My name is Laura Wintemute and this is my story...
"I already knew firsthand what it was like to move to Denmark, and after assisting over 2000 people move here, you could say I am now an expert."
– Laura Wintemute, Founder of Homestead
I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A small prairie city, surrounded by wheat and corn fields.
At a very young age I knew I wanted to travel, and my father always said, “travel was the best education.” So…at the age of 22, I packed my bags and moved to the tropical Cayman Islands. I'm pretty sure my father regrets giving me that advice now, as it launched my journey as an ex-pat.
Cayman is one of the top tourist islands in the Caribbean, and with over 1.000,000 tourists a year, I learned how to interact with all walks of life, all nationalities and all cultures. I worked in hotel concierge service, hotel management and, eventually, I started opening restaurants. No matter what job I was doing, it involved helping people. During those years I also traveled to over 20 different countries, learning about the people and their cultures.
On my 8th year of living as a coconut in Cayman, I met “the one”… and he was from Denmark. Shortly thereafter, we moved to Whistler, Canada, where I managed a 5-star restaurant, and one year later we finally settled in Denmark.
Working part time, going to Danish lessons, and developing a Danish network wasn’t easy.
To be completely honest, it was overwhelming. The language, the culture, the social system and even the people were so very different to what I was used to.
Take the fact that Danes are ALWAYS on time. In Cayman, their motto for punctuality is “soon come”, not “let’s get to the dinner party 5 minutes early”. And if I had someone to tell me where to find a dry cleaner, how to use the online banking, or inform me not to wait for Danes to invite me out, but that I needed to make the first move, I may have eased in to everyday life faster. I had so much to learn, and settling in took longer than I expected.
After a couple years in Denmark, we got married, bought a house, and in 2010, we had our daughter. That was when my career in the restaurant industry came to an end. In 2012, I started working for a relocation company. I felt it was a job that encapsulated both my experience as an ex-pat and my love of helping people. I learned everything there was to know about relocation into Denmark and built a fantastic network. I knew firsthand what it was like to move to Denmark, and after assisting over 2000 people and their families move here, you could say I am now an expert!
After 6 years experience in relocation, I wanted to take my expertise to the next level. Relocation agencies are the beginning of your new move to Denmark, but then what? What about schools, online banking, transportation systems, and everyday needs? How do you start the best phone plan? Who to call for plumbing services? And what about that dry cleaning?
That’s why I started Homestead – welcoming new working professionals and their families to Denmark, introducing them to their community and local businesses, so they can settle in as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
As we say in Denmark, "Vi ses!”
Laura Wintemute- Founder
Who we are
Homestead is not a relocation company nor a mobility services company. We take over where they leave off. Our sole purpose is to help International Newcomers settle in quickly and with ease. I know firsthand what it’s like to move to Denmark. I obviously didn’t know the areas, the people, the language or the culture when I first moved here, but now I do and I’d like to share my knowledge with you.
Why I do what I do
Most International Professional Expats, when they move to a new country want to settle in as fast as possible. Make their temporary home, feel like home even if it is for a short period. Most of you have families with you and need things to feel as normal as possible as fast as possible. It takes time to find out where to shop, eat and play. What about where to get your dry cleaning done, buy home hardware supplies, rent a car and find a good hair salon.
In my experience, 3-4 months after moving here is when things become most difficult. The craziness has calmed down, but reality has now kicked in. You have so many questions but no one to ask. You don’t want to bother your colleagues or HR departments, so who can you ask?
Homestead, that’s who! Our team of friendly expats are here to help you settle in quicker and with ease.