I fell in love
When I first arrived in Singapore in December 2014 I fell in love with the place. I thought, why aren’t more people moving here?! I remember thinking it was a great way to ease yourself in to South East Asia or life as an expat as it has A LOT of home comforts. Of course, it is a new modern city and I quickly realised it was the kind of city that simply wanted you to keep saying “WOW!”.
My love for the country grew alongside the love I developed for the women I would meet there. I met them through my boyfriend at the time and we became a group that would support each other and socialised often. During the time I was there I created a Happiness Club meeting once a month and blogged about it to discuss one of the 10 Keys to Happiness (a project I had taken on which was advertised in Psychologies magazine). It gave us a focus each month. It not only became another excuse to meet in that week or month but it brought us closer together. We really did try to make life in a foreign country with no job interesting and fun.
A woman on a mission
After a brief visit to London in the summer I returned to Singapore. This time I returned as a different person. I was now single and with no permanent job holding me back I knew there was something I had always wanted to do and now seemed the best time to do it. It was to travel alone! Although I knew that much I also had returned to Singapore as a woman who really had no clue what would happen next. I thought I would take a month out to explore a few parts of South East Asia and get the break I needed. Little did I know Singapore would be my first stop to my spontaneous, epic, challenging, liberating, soul satisfying, life fulfilling 7 month South East Asia adventure!
When you REALLY want life to transform positively you do what you must. NOTHING and NOONE else can or will stop you from achieving your own success. You truly are in control. No one can make life better for you. ONLY YOU CAN. No matter how amazing your other half, your best friends or your family are or no matter how horrible they are, you have control of what your life looks like. The day you feel you have none is the day you must ask yourself some hard questions. That is the brutal truth. We have all had to do this, sometimes it may have been harder than we expected. It is easy to not take responsibility for our lives yet we are RESPONSIBLE for what WE LET IN and what WE GIVE OUT.
When I finally took myself beyond my own capacity living a life that was not right for me, nothing could stop me from respecting and loving myself enough and removing myself from it. It was hard. Looking back, I have this image of me with my finger nails clinging on to wooden floorboards and my higher self (or if you like my stronger self) dragging me by my feet and telling me I have to go, I got to move. Obviously having the right people around me gave me a good push too. I am forever grateful to them. However at times I knew nothing they could say or do could help me make the changes I needed. I knew I had to find it within me.
Back to Singa!
Singa (as I like to call it) is the kind of city you would enjoy if you have a good career, enjoy living in condos with swimming pools and gyms as well as facilities such as Karaoke, BBQ areas, basketball and tennis courts. It is a city with great food. This doesn’t only include the Hawker centres where you can get food for as little as £2 but their restaurants have always seemed top quality. I have to admit after 5 months living there I came to the conclusion that Singapore knows how to be a great city.
Their rules are strict which to be honest after living in Hackney most of my life felt like a breath of fresh air, because literally you can enjoy the air you breath without thinking something bad will happen to you. The streets felt safe enough and if you were coming home well past midnight you felt there was an understanding that no one crosses the line here.
The MRT (The Mass Rapid Transit) is super easy to use although getting a taxi seemed like a faster option.
As Singapore is quite small my top places to see in Singapore may be the most common sights to see and experience!
Here they are!
- Marina Bay Sands: An iconic building that is a hotel! You can go to the viewing platform in the hotel or go for a drink in the evening at CÉ LA VI (if memory serves me correctly entrance was free before 9pm).
- Gardens by the Bay: A visually beautiful garden that has been designed to be environmentally sustainable. For more information visit: http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/the-gardens/about-us/sustainability.html
- Botanical Gardens: A lovely place to walk around and contemplate in. You can also get the opportunity to see performances by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra which are often held here. There are a few restaurants here too. I really liked eating at Casa Verde.
- Orchard Road: Shopping, shopping, shopping and more shopping!
- Sentosa Island: Singapore’s man made island that is like an adult playground with a beach, beach bars, Universal Studios and more. To reach Sentosa you take the North East line (purple) or Circle line (yellow) and get off the last stop at Harbourfront MRT. Make your way to the top of the mall to catch the train to Sentosa or walk there.
- Chijmes: Nice for a chic evening or just a nice wander around. I fell in love with this area. It made me think of London on a lovely summers day. It is easily reached from City Hall MRT.
- Raffles Hotel: Get ready to be transported to British colonial times.
- Haji Lane: Get off at Bugis MRT. This road became special to me and it is where I did a workshop for women on being fearless (Check out Life by Design Consultancy for workshops and what I initially walked in there for: incense, candles, stones and more!). There are many cute little shops, lovely places to eat and has a nice ‘hippy’ vibe to it. On some evenings you can enjoy live music on the street.
There are so many more places such as Little India, China Town, Holland Village, Dempsey Hill to note down but I think that this is more than enough for a short visit.