I spent 2 months living in Singapore – the longest I have been anywhere on my travels. I have been staying with a friend and taking time to work on my next steps. I’ve said this before about Portugal, but this time I settled on a plan and started to put that plan into action.
Singapore has been interesting – it is an extremely clean and shiny city. There is a cultural side to Singapore though. I love the mix of ethnicity of citizens, which includes around 75% Chinese and 10% Indian. This means that I was able to reminisce about China and India over some pretty epic food (a lot of dosas were consumed)! Their transport is also very efficient and TFL have a lot to learn…!
They love to have laws and fines for just about anything and everything. My personal favourite is that the sale of chewing gum is completely banned. Thankfully I came with two packets so that lasted a while. On the metro system they have a sign that says no smoking, no eating or drinking and no durians (a type of fruit). Pretty specific! They were also running a campaign whilst I was there about politeness on public transports which had some pretty funny hashtags.
I visited Arab Street which was much more interesting than the central skyscraper district. There was graffiti and independent shops, low rise buildings and awesome cafes, which made a refreshing change to all of the grey glistening skyscrapers and huge shopping malls.
There is a mega store called Mustafa Centre which is just floors and floors of anything you could ever ever want to buy. Everything is crammed in and it is so large it is genuinely easy to get lost due to the fact everything is a bit chaotic. It does mean that whenever you need anything, you can go there knowing you can compare dozens of products and brands and know you’ll get a bargain!
I also visited Sentosa Park, Little India, China Town, Mount Faber, the botanical gardens, a roof top bar called Level 33 and Gardens of the Bay. Although, having said that I certainly could’ve done a bit more exploring whilst I was there.
I went to River Nights Festival one evening, which was a celebration of Singapore River’s changing identity through the years. There were drums and music of different countries and we then got involved in an umbrella project by MIT. One hundred of us were given umbrellas that lit up in different colours and then we moved around, whilst it was filmed from above. We made some amazing patterns and it was genuinely a lot of fun!
I had a trip to Malaysia by car and my whole trip there that lasted less than 24 hours as it is so close! It was certainly very different to Singapore. I was in Johur Bahru and went to this amazing cafe with a drink called ‘A little rain’ where the candy floss rains over the tea. So creative! I got far too excited!
It is so nice to say that I am feeling ready (as I will ever be) to come back. I booked my flight from Singapore to London and when I received my booking confirmation I noticed that the flight landed on 23rd November. The date felt familiar and it dawned on me that I was landing in Heathrow a year to the day after I left for my travels. In fact it is literally only 3 hours difference.
The people I have met along the way have made my trip. I don’t really know how to really convey how important this is. The moments I think about most fondly are generally with people who I had met whilst travelling, or who showed hospitality and were a friendly, welcoming face in their own country. I will miss A LOT of things about being on the road though and it is going to take a lot of re-adjusting, especially having the discipline to stay in one place and not just fly off somewhere else!
I have to say though that I am really excited about being in the same timezone as my friends and family, drinking endless cups of tea with real milk, catching up with everyone and not living out of a backpack/suitcase!
Eighteen months of empowering, unforgettable, life changing experiences. And I will be forever thankful that I took this time out to explore some incredible parts of the world.
Thanks for reading! ❤
Final mash-up video to come soon…