Now during the holidays we think a lot about our friends and family. A perfect time to introduce you all to our next friends abroad. And next week we will do another.
But first things first. We would like to introduce you to Jeroen and Hayley from Singapore. They have been living there since November 2014. How are they and do they have tips for us? We have asked them 10 questions.
Why did you emigrated to Singapore?
When we left Hong Kong a few years ago we kind of knew already that living abroad was not a onetime experience. Living in another country and the accompanying expat life gives you so much beautiful new experiences. For example the people you meet and the weekend travels you can make. It is quite addictive. When we came back to the Netherlands we quickly decided it would only be for a few years. We wanted to build a good basis qua work and living in the Netherlands with the single goal of finding a new and tropical destination to emigrate to.
What does living in Singapore bring you both?
We chose Singapore based on real practical criteria we discussed prior to our departure. In random order:
- Good Job employment;
- Tropical climate;
- Good travel opportunities in the region
- Quality of life (free days, activities in the city, safety, green environment, etc.)
We quickly came to the conclusion that Singapore scored high on all criteria mentioned above and we started solicitation. And with success!
What do we need to see in Asia?
Uhm, well that is a hard question. There are so many beautiful and divers experiences in Asia so we will focus on the countries surrounding Singapore:
- Climb volcano Mount Rinjani on Lombok (Indonesia),
- Dive in the sees surrounding Tioman (Malaysia),
- Take a jungle tour in Taman Negara National Park (Malaysia),
- Surfing in Ganggu Bali (Indonesia).
Ok, we do have to mention our favorite destinations further away.
- Camping at Mount Everest Base Camp (Tibet),
- Visit temples in Kyoto (Japan) during Cherry Blossom season,
- And visit Hong Kong but do not stay in the city alone. You have to hike the New Territories.
What do we need to see in Singapore?
A visit to Singapore will start with a cocktail (Singapore Sling) at a sky bar. Followed by Satan food at a local market. The day after we will take a river cruise pass the traditional houses or a nature walk in MacRitchie reservoir. And also eating Crab at Jumbo, Cycle through East Coast Park and beach volleyball on Sentosa Island. And we need to brunch, drink coffee and eat, eat and eat in one of the many hip and cultural neighborhoods of Singapore. For example China Town, Arab Street, Little India, Tiong Bahru, Dempsey and even Holland Villand.
Who or what do you miss the most from Holland?
Who we miss the most we will leave out for the moment but when we need to say what we miss the most then without a doubt good Dutch Cheese. And then we can discuss if this needs to be ‘Jong Belegen’ or ‘Old’. But Dutch cheese bring a smile on our face (hint hint). And luckily we do a lot because we only missed cheese a couple of months last year. We get a steady flow of cheese from our visitors. And maybe this is strange but we kind of miss wearing a sweater of scarf when it is cold. Sometimes I set the Air-co to ‘very cold’ and pretend it is Autumn (with 30 degrees outside), haha.
What is the most difficult part of living or traveling abroad?
Qua traveling abroad we find it hard to make choices and instead of seeing all major sites also find time to really experience a place. We travel on a regular basis and go away for a long weekend (2-4 days). It is very tempting to plan the entire weekend and when you get home you are even more tired than when you left. It also cost a lot of time to travel from one highlight to another and missing out the less known jewelry. Nowadays we try to limit the number of sights and visit only a small part of a country. We can also come back another time and see the rest. A matter of letting go and relax!
Where do you see yourself living in 5 years?
This is a difficult question and we do not know the answer yet. It will probably not be Singapore (but never say never). We do have several places which we love like Australia, Japan and Argentina. We will see what life brings us. Holland will of course stay the country which we call home so maybe in 5 years we will be back?
What did you learn during your time living abroad?
It does not really matter where you are as long as you have enough to yourself or to another. You need to make it work and if you do this with full conviction it will be a success… without a doubt.
What do we need to keep in mind when we start our journey?
First all I mentioned above like making choices and having enough of each other Secondly I would like to advice you to do not keep your budgets all the time. Luckily there are a lot of priceless (read: free) experiences on the road but unfortunately some things cost money. This means that you need to go over budget and when in doubt I would like to advice you to still do it. It is better to look back afterwards and realize you have lived to the fullest and done everything you wanted to do instead of traveling longer with a lot of compromises.
Why do you look forward to our arrival?
First of all your arrival means you have been traveling for months and we need to catch up with each other We want to hear everything and in person is always better than talking to each other on Skype. And we really want to show you why we love living in Singapore. It is so exciting and we cannot wait welcoming you in our home!
“Friends abroad” is inspired on “Bloggers on the road” of Hasta la Proxima.