And all the moments that was and that ever would be / Are full of trees and changing leaves.” — Virginia Woolf
Gwen Lin had plans for a mere two-year stay in Norway. It ended up being an unintended decade-long immigration. Originally from Taiwan, Gwen has lived in Norway since 2009. She is now a business owner and a working mom to a four year-old girl. She never contemplated moving abroad, but had always been attached to travelling and experiencing different cultures. Her open-minded grandmother took her on numerous foreign trips during her teenage years, which inspired her to seek new experiences.
Gwen arrived in Norway as a self-financed master’s student where she also worked part time to earn her living expenses. She completed her master’s degree in 2011 with a thesis titled Social integration of Businessmen in Norway. This thesis took Gwen on a journey of interviewing several immigrant businessmen, family-owned businesses, and power ladies who shared their thoughts on immigration and living in Norway, as well as how and why they started their own ventures instead of working for somebody else.
From being a student to juggling some part-time jobs as bartender, waitress, and newspaper deliverer, Gwen eventually had her own café and bar for two years before selling it. Afterwards, she settled for a quieter job in academia as a PhD student. Gwen had to eventually postpone her PhD completion after giving birth to her first baby.
Gwen moved from the west coast of Norway to the middle of the country. She also moved from the third largest city to a small countryside town where sheeps outnumbered human beings. Here, she and her husband restored a century-old property. Gwen now also runs a seasonal cabin rental business while maintaining her day job at a local Norwegian company.
Beyond this, Gwen’s passion is in the arts and photography. She is an opportunistic photographer who tells stories through her images. Gwen can manage to make something simple into something extraordinary.
For her, life isn’t always a walk down the rose garden. As admirable as it sounds to be working and living in beautiful Norway, Gwen has a keen appreciation of this Nordic society.er experiences reveal stark stories we might have otherwise never heard of.