In the book I am reading now, Screw It, Let's Do It, Richard Branson says, "If you opt for a safe life, you will never know what it is like to win." I just returned home from spending two and a half years living abroad in Singapore. I think this quote is very fitting as I reflect on my time in Singapore.
Moving to Singapore was the biggest risk, the most unsafe thing, I have ever done in my life. Early in 2009, I accepted a job placement in Singapore. It was the year of my college graduation; I was desperate. Available jobs seemed few and far between. When the job offer came, I signed the contract having never stepped foot in Singapore and not knowing a single soul there. Signing the job offer did not cause me much hesitation, but in the months before I was supposed to leave I changed my mind every day about whether I should really go. It seemed crazy! My college had always seemed so far from home (it was only a 4 hour drive). I had always wanted to move back to Los Angeles after graduation and now I was about to move to the other side of the world.
Do you believe in fate? I do. Kismet is one of my favorite words. And in the end, that is what pushed me to go to Singapore. Within the span of one month in 2009 I had two offers to go to Singapore--one in the form of grad school, and one in the form of a job. It was like the universe was telling me something was out there for me in Singapore and who says no to the universe? Until the very last day before I was supposed to leave, I was hesitant, but it was always in the back of the mind that this was a risk worth exploring (at least for a few months).
My time in Singapore was not always the most pleasant. If you know me personally, you know that I was never without a complaint of living in the lion city. But when it comes down to it, I really think the risk I took paid off and I experienced "winning". I met the most amazing people from all over the world, ones whom I can't imagine my life without. I traveled more than I could have imagined, going on 13 trips in the last year alone, to countries I had never given any thought to. I not only gained invaluable work experience, I discovered how far I could go on my own. I return from Singapore with more confidence and with a greater understanding of the world.
So as I close the chapter on my expatriate life in Singapore, I have to say that I have no regrets. And if you are ever at a crossroads in life, take the leap of faith, because you will never know how far you can go living the safe life.
Until next time, XXOO!