Curiosity keeps leading us down new paths

Walt Disney

Curiosity and adventure run in your blood. You’re up to becoming an expat and relocating to Rotterdam, or you’re planning your next dream holiday. What an exciting prospect! If only you could focus solely on the pleasant part of your plan and not have to bother with the hassle and stress. And they are stressful – international relocations and time-consuming holiday researches.

Tell me – does any of this sound familiar?

You’re excited but at the same time overwhelmed by information overload. Spending hours researching on the internet, you feel as if you’re digging yourself into a hole. You don’t even know where to begin and it’s hard not to feel deflated.

You might be a bit afraid of the unknown: will you be lonely after relocating to Rotterdam? Or when traveling, what will you do if you miss your flight connection or if a hurricane has been forecasted in the area where you’re headed?

Stress takes out the joy of a new job or out of the perspective of an exciting holiday.

You’ve the means to have a comfortable rental apartment in Rotterdam, but you don’t know a thing about the Dutch housing market. Or you’ve the means to have an adventurous holiday, unique of its kind, but you don’t have energy, inspiration or knowledge to plan such a trip.

And the crucial point: do you have TIME to spend on all the arrangements and details?

I know what you want. I really do, as I’ve been in your shoes. Living in different countries, working for more than 20 years with the expats in multinational companies, travelling the world and having designed many tailor-made journeys, I can say with confidence that I understand your needs.

But most importantly, I can help you.

Ling has been instrumental in a smooth transition for me. Not only did she help with all of the technical aspects of residency permit, leasing signing, insurance etc. due to her strong connections and expertise in the process, but she was also intuitively helpful with the integration that is needed when moving to a new living space, city and life. I would not be nearly as comfortable or settled only days into my move without Ling. You'll not find a more perfect expat buddy!

Dana Lukens

Traveller

When you want:

  • a tailor-made trip based on your specific needs and wishes
  • to save time and hassle of researching and making arrangements
  • unforgettable encounters and sensory experiences
  • sustainable choices and slow travel
  • support from your initial request to the completion of your trip

Expat

When you want:

  • a smooth and seamless relocation
  • to save time, stress and hassle of making arrangements
  • to focus on your new job and not on sorting out paperwork
  • to settle into your new life quickly
  • extensive support during the transition period

As an expat from the UK I knew little about Rotterdam, such as good areas to rent and those to avoid. Within a short period of time Ling had identified a number of good properties that matched my needs. She attended a house viewing with me and communicated with the landlord on my behalf, which really eased the process a lot. I'm now happily residing in a family house and I couldn't have done it without Ling's help.

Scott Petrie

Why work with Ling?

Here’s the answer:

I understand your needs and wishes. How? Because I’ve been in your shoes…many times. I experienced at first hand the challenges of expat life, and I went through all the travel hiccups possible to imagine. I stayed with my expat parents in Japan and China. I travelled for work (in the oil and gas industry) and leisure around the world.

With more than 20 years of experience in working with the expats, I’m skilled in adapting my approach to the unique needs of my clients. In 2008 I was awarded a SMART award for my work (in recognition of outstanding accomplishment, contribution and continual pursuit of operational excellence) from Subsea 7. I was the first one in the Rotterdam office to receive such a reward.

As for travelling, I’m certified tour operator offering immersive, sustainable and slow travel, using all your senses to explore a new place. I work with local partners to shape an extraordinary trip that goes beyond a guide-book experience.  Moreover, I’m an entrepreneur affiliated with United Travel. All bookings are placed with United Travel, member of ANVR (the Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators), SGR (Dutch non-profit organisation with an aim to protect travellers against travel providers’ bankruptcies) and de Stichting Calamiteitenfonds (Dutch organisation offering consumers compensation for the extra costs during their trip due to a catastrophe or an impending catastrophe). You can travel with confidence knowing you are covered.

However, none of that is as important as the following:

I’m dedicated to making your experience unforgettable. Not on paper, but in real life. For me, everything comes together in the work I do. I found my ikigai. It is my heart’s desire to share my creativity, enthusiasm, knowledge and experiences with you, my client. To help you the way I would like to be helped myself. I do my work in the spirit of service, knowing everyone’s needs are unique. Oprah Winfrey once said: “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”

And I’m here to help you on this adventure.

Ling really made the difference in developing a well-though-out plan that revolved around my interests. I had an amazing and hassle-free experience. If you’re looking for a full service trip planning with loads of personal attention, where every single aspect is curated perfectly, you need to work with Ling.

Petra Oudshoorn

Curiosity is my second nature

I was 41 days old when I travelled on a plane for the first time. Is that when the seed for my wanderlust was planted? You might say that.

My parents love travelling and took me with them on their travels throughout all of Asia. Being expats, my father worked for years in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai and my mother as a tour guide in Tokyo. During my school holidays I spent weeks with them and experienced the everyday life in China and Japan at first hand.

Such broad experience at a very young age gave me unique and valuable insights into daily life of the locals. As a result, I’m endlessly fascinated by cultures, traditions, customs, manners, religious rituals and local specialities.

Off to the Netherlands

My mother went to live in the Netherlands, and, when I was 12, I followed her. I was in love with travel stories and other cultures. Having read many captivating stories about children my age, living in different cultures, I was intrigued what it would be like to live in an another country, especially in a western culture. Therefore, I decided to make a move and experience the cultural differences for myself. What a switch – from the vibrant global city of Singapore to the small, rural town of Goes.

Fortunately, I hardly had any culture shock. Within a year, I spoke Dutch and savoured typical hearty Dutch food like haring, Dutch pea soup and stroopwafels. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Zeeland landscape and Dutch holidays such as Sinterklaas and Queen’s Day (now King’s Day). However, I was never quite able to get used to Babi Pangang: the Dutch-Chinese-Indonesian fusion dish. Crispy deep-fried pork served with a tomato-based sauce. It reminds me of wallpaper paste.

Experienced expat buddy

My thirst for new experiences had remained unquenched. As a teenager, I was active in promoting indie and underground bands, organised many exchange projects with bands from different countries. It was a great way for me to connect with all manner of cultures and nationalities.

When it came time to choose a career path, I started working at international companies in the financial and oil and gas industries, with people from different (business) cultures and nationalities. Since my start in these varied international environments, I’ve been thriving because I’m highly fascinated by how different cultures and nationalities work together. I love applying my skills and expertise (gained during my times at the corporate world) such as project management, business development and customer service to my current job as an expat buddy and travel designer.

Whether you need support when relocating to Rotterdam or assistance while travelling abroad, I’m your home away from home.

Memorable moments

Each time I travel, I gain a fresh perspective on life. And that’s what I strive to create for my clients. I re-live those priceless, special memories each time I think about the trips I made. When I close my eyes, I can almost…

  • taste the delicious Fried Hokkien Prawn Mie from the food stall in Singapore.
  • smell the incense burning in the Senso-ji temple in Tokyo.
  • hear the roar of the Colorado River as it rushes along the Grand Canyon.
  • see the ever-impressive Canadian Rocky Mountains looming up ahead me for the first time.
  • feel small and insignificant in the rugged volcanic landscape of Iceland.

Let me sparkle up your journey.

Ling Chan

Everything starts with a spark!

When it comes to my work, I found my ikigai. It’s my pleasure to share my creativity, enthusiasm, knowledge and experiences with you, my client. Working together, we’ll bring your relocation and travel plan into reality.

Whether you’re going on a trip or are coming to live and work in Rotterdam; SparkLing One is ready to take you on an unforgettable journey!

Trees, the earth’s lungs

As far as I’m concerned, travelling is an essential part of my life. The trips I’ve made, have helped to shape me into the person I’m today. I’m a big supporter of sustainable tourism and nature conservation. A tree is a special gift. Trees ensure the possibility of life on Earth. And therefore, we should care for the trees in return. To do our part for the greener planet, I’ll donate one tree for each trip booked and for each expat guided by SparkLing One. By hiring me, you contribute to a better world.

Trees for All is the only supplier in the Netherlands with the CBF – the Netherlands Fundraising Regulator – stamp of approval, which empowers CO2 compensation through sustainable (re)forestation projects. Trees for All invests only in projects that comply with the ‘Triple M’: mens, milieu, meerwaarde (people, environment, added value). Want more information? Go to www.treesforall.nl.