I’m Kylie Boyd and welcome to my Singapore expat guide. I grew up on a farm in the Texas Panhandle. My maternal grandmother is an immigrant from Scotland but the rest of my family is all from West Texas and have continued to settle there generation after generation. Our family is so close and we have all built amazing lives all within a short drive of each other.
I’ve always had a sense of adventure that our small town could never quite tame. I would always ride my four-wheelers and horses a little further than I was supposed to. Growing up I also loved hearing stories about my Grandma traveling to the US on a ship to start a new life and I did many school projects that involved interviewing her about her experiences.
Thankfully, my family was able to travel on a vacation every few years. Some of my favorite memories stem from being on holiday with my family. I was a communication major in college so telling stories through various mediums such as words and photos only furthered my interest in travel. I am happy I found a way to combine my wanderlust and creativity.
Moving to Singapore as an Expat
My husband (Justin White) received a job offer with the opportunity to relocate to Singapore. It was a difficult decision on my end because I had never lived away from my family. However, it was a chance that we could not pass up. We knew that it would be an adventure.
We agreed to take the position and moved all within a matter of three months. So it happened very quickly. We had never been to Singapore prior to moving but that made it even more exciting. We had absolutely no idea what it looked like, what the culture was like or even where we would be living. Although it could not have worked out any better. Both of us love it!
Our New Daily Routine in Singapore
We have been in Singapore for just a few short weeks. My husband goes to work each morning and has pretty typical workday hours. I own a marketing firm and am able to work from home, but lately that has often meant the beach. We live on an island just off Singapore called Sentosa Island. It is a bit slower pace than the city and feels like a resort.
Our balcony faces the ocean and the dogs’ new favorite pastime is watching the boats pass by. On the weekends, we love to walk to the beach, ride around in our golf cart and explore the city. We really enjoy the authentic attractions and try to avoid tourist spots as much as possible. There is so much amazing culture, food and scenery to enjoy in Singapore.
Exploring the Highlights of Singapore
So far, we have explored the Central Business District, Chinatown, Arab Street and Sentosa. We still need to explore the other coasts. We have visited a few areas multiple times and each time we are still amazed.
I think that is one of our favorite things about Singapore. Even though it is small, it has so much to offer. You could visit the same spot one hundred times and still find a million new hidden treasures. One thing is for sure, you will never run out of places to see and eat in Singapore.
One of my favorite places is Chinatown. The culture is so rich in that area. The people have done an amazing job of holding onto their traditions despite the city’s influence around them. The architecture, food and feeling is like nothing else I have ever experienced. It is like a piece of history preserved in the middle of a city that often feels like it is from the future.
Another amazing experience every traveler should have is visiting a hawker centre. They are essentially food courts but with hundreds of tiny stalls. It is where locals go for their meals, so you have an array of food from various cultures with people from all walks of life eating in a communal spot.
It is truly an amazing and unique experience. Also, the food is amazing! The recipes are often passed down generation to generation. Many families have even owned and operated the same stalls since the centres opened.
Embracing Expat Life in Singapore
The people in Singapore have been extremely welcoming and friendly. We have been constantly amazed that the people of Singapore will go so far out of their way to help us. This has made integrating with the local culture much easier than we expected. We keep waiting for some kind of culture shock, but if anything, we are just shocked that it has been so easy for us.
The most challenging aspect about living in Singapore as an expat has been not knowing when we will be able to see our families again. I know Covid has provided us with unique and unfortunate circumstances, but we know we will be forced to be away from loved ones much longer than anticipated. I think missing family is a huge challenge for every expat.
One great thing about being an expat in Singapore is the food. The food here is unreal. I don’t think you could ever try every restaurant in Singapore. I have never seen a place with so many options. Chicken rice is a popular dish. My husband says it is amazing. I am a vegetarian, so I had to pass but I have been enjoying the plethora of noodle options!
Tips for Moving to Singapore as an Expat
I wish someone told me to embrace the unknown. Go explore, get lost, ask for directions, eat with a stranger! Singapore is a safe country so there is no need to be scared, even though moving across the world is always going to feel scary. Being an expat comes with a roller coaster of emotions.
You will be excited, fearful, nervous and a million other emotions all at once. Thankfully, the people of Singapore are so welcoming so dive in head first!