Big World: Amsterdam

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A coffee with Lene Hypolite

 In this issue of Big World, we sit down with Bermudian Lene Hypolite, who has found her purpose, helping women of colour find theirs. Currently in Amsterdam, she talks to RG Magazine about the allure of the city, the challenges of entrepreneurship and her next steps.

 So, Lene, why Amsterdam? 

I actually came to Europe with the intention of scoping out Barcelona as my new home. Amsterdam was just planned as a visit to a friend on the way –– when I arrived, I knew it was where I was going to live. The city is charming; work life balance is amazing; and income is much higher than in Spain. I figured with a higher salary, I could afford to visit Spain on the weekends! It’s a great launch pad in terms of travel due to its location (six hours to New York, 40 minutes to London, three hours by train to Paris). Also, there’s a huge Caribbean population here which makes me feel connected to home.

What are you doing there?

I work in fintech at a travel company.

Other than Nike, what comes to mind when we say, “Just do it”?

Every mother in the world! Other than that, the idea of pushing forward no matter what obstacles come your way.

What is Take Flight? Tell us about the journey so far?

Take Flight is an online resource centre that helps people to experience international living. We provide guidance for those who want to live abroad, or to experience local culture around the world.

What has been the biggest challenge about building this platform?

It’s the first of its kind so there’s no roadmap.  It’s really about trial and error which can be expensive and time consuming. But as I learn, I can streamline the operations and make it more efficient.

Who do you see benefiting the most from this?

Women of color who don’t typically see themselves represented in the international living space.  I think a lot of it is building confidence and helping them to see that the opportunity to live and work abroad is possible for them too.

Where to next?

Singapore and Tokyo! I’ll be based out of Singapore but spending a lot of time in Tokyo as that’s where my partner is based.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given for people wanting to travel abroad, so far?

Book the ticket and figure out the rest later (this is literally my advice for everything in life. Say “yes” to opportunity now and figure out the rest later.

For more information about www.takeflight.comor email [email protected].

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