About Paulina

I’m the creator of UpGroves. On this site, I share real-life strategies and tools to help online entrepreneurs and creators grow their audience, get more clients, and earn more money.

I created UpGroves to create a place where you can find everything you need to save yourself time, energy, and money to build your online business. This is what I wish I had when I started my solo journey.

My Journey

Not long ago, I was working full-time at a tech company in Santiago, Chile. I really liked what I did: the culture was great and I had amazing colleagues. However, everything changed in March 2023 with the onset of the pandemic. Suddenly, we found ourselves confined to our homes. Fortunately, I was sharing an apartment with a friend. But those three months of lockdown were not easy. I found myself working longer hours, sometimes up to 16 a day, and the stress piled up.

When the lockdown lifted, Chile announced the opening of its borders. A friend in Brazil sent me a selfie from an amazing beach. I felt so jealous! Then I thought, “Since I’m working remotely, why not do it from Brazil?”. A week later, I landed in Salvador de Bahia.

But soon after, I learned about my impending layoff, which eventually happened. I felt so insecure: Should I go back to Chile? Should I start looking for a job? What should I do next?

I realized this was actually a blessing in disguise. With the severance pay, I decided to extend my stay in Brazil. And after three months, I returned to Santiago briefly to sell my belongings, say goodbye to my family and friends, and continue traveling.

Back in Brazil, a friend in Thailand told me about the high demand for English teachers there. So, along with another friend, we ventured to Southeast Asia. Despite the initial mandatory quarantine (with high associated costs), we quickly found work. And, lucky us, we were told that the classes would be online. A colleague recommended visiting Koh Tao. So we packed our stuff to spend 10 days there. I was instantly smitten with the place. So, when we were confirmed to continue working remotely, I decided to settle there.

By the end of 2021, we were asked to return to in-person classes. But I was already charmed with Koh Tao, with its nature, beaches, and incredible people. I decided to resign and, with some savings, began looking for freelance jobs. A few friends introduced me to freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. It was challenging at first, but I gradually found more and better opportunities.

In early 2022, I started working part-time as a Project Manager for an architectural design studio in the U.S. Even though I hadn’t held that specific position before, I had relevant experience from previous positions.

The real change came when an islander friend introduced me to an opportunity with an Australian company. This new role not only allowed me to stay in Koh Tao but also doubled my income.

Today, I am working full-time on my projects from a paradise island.

Reflecting on my journey, I’m reminded of a phrase that goes something like: “Remember where you are now is where you wanted to be years ago”.
And indeed it is. It happened. And I feel so grateful for it.