These travelers moved to Europe despite knowing no one — here’s how they make a living


Many individuals dream of beginning a new life in a new nation.

But issues, equivalent to incomes cash, discovering a place to reside and assembly individuals, maintain them again.

Here are two girls travelers who did not let these particulars cease them from transferring to Europe — and how they really feel about their selections in the present day.

From tropical island to the Arctic

It’s widespread to yearn for a slower tempo of life. But transferring from bustling Singapore to a small city in Scandinavia is probably going too gradual — and too frigid — for many.

However, for 27-year-old Weisi Low, living within the Arctic created exhilarating adventures and a stronger appreciation for the nice outside.

After rising up fewer than 100 miles from the equator, Low now lives in Longyearbyen, Norway — a city of two,300 residents that’s one of the world’s northernmost everlasting settlements. It’s situated on the Svalbard archipelago, which is east of Greenland and about 650 miles from the North Pole.

Weisi Low moved to Norway’s Svalbard archipelago from Singapore in 2019.

Courtesy of Weisi Low

But Low knew what she was moving into. In 2017, she visited Svalbard as a vacationer throughout its “dark season,” which blankets the city in darkness from November to January.

“I have always been fascinated with traveling to secluded places and was keen on experiencing something new and out of the ordinary,” mentioned Low.

When I first arrived, I printed copies of my resume and went round city handing them out.

Weisi Low

Singaporean traveler

Back at dwelling, she continued to take into consideration Norway, realizing she most well-liked views of snow-capped mountains over high-rise buildings. After graduating from faculty in 2019, Low moved to Norway with 3,000 Singapore {dollars} ($2,229) and a 50-liter backpack.

“I didn’t want a life where I just woke up to buildings after buildings,” she mentioned. “I knew early on that the conventional route many took will not excite me.”

She gave her new journey a timeline too — three years. “If my plans fail, all I lose is just three years of my life,” she mentioned.

Weisi Low spends most of her time in Svalbard outside, having fun with views of snow-capped mountains and the glaciers.

Courtesy of Weisi Low

To make ends meet in Svalbard, Weisi labored as a biking tour information and at a store promoting arctic gear. She additionally works remotely as a advertising and marketing supervisor, with purchasers world wide.

“When I first arrived, I printed copies of my resume and went around town handing them out to establishments in Longyearbyen,” she mentioned. “That gave me the chance to grow my network and meet new people.”

“Just like in Singapore, everyone knows each other as it’s a very small and tight-knit community,” she mentioned. “Forging new friendships with people of different walks of life was one of the biggest highlights.”

The Northern Lights may be seen from Svalbard from late September to the center of March.

Courtesy of Weisi Low

In a place the place polar bears roam freely, and touring through snow cell is as regular as driving a automobile, Low spends most of her time outside, partaking in adventures she would by no means expertise in Singapore.

“In the winter, you can drive over the glaciers as it’s all frozen. We took a hike up one of the glaciers called Longyearbreen and went under an ice cave where we had coffee,” mentioned Low. “In the summer, the glaciers will melt, and you can see the water flowing down into the rivers and seas. It’s really beautiful.”

The Northern Lights are a widespread sight too, mentioned Low. “During the polar season, you can see the lights in the middle of the afternoon since the sky remains dark for months,” she added.

Spending the previous two years in Svalbard has allowed Low to develop independently and prioritize her life.

“Svalbard has taught me the importance of having a balanced lifestyle,” she mentioned “I prioritize my work and friendships, but… also… my desire for adventure.”

Starting a resort throughout a pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic precipitated many to rethink their work lives. But Filipina Christine Cunanan took a a lot larger leap of religion by transferring over 7,000 miles from dwelling to open a resort in Spain.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Christine Cunanan opened the Spanish luxurious villa resort La Esperanza Granada in August 2021.

Courtesy of Christine Cunanan

“Manila turned into a ghost town overnight and everything from work to birthday celebrations went online,” mentioned Cunanan.

When the worldwide airport in Manila reopened, she booked a flight to Tokyo, the place she lives part-time and works because the editor-in-chief of a journey journal.

On the flight, she determined to look into shopping for a home in Spain despite having no ties to the area. She had traveled there twice earlier than the pandemic closed borders across the globe, and Spain was nonetheless on her thoughts.

“When I got back home to Tokyo, before even unpacking my bags, I went online and searched properties in Spain,” she mentioned. “When I saw this one in Granada online, I said ‘Wow, this is beautiful.'”

The home was owned by a British couple, and it was licensed to perform as a small resort, though the house owners used it as a non-public dwelling.

“It was perfect,” mentioned Cunanan, despite being “in a region where I initially knew absolutely nothing and no one.”

“People may think I exaggerate but… everyone I needed for this move and for my new business…appeared in my life at exactly the right time,” she mentioned.

A lawyer she’d by no means met dealt with the sale, an acquaintance she had “spoken three words to at a cocktail party a year before” took possession of the keys in her absence, mentioned Cunanan, who purchased the home sight unseen.

“This acquaintance’s best friend came along to help him, and the best friend has not left the property since Day 1,” she mentioned. “He’s now my business partner.”

La Esperanza Granada, a resort and villa in Spain.

Courtesy of Christine Cunanan

Approximately one 12 months after shopping for the home, Cunanan opened the posh villa resort La Esperanza Granada in August of 2021.

“Moving to Spain and renovating a hotel amidst Covid was simply a matter of one door opening after another,” she mentioned. “Some things are just meant to be.”

In the 10 weeks that the resort has been open, it is hosted weddings nearly each weekend, mentioned Cunanan, including that on-line opinions have been overwhelming positive.

“With just a little inkling of the adventure that awaited and way too much recklessness, I jumped from Manila to Tokyo and then straight into the life of a hotel owner in Spain,” she mentioned. “So far it has been one of the happiest times of my life.”



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