Having visited Singapore for years on family holidays and with my husband on business trips, the idea of moving here had always been appealing.
I would always recount how wonderful the place is. The smell of Singapore always gets to me (in a good way, it doesn’t stink!). It’s climate – which doesn’t change much – is one I feel comfortable in. The culture is fascinating due to its diversity. The rules and regulations that have many scratching their heads, seem to make sense to me (for the moment at least). The fact that it is a gateway to so many other amazing places is just fantastic. All of these things and more make Singapore one of my favourite places to be in the world. But living here?
Like many people we were living our lives quite happily following the 9 to 5, with good friends and family close by, in a lovely house that we’d spent years doing up. Our kids were settled in their various schools and in their friendship groups. But, for me at least, there was always that yearning for adventure. To travel. To see the world. To broaden my, and my families, horizons. To show the kids that there is more to life. To give them opportunities to grow in new ways, to stretch themselves, to build stronger characters.
So when we were given the opportunity to go on such an adventure, the question we kept asking ourselves was why would we say no?
Well, there’s the screaming nine-year old who’s having an emotional melt down about leaving her Nanna and cousins. The 16-year old who will have to start college in a new country with no friends to fall back on – at a time when friends mean more than anything. And a 13-year old who struggles with the expectations of the small world he lives in now, let alone asking him to adjust to a bigger world. Not forgetting those we leave behind and the impact that so clearly has. Our family who have to learn to live without us round the corner, who won’t see the children’s milestones and achievements first hand. Friends who can no longer pop by for a cuppa and a chat, even work colleagues who rely on us.
Oh, and then there are the practicalities of moving your whole life to another country. Do we really need 5 bath towels each? Should I take a few blankets ‘just in case’? Can you get Tetley t-bags out there or should I take enough to last three years? Add to the mix trying to decide what furniture you’ll need in a yet-to-be-seen house and what do you do with the things you are not taking? It all becomes slightly more of an exercise in stress management.
So many things to think about it that it can – and does – become overwhelming.
But, we did it. And this blog is about our experience getting here – and the fun we are sure to have (well we better had!) whilst we are here.