1. Inspiration

From Shanghai to Ribe

Family and housing

Line and Leon found what they were looking for in Ribe


Birgit Bech Jensen

Head of communication

Contact Birgit

Line Fricke and Leon Walker relocated from Shanghai to Ribe in 2016

When Line Fricke and Leon Walker, who are both 30 years old, settled in Ribe in 2016, it was intended to be a pit stop only. The couple had lived in Shanghai for several years, where Leon, who comes from New Zealand, worked in a bank, while Line, who grew up in Ribe, worked with events. After one year’s leave and a trip around Australia and New Zealand, where Line trained as a yoga teacher, the couple decided to move temporarily back to Line’s family in Ribe while deciding where their next career adventure should take them.

– In Shanghai the pace was fast, and the competition was fierce. We needed fresh air and we therefore considered moving to Stockholm or Berlin, says Line, who has a Masters in Management and Economics from CBS (Copenhagen Business School) and has studied Chinese in China.

However, the couple never made it that far, as Line started to teach outdoor yoga in Ribe.

– It was a summer offer for tourists, but quite often locals participated, too. This inspired me to open my own yoga studio and teach yoga all year round, she says about Studio Ribe, which opened in April 2017. At the same time, Line is affiliated with the Museum of Southwest Jutland as a project worker.

I was surprised that there are so many internatio­nal companies in a relatively small town

Leon Walker

Newcomer in Ribe

Leon, who has a Master in Business and Chinese language, works at Ribe Jernindustri and will assist them in entering the Chinese market.

– I was surprised that there are so many international companies in a relatively small town. We even have expat friends, like we had in Shanghai. But compared to Shanghai, our quality of life is much better here – the atmosphere is more enjoyable. I notice this when I return from my business trips, says Leon, who during his job seeking process got sparring from the municipal Newcomer Service.

Today the couple lives in an apartment in the centre of Ribe and has, as it seems now, put the big city dream on the shelf.

– It looks like we have found the base we were looking for. There may not be quite as many opportunities here as in the big cities – but it’s also less stressful here. There is more room to enjoy life alongside a career, explains the couple, who especially enjoys the surrounding nature.

– We really like cycling to the lock and going for a walk on the dyke and I enjoy going kitesurfing and mountain bike riding. I have also just started taking lessons in jiu-jitsu, says Leon.