I was thinking about that when I was dropping my 6 year old off at some hobbies earlier - it’s pretty much expected to have learned how to ride a bicycle before starting school, and it massively expands the area you can go to by yourself. When she went to school by bicycle she can easily make a detour via a shop to spend some pocket money before coming home, while by foot that’d be rather time consuming.

Quite a lot of friends from outside of Europe either can’t ride a bicycle, or were learning it as adult after moving here, though.

edit: the high number of replies mentioning “swimming” made me realize that I had that filed as a basic skill pretty much everybody has - probably due to swimming lessons being a mandatory part of school education here.


Currently in Finland - single family home in a town with 46k people. Originally from a 2k village in Germany.

We have two daycares, a school and a grocery store 1km from home - here that kind of stuff is integrated in the neighbourhoods where people live. Many elementary schools, some just grades 1 and 2 - by grade 3 they can already easily travel the longer distance to another school by themselves.


Sigh. My town is even larger and more populous than yours… Really discouraging. Jobs in my field (programming) are mostly around town, and it’s too expensive for me to buy there, so unless I manage to keep working remote indefinitely, I’ll never be able to buy lol

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