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.
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.
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.
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.