Laura: Expat Adventures In Singapore
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Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Singapore, etc.
My name’s Laura and I moved to Singapore just over three years ago (in July 2010) from the UK. I moved here because of my husband’s job and prior to our move I’d never thought I’d one day live abroad.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started blogging as an easy way to keep family and friends back in the UK updated on what we were doing. To be honest I’m not sure how many of them still read it but I love doing it, I’ve met loads of great people by doing it and it’s kept on growing from those beginnings.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I am very interested in history and so I guess it would have to be some of my posts about the historical side of Singapore which also happen to be some of my most popular posts too:
Tell us about the ways your new life in Singapore differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I have to be honest and say that my memory is actually a little hazy about my initial feelings on arriving in Singapore but I don’t recall experiencing a great deal of culture shock or difficulty adjusting to living here. Singapore is a very easy place to adapt to and as long as you accept there will be differences from what you are used to (and yes I admit some things still get me) it’s very easy to settle in.
My life in many ways is very similar to what it was in the UK, I go to work, the supermarket and have to do all the same errands I would be doing in the UK. The main differences for me are the amazing opportunities to experience many different cultures, some great food and the opportunity to visit places I only could have imagined visiting before we moved here.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Singapore? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I actually don’t think I did much preparation at all before I moved which given I’d never lived abroad or even considered doing it seems a little crazy now. Though I’ve never felt I wasn’t prepared for the move. All I really did before I came was make arrangements for all our furniture etc to be shipped, packed and read a little bit about Singapore in general. I think I had the approach that I’d find out as I went along and perhaps that was better for me than getting weighed down by worry. I didn’t even visit Singapore beforehand aside from when my husband made the initial move over (he moved over before me so by that point it was too late anyway) or read any other blogs until after I arrived here. I now get contacted by lots of people making the move themselves so if/when we move on I’m sure that time around I’ll be hunting out blogs in our new location.
The only thing I would do differently is perhaps be more selective about what I brought with me. Apart from winter clothes that I left at my parents and a few other things pretty much everything I owned came with me and in hindsight there are plenty of things I could have left behind.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Sadly I really can’t think of any that are that funny!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Singapore?
- Explore the real Singapore as much as possible, don’t just stick to the touristy parts and the gleaming malls of Orchard Road.
- Get to know the locals who live near you.
- Remember you are having an amazing lifetime experience by getting to live in another country so embrace it as much as you can.
How is the expat community in Singapore? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I have a mix of expat and local friends. Social media (and my blog) was and still is great for meeting people and through them meeting others too. Since I started working I’ve, of course, also made friends there as well.
I have never found it difficult to make friends here. I’ve, of course, met people who for whatever reason a friendship never really developed but likewise I’ve made a lot of fantastic friends who I am confident I’ll remain in contact with no matter where we end up eventually.
How would you summarize your expat life in Singapore in a single, catchy sentence?
The experience of a lifetime that I shall never forget!