From Pandemic to Paradise: Our Journey to Bornholm

When Linea and Bjørn had to cancel a six-month stay in France at the beginning of 2020 due to COVID-19, a lunch in front of the computer and a video with a ceramic artist from Bornholm led them to find an alternative destination. Today, they have their dream house and own gallery on Bornholm.

Where did you live before?

It was at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, and we had to cancel our trip to France. We were supposed to go there for six months, traveling around, interviewing artisans, and taking vacations in between.

At that time, we lived in an apartment in Copenhagen NV. 80 m², four rooms with a small 12 m² garden.

We had agreed that we would find a new place to live when we got back from France. We wanted to ‘settle down’. That was our way of saying we wanted to find an expensive house near Copenhagen and have some children. I don’t think either of us was very excited about it, but what other options did we have?

After we canceled France, we got a bit depressed. We could always do it the next year, of course. But when you are 27, a year seems like an unbelievably long time.

Were we just going to keep doing this? Live to work and wait to grow old? We didn’t really have an answer to that. So a few months went by. It could easily have been a few years.

But on an especially dull day at work, while Bjørn was having lunch in front of the computer, as you do when you work from home and live in an apartment, he saw a video with a Bornholm potter. He can still remember a specific part of the video where the potter goes to the beach to collect clay: “Why the heck am I not going to the beach to collect clay too!?” And he asked Linea: “Why don’t we move to Bornholm?” It’s easy to sell Bornholm: cheap and large houses, beautiful nature, friendly people. Bornholm, for heaven’s sake! But Linea said no, and Bjørn went back to work and forgot all about Bornholm.

However, the conversation sparked something in Linea. She googled Bornholm and how to move there. That’s how we found Tilflytterservice.

Our idea was to live here for a year. We would rent a house and get a feel for the island before jumping in with both feet. It was Tilflytterservice that made us realize that renting a house was not the best solution. It would be to buy a house. To create a gallery, ceramics workshop, and studio for Linea! That was what we wanted. Suddenly, we were excited. The same day we talked to Tilflytterservice, we went to the real estate agents and made several appointments for open houses.

We met with relocation consultant Rune Holm at the end of September. Two months later, we signed the purchase agreement, and on December 31, 2020, we took over our dream house. Boom.

He also helped us realize that a year on Bornholm was not the dream. The dream was to move here. To be able to renovate and expand. To put down roots and make friends. All that takes more time than you have in a year.

What do you do here on Bornholm?

We have opened Galleri Pilehøj near Østermarie, where we sell Bjørn’s ceramics and Linea’s photographs. Bjørn works four days a week as a software developer for a company in Copenhagen. In addition, he is also a co-founder of the startup company Openseat with his cousin.

Working from home on Bornholm suits Bjørn very well. To make working from home as comfortable as possible, Linea and Bjørn have set up a good workspace for Bjørn, equipped with a high-quality camera, quality screens, and exercise equipment, which is necessary when working from home five days a week.

Over the first three years on Bornholm, we have made significant progress with renovation projects – and at the beginning of 2024, we reached a milestone by completing Linea’s studio. Realizing Linea’s childhood dream of such a space is incredibly fulfilling, and it is a joy to live in a home that encompasses everything we have dreamed of.

Photo: Anders Beier

It’s not the usual kind of decision. It takes a lot of courage. And come on, it’s not some strange place, it’s just Bornholm, for heaven’s sake!

What makes Bornholm special?

First and foremost, the people who live here. The island mentality. Neighborly friendships. And when friends come to visit, they are always on vacation – so it’s very cozy and there is plenty of time to chat with your guests.

And the nature. We have started birdwatching. Bjørn doesn’t quite know how it happened… When we moved, we weren’t even 30 yet. But it turns out that nature is much more exciting when you live in it. And of course, being able to open a shop. It’s relatively easy to attract customers. Many people are already here to look at ceramics and other handicrafts.

What is your advice for potential newcomers?

If you have already decided – please come by and say hello. We offer coffee and rhubarb crumble.

If you are serious about it and don’t have any strong arguments against it, then do it. The worst that can happen is that you hate it and want to go back home. It would cost some money and a few months. But that is a small price to pay to be sure of your decision. It is certainly cheaper than buying a summer house if that’s not the dream.

It’s not the usual kind of decision. It takes a lot of courage. And come on, it’s not some strange place, it’s just Bornholm, for heaven’s sake!

Could Bornholm also be something for you?

Then contact Tilflytterservice at

We look forward to hearing from you.

The dream is closer than you think – we are with you every step of the way.