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May 9, 2013

Why I Ignored Singapore

This photo pretty much sums up my time in Singapore.

This photo pretty much sums up my time in Singapore.

This photo pretty much sums up my time in Singapore.

 

No, I didn’t have chilli crab in Singapore

 

After two weeks in the Philippines, I was very happy to be in Singapore. I haven’t had a hot shower in two weeks, food options were not so various, and using public transportation was getting harder (couldn’t take any more boat ride). We arrived in Singapore Airport almost at midnight, and slipped into our paradise, a residence hotel conveniently located nearby the airport, Capri by Fraser.

 

It wasn’t my first time in Singapore. I was there in 2006, on my very second backpacking trip. I spent a week in this small island, and saw most of the famous attractions. I had kaya toast and tea every morning at a small Chinese food stall, and Singapore was where I fell in love with starfruit. Overall, it is still a special place for me. A lot has changed after my brief visit (the new building with a boat on the top, that wasn’t there!). Part of me wanted to take the MRT down to see the Merlion, but the other part of me won the battle.

 

I was in Singapore for four days. And I can proudly say, I only went out once. No chilli crab, no Marina Bay, and no Singapore Sling at the Raffles. I wanted found a stronger reason to go out and explore, but I couldn’t. Stephen and I went for hiking on Sunday (our official no Wi-Fi day), but the grand outing turned into a food hunting in  Bugis due to the heavy rain. I really didn’t see anything in Singapore except Bugis Junction. But, I don’t have any regret.

Capri by Fraser

Happy, staying indoors and enjoying dinner at a hotel restaurant

Why I ignored Singapore?

 

Because I was happy to be where I was. The hotel is built for people who stay longer (weeks, months or a year), rather than who are on a short visit. They had laundry facilities, X-Box, pool, gym, restaurants, cafe, newspaper, magazines, quiet work place, comfortable bed and the fastest Wi-Fi. I had everything I needed. It was the perfect temporary office for me. Sipping the ‘vitamin burst’ smoothie in the air-conditioned Hot Spot was my happy moment.

 

Working as location independently is not easy. It sounds glamorous, but actually there are so many things to control to have one successful work day. If I couldn’t cross off things on my list today, I have to extend the work hour till tomorrow. If tomorrow won’t work, add to the next day, and to the next day, until I can finally move on. The failure is due to my own laziness, but sometimes the major factors are out of my control. I can’t control the electricity of the town or malfunctioning Wi-Fi router. Be on the schedule can be the hardest thing.

I worked out too.

Travel is life, not a holiday

 

For me, for this stage of my life, traveling is not a hobby or a holiday; it is a way of living and part of life. I’m moving place to place, seeing the world day by day, creating stories here and there, and working as I move. It seems like travel writer (and travel blogger) is not the ‘real’ job to the most of people in normal society, and travel writer equals as a person who’s only having fun. Well, because it’s not one of those conventional job, I consider listening the unpleasant comment is kind of a occupational hazard. It’s okay. I’m just explaining my point of view here. Being in a Singapore is a treat, and it is a dream destination for many people in the world (and to me), and I can’t wait to go back. But I was very happy without seeing what’s out there. I was happy in the moment of my life.

 

 

It took me a long time to figure out how to balance traveling and living as a location independent writer. Frankly, I am still figuring it out. My inner child is keep nudging me to go out and play, instead of working with the boring laptop and making lists. I want to listen to her from time to time (and I do a lot), but I remind myself that I’m not on the road to play; but to live and work. Walking on the path that hasn’t been flattened is not easy. I keep missing the rocks and deep pools. Working what I love is the biggest dream of many people, and I’m making my way to do so, but it doesn’t mean that there are obstacles and difficulties. But the important thing is, at least I’m enjoying the process.

Comfortable bed is sometimes the most important thing I can ask for.

 

I’m going back to Singapore in a few days for a week. But again, the plan is, not visiting every hawker centre in town, shopping, visiting sites, but catching up the work schedule (because their Wi-Fi is possibly the fastest in the entire Asia), eat fine food and sleep well. That’s all I can ask for. Oh, and play some X-Box while waiting for the laundry. I can already hear ‘I can’t believe you didn’t go out for chilli crab in Singapore’ kind of comment, but it’s okay; life is not about the perfection, but  the process, right?

 

I can’t wait to have my do-nothing-but-work time in Singapore.

 

 

#Disclosure: Capri by Fraser agreed to be my home during my last visit to Singapore, and I’ll be back staying with them for a week in May. However all the contents are based on my opinion, not theirs.

 

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

15 Comments

  1. Naomi says:

    Sometimes you need to take it slow, doing the eager, enthusiastic traveller thing gets tiring after a while!

  2. Stephen says:

    Their will be other times to explore Singapore. It’s important to take advantage of comfortable working conditions and strong Wi-Fi signal while you are in the frame of mind to get work done.

  3. Isn’t it frustrating when you know you have to get work done and the wifi just won’t function properly?! Sounds like you’ve done a good job learning how to balance work and play!

  4. Colleen says:

    Amen to that! A hot shower and comfy bed mean the world to me at this point, which is why I’m in Singapore too. Haven’t been out of the apartment all day and I am totally okay with that.

  5. George says:

    totlaly love this article I pretty muc ignore KL tbh if you dont want to o shoppin there is nothin to do anyway x

  6. Bryony says:

    I understand that if you are travelling all the time, you also need a break from that. So having that place to stay just to work, sleep and relax makes sense.
    Are you guys ever heading to Australia?

  7. Inga says:

    I love this post JUNO!! I would have done the same. It’s hard being your own boss and trying to balance real life with your brand but I have a feeling we are on the right track when we have figured out just the right balance between both. 🙂

  8. I don’t blame you. When I went to SIngapor in fall last year I did all the typical touristy stuff, but to be honest they didn’t really excite me that much. Yes Marina Bay Sands is impressive, but it didn’t really wow me. I was very impressed with the efficiency (because I am German, ha ha) and cleanliness, but for some reason it just didn’t feel Asian. I was starting to miss the grittyness of Cambodia where I lived for one year prior to my visit to Singapore.

  9. Julia says:

    There’s no shame in not doing all of the “touristy” stuff in a place. I do that all the time, especially when I feel like a need a break, a bit of a base and to get some work done every now and then. I holed up for several weeks in Belgrade and pretty much just ate, worked and watched TV! And you can always get it ‘next time’ 😉

  10. […] be in a place and explore it. That and still be able to write. (Juno has a good post recently about needing this downtime as a full-time nomad […]

  11. Andrew says:

    We are noticing that we need this kind of travel more. We like being in different places, but definitely need to just sit and be and read and write for a few days to feel ok. The touristy stuff is getting boring over time as well.

  12. […] I ignored Singapore this time around, I can proudly say I had a good reason. Capri by Fraser has been my home and […]

  13. Angeline says:

    This is a great post, and a reminder that travel enjoyment does not have to mean tours every day, and as my husband says, the daily death march; so many hotels are a wonderful little oasis all on their own. We plan a trip soon to an area of Mexico we haven’t been to and my mind runs amok with all the places I want to see….but I plan on making myself take at least the first two days to sit by the pool or beach and read, or just stare out into space.

  14. Great post! And your photos of the hotel seem awesome! I visited Singapore once when i was a child but would love to go back!

  15. Andrew says:

    I understand how you feel. Singapore is so fast-paced that sometimes we treat it as more of a place to work and be productive. However, if we look beyond the skyscrapers, there are still plenty of great cultural experience to be found. Places like Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street are full of character. In Chinatown, you can find the Chinatown Heritage Centre, visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum and re-discover 1930s Singapore through the Village Singapura experience. It’s full of activities to engage and bond with your closed ones.

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