Singapore is in Southeast Asia. Depending on where you're coming from, it can very well be the other side of the world. Indeed, this part of the globe attracts people from all four corners of the globe.
First-world living standards
It's easy to see why. Singapore offers first-world living standards. This comes with the territory because the average income in Singapore is comparable to living in California. That's how much money people on average make in Singapore.
Accordingly, you get first-world amenities. On top of that, Singapore is notoriously clean. Indeed, in the 60s and 70s, Singapore gained notoriety as a "fine city." That is a play on words.
The reason why Singapore looks so "fine" is that if you smoke in public and drop the cigarette butts or throw it away casually without using the appropriate trash receptacles, you get fined.
Indeed, it got so stringent that if you were chewing gum, you could get fined. Why? There's a tendency for people to leave chewing gum on the concrete or the sidewalk. That makes it much harder to clean up.
It's paid off. Singapore is not only one of the cleanest cities in the world. It is also one of the safest. It doesn't take much effort to go on YouTube and look for proof.
Many videos show people leaving out their expensive laptops, as well as mobile gadgets like smartphones and tablets in a public place. Maybe it's a coffee shop, or some sort of outdoor bar, whatever the case may be.
A lot of people (we're talking about thousands of people they have today) pass through these areas. What do you think happens?
If you're living in any other part of the world, chances are somebody else will have themselves a brand-new laptop and mobile devices. That's pretty much the long and short of it but not so in Singapore. It's quite shocking.
The person would come back the next day, and his stuff would be right where he left it. It's as if nothing happened. Alternatively, from time to time, people would take this stuff and give it to the Lost and Found department of that establishment.
Be mentally ready prior to moving to Singapore
Given these factors, it's no surprise that a lot of people want to live in Singapore. The question is, are you mentally ready to do so?
Maybe you're being sent by your company to this part of the world. Maybe you work for a multinational corporation with its regional headquarters in Asia, located in the lion's city of Singapore. On the other hand, perhaps you're a graduate student looking to put in some academic credits so that you can complete your degree.
The National University of Singapore is one of the highest-rated international universities, at least for this part of the planet. Whatever your reasons may be, please understand that pulling up your roots and living somewhere for several years, is not as easy as you think.
It's easy to get excited about the prospect because it looks like a fantastic adventure. However, you have to look at the big picture. You have to look at your mental readiness. We're not just talking about dollars and cents.
I'm sure that if you are reading this article, you probably already have that figured out. Maybe your company's sending you or perhaps you have enough scholarship or student loan money to take care of your day to day needs.
Instead, I'm talking about something more substantial. I'm talking about your psychology and your mindset. Keep an open mind regarding the following.
Are you ready to truly live on your own?
The exciting thing about moving out of your parents' place when you go to college in America is the fact that they are only a phone call away. Seriously if you need money or if you need physical comfort and assurance, your folks are only a phone call away.
You just need to pick up that phone and dial in, and you're good to go. Not so, if you live thousands of miles, if not tens of thousands of miles from the people who love you the most. Are you ready to cut that emotional umbilical cord?
If you are in your 30s or older, you probably wouldn't have any problems. With this issue, you are entirely independent.
However, if you have just moved out of your parents' place to go to college and your first job right out of college is an assignment in Singapore, this can be an issue. The key question here is, are you willing to go very far away?
The upside to this is that you learn emotional independence, which is a crucial part of maturing into an adult.
This way, you learn the coping skills that you need so that you become fully independent of your parents, at least on an emotional level and prepares you for financial independence as well.
Are you looking to grow culturally?
You'd be surprised as to how many people move halfway around the world and remain 100% culturally virgins. By "virgins," I'm not talking about sexual virginity. I'm talking about cultural openness.
It really would be a shame for you to move to a very different culture located very far away from you, and not have that culture have some sort of impact on you or at least open your eyes to a different way of looking at the world.
It really would be quite sad. It's like going to Tokyo on vacation and insisting on eating only at McDonald's. You could have eaten at McDonald's right before you left Omaha, Nebraska. You could have done that all day every day at home.
Here you are in Japan, of all places. Shouldn't you be exploring what Japan has to offer? Shouldn't you at least check out the ramen houses as well as the different types of sushi and sashimi?
That's the kind of tragedy that you're looking at. Unfortunately, a lot of people who go to Singapore for long term stays, they never really venture out of their cultural bubble.
Singapore delivers a tremendous amount of culture because it's right in the middle of Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is not homogeneous. India influenced some parts and other parts are influenced by China.
Throughout it all, there's a tremendous amount of local indigenous culture. Filipino culture is also prevalent in Singapore because there are a lot of Filipinos there. The same with Malays of Malaysia.
There are a lot of Indonesian cultures and a lot of Chinese or at least Southern Chinese culture. That's a lot of learning to explore, with its matching sights and sounds and eccentricities.
You have to understand that if you want to mature as a person, you have to look at another person's eyes and not only see the reflection of yourself, but you see that person ultimately.
If you look at it enough times from many different angles, you quickly conclude that while we come in many different packages in terms of skin color, hairstyles, outward culture, deep down inside, we are the same.
It really would be sad if you rob yourself of that opportunity. Keep these two tips above in mind.
Preparing to go to Singapore is one thing if you're looking at it purely from a logistical perspective but adjusting to make a move culturally and psychologically is another matter entirely. Again, I'm going to ask you the question, are you ready to move to Singapore?