Blogiverse, listen up: my husband and I are moving to Singapore!
That’s right – after making it “Facebook official” earlier this week, I wanted to announce it also to my loyal WordPress, Bloglovin’, and other readers here on the TFB blog. This is a huge life change for us – the second one this year, after getting married (!) – and we are over the moon excited about it.
That said, it’s an interesting thing when you start to tell people about a big life change. When you tell people you got engaged, they want to see the ring. When you tell people you got married, they say congrats and/or offer some sage piece of advice. But when you tell people you’re moving to Asia, there are a whole host of odd/surprising reactions that I did not expect.
Like what, you might ask? Herein lies the subject of this blog.
Where is Singapore, anyway? Fair enough, fellow Westerners. I can’t say that it was until a couple years into our relationship that Nick took out a map and actually pointed to Singapore so I could understand its position – and tiny size – among the other Southeast Asian countries. That said, here’s a map to get us all up to speed:
Yes, it’s an island. Yes, it’s tiny (276 square miles). And yes, it’s far away (18.5 hours flight time from Los Angeles, making it one of the world’s longest flights).
Will you need to learn the language? Luckily enough, folks, “the language” spoken in Singapore is English – they were a British colony until independence in 1965, so English is the predominant national and conversational language spoken in the country. That said, because they are such a melting pot of cultures, Singapore DOES have four national languages – English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil – and often you will see all four on the same street sign (hint: Tamil is the one that looks like curlicues).
Is Singapore the capital of Malaysia? Again, because Singapore is so small and somewhat remote and often looked over on maps of the region, you may not realize that Singapore is its own country – and in fact, its own island – separate from Malaysia. It was part of the Federation of Malaya (which did include Malaysia) for less than two years from 1963-1966, but that’s it. Singapore is its own city-state – Singapore, SINGAPORE.
What’s the weather like over there? I hear it’s bad. Oh yes, my friends, you heard right – especially if you’re an Angeleno, where “bad weather” means “anything under 60 degrees” or “any degree of rain” or “a day without sunshine.” The weather in Singapore is…tropical. Wait, let’s build on that – equatorial rainforest tropical. Which means the average daily temperature is 88 degrees Fahrenheit (although most days the temps hit 90 at least once), there are two monsoon seasons (December to March, where the rainfall is heavy and daily; and May to September, where morning rainstorms dominate and leave the rest of the day relatively dry), the humidity hangs around 80-90% each and every day, and the sun rises and sets at roughly the same time every day (7am, 7pm). It will be an adjustment, but it could be worse…right?
And finally – one of my faves – what will you DO over there? Surprisingly enough, at least to a lot of people unfamiliar with the region, fitness is big business in Singapore. Personal training, group exercise, and nutrition consulting all exist – and even thrive – and there is definitely a benefit to being a Caucasian, blonde, female Westerner in this field. Although it will take me some time to really understand the industry and its differences from what I’m used to here in L.A., I plan to train, consult, and write – just as I do here – under the ThisFitBlonde name and brand – so worry not! I’ll be the same ol’ TFB, just coming to you from halfway around the world.
Have you ever considered an overseas move – or lived abroad? What questions did you feel like you were constantly answering about your choice?