. She only takes a break from work in May and late in the autumn.

– This is my scenery, the place of my life. I couldn’t consider any other place. There’s no way I would leave here, says Lissu – a former resident of Espoo.

Once, when her family lived in Hausjärvi, they sat down at a round table to talk about moving. There were two options; the outer archipelago of Tammisaari (Ekenäs) and Lapland. Lissu  had already been trained as wilderness guide in 1977 by Suomen Matkailuliitto. Thus, she chose Lapland and Kaamanen. She first arrived there as an entrepreneur.

At Kaamanen, she also acquired herself a house. For years she worked at Kiellatupa, a place of her own, and then as wilderness guide and teacher for new students, when suddenly it was time to retire.

Staying still, however, did not seem tempting to her. Despite her age, Lissu still has her hands full of work. In fact, she encourages other retired people to consider part-time jobs in Lapland. It may give new meaning for one’s life. Lissu herself is now working as a guide to the North Cape  for a company called Kukkolan Bussit, the Swiss Kontiki agency and the German Travel Traders.

For Lissu, work and hobbies have always gone hand-in-hand. The extraordinary setting of the Lappish wilderness provides perfect opportunities for that. This has not gone unnoticed by her children, as five out of the six of them live and work in the Lappish scenery.

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