By Sandra Quinn
Since Filipino woman Rhea Rafols left her home country in 2009 to move to Norway, she has been separated from her family and friends by just under 10,000 kilometres – 9,977km to be exact, but thanks to the SmartRoamer app from Horizon Globex, that gap has been bridged and they communicate every single day.
When Rhea left the Philippines, she said goodbye to the home where her mother, stepfather, two sisters and two cousins who are like a brother and sister to her, all lived.
She explained that she is a very family oriented person and she would have struggled with the idea of leaving for so long if she hadn’t been able to keep in touch so regularly.
“It is very important for me to talk to home,” she said.
“I am a real family person, I want to keep updated with news and it makes me feel like I am not as far away – it feels like I am just with them,” Rhea said.
Speaking about the benefits of SmartRoamer in particular, she said that it is cheaper than other options and she loves that she can get messages from home even if she has no credit in her account.
Rhea and her daughter try to visit the Philippines once a year, but speaking to home every day means that everything stays familiar.
Rhea said that at certain times of the year, like Christmas, she finds it harder to be away from family.
“I also find the month of March very hard, because that is the month of my birthday, my sister’s birthday, my father’s birthday and the anniversary of his death and I would like to be surrounded by family then.”
Now that Rhea also has a Filipino boyfriend, she does plan on eventually moving back to the Philippines to have a baby with her boyfriend.
“For me, the Philippines is my home, it will always be. I have a Norwegian passport, but in my heart, my home is always the Philippines.”