Singapore has been the most prominent part of my travels so far. Since leaving England six months ago I have visited six countries in total with half of that time being spent in Singapore and – as such – it’s become the closest thing to a home from home for me.
I’ll be hitting the road again at the beginning of September so I got to thinking; what will I really miss about Singapore? I’ve already had a bit of a rant about the things I dislike – mainly the fact I’ve been living out of a hostel and the slow walkers that seem to frequent the MRT stations in a morning (seriously, who watches a movie on an iPad when they’re WALKING down the street?) – so here’s a list of things I’m sad to be leaving behind when when I head to Sri Lanka next month. I’ll give you a clue: it involves food.
The sole reason I came to Singapore was to take up a TEFL job. It was a new career path for me and it has been a hell of a learning curve – but I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is that I actually love teaching. It’s a cliche, but that moment when you see a student really ‘get’ something that you’re explaining to them is a great feeling. I’ll be really sad to leave behind the job and some great pupils – and the weekly Mr Bean sessions of course!
My adopted Singaporean team – I’m going to miss the weekly meet ups, losing my voice from singing and my hands turning red and numb from constant clapping! Since meeting the Hools I’ve been treated like one of their own and they’ve looked after me very well. I’ve gone from being a neutral to getting genuinely passionate about Hougang United during matches, and I’m very sad to be leaving behind a team on the verge of their greatest ever S. League finish. Here’s hoping for a win to send me off at my last game on Wednesday!
I have gone on and on about how brilliant the hawker centres in Singapore are, and I’ll certainly miss the convenience and cheapness of them. It’s got to the point where, with just over a week left in the country, I’m actually planning my diary around which meals I want to have one more time! It’s been said in the past that I follow my stomach when travelling, no idea where that has come from…
Another thing I’ve learnt about myself since being in Singapore is that I love wakeboarding. A random suggestion from a friend has turned into something of a hobby and the highlight of some weeks – when I’m planning a ‘quiet’ weekend anyway! My only concern is that all my progress will be lost when I leave and I’ll be back to square one, as you can see from the video below…
A bit soppy and sentimental, but I’ve really made some good friends here who have made my time in Singapore a hell of a lot more enjoyable. Arriving in the country on a short term contract and therefore staying in a hostel, it could have been difficult to make a settled group of friends. Thankfully, my friend Sophie (who helped me get the job in the first place!) was still here and introduced me to her circle of friends, who were extremely welcoming and made sure there was rarely a dull moment!