If the Americans have you wondering what else is out there, consider moving to Singapore. Maybe you visited once and always wanted to go back, or you’re looking for potential gap year destinations, or somewhere to retire. If you’ve fallen head over heels in love with Singapore, or you’re shopping around for a home abroad, consider Singapore as an option with this guide to why you will want to stay.
There is a lot to love about Singapore. Far from what is commonly expected of an Asian country, there is little smog, a lot of language and a solid embracing of technology. It is a tiny country with a culture made up of the influences around it.
English is in fact the official language of business in Singapore, allowing you to get around without the struggle of miming out where you’re hoping to go. Socializing will be as easy as going for a drink is in the America’s. However, there is a unique local language called Singlish, and no, it doesn’t mean you suddenly sound like the star of a musical. It is a result of more than 150 years of a diverse culture made up of Mandarin, Hokkien, Malay and Tamil speakers influence on the spoken English in Singapore. A charming hybrid of East and West, they have their own dictionary listing terms and correct usages, just in case you don’t pick it up quick enough by being there.
Being just a quick hop away from a variety of countries, Singapore has a diverse population, which means, a large variety of delicious food. The islands have three major types of local cuisine: Malay, Chinese and Indian, with the cross variations that would naturally come with.
They are all famously adored in the western world, so to try the authentic alternative would make every meal an exciting opportunity. Try a bowl of curried noodles called laska, Hainanese chicken rice or chili crabs which is hard-shell crabs cooked in gravy with a tomato and chili base. If you want to really try something new you can go for a barbecued stingray or an oyster omelet.
With this quick hop to other countries, and Singapore’s tiny landmass, long weekend trips are common.
Cost of living
Its best to look for a short-term lease before you move, since the cost of property can be particularly steep in Singapore. Finding the right place before you move will be particularly stressful due to this, so arriving in temporary accommodation will allow you to explore the island and browse the resale HDB and apartment offers. There are also a number of houses available, but for a larger price.
There area a multitude of serviced apartments scattered all over the island which offer flexibility and convenience and come with features like pools, gyms, and barbeque areas to really get the most out of a tropical experience.
But before you get in anywhere, you will need a job. It is vital to secure it before you come since strict employment laws regulate the ability of their workers in Singapore. You will need to get your hands on an employment pass from the Ministry of Manpower to work in Singapore.
Singapore lies one degree north of the equator, creating a climate that is as tropical as possible. Pack for heat and humidity. With temperatures consistently over 86 degrees Fahrenheit and a high level of humidity, the country can feel like one giant sauna. A 10-minute walk will have you sweating in your business suit, so be prepared for a sticky existence, that in turn, is always full of sunshine. Thank God for air conditioning, which is a staple in any indoor establishment. Pastel colors, flip flops, shorts, and light materials are a must-have.
The country is abnormally clean, since a ban on chewing gum and littering means that you can gain a harsh fine. Plus, Singapore has embraced contact and debit cards like nowhere else on the planet, almost entirely doing away with cash. Everywhere from supermarkets to taxis and convenience stores is embracing card payments, to the point that Singapore is on its way to becoming a cashless society.
Singapore has also embraced public transport, with its small size allowing them to invest heavily in its rail system. They are cheap and efficient, with as little as 20-minute delays making national news.
In turn, buying a car is not cheap. New hatch back models are many times more expensive than what would be expected to be paid in Europe, possibly in an effort to dissuade locals from driving in the center. Once you have a car, there is an additional payment to the government for a Certificate of Entitlement, which can cost almost as much as the car.