I’ve decided to start blogging again. It has been a while. We moved back to California, and we really weren’t finished with our Singapore adventure. We lived in California for two years, and at least once a week, one of us was complaining about how much we wanted to be back in our adopted home, Singapore.
I’m not going to lie to you. Repatriation sucked. I stopped blogging because I was unhappy with the situation. We didn’t want to go back, and being forced to go back made it harder. We tried. We moved into this beautiful house in the Oakland hills overlooking San Francisco Bay. The kids and I had friends. We had a GRAND adventure touring Europe for two months. Instead of satisfying our need to be back in Asia, it only made us miss our adventure more. I used to sit in my window seat and watch the planes take off at SFO, and I’d be jealous of all of the people heading off on an adventure. While we were away in Europe, my husband got a call from a company in Singapore that was looking for someone with his experience. After a long interview process, suddenly we were moving back!
This time we are on a local package, not an expat package. We were really concerned that we couldn’t make it work, I mean, it was expensive when we were on a package! However, we made some changes to our lifestyle, which were really moderate, and are able to afford it without the expat package. I went back to work. We moved to a cheaper neighborhood (first Siglap, very affordable and beautiful) and now to Kovan, with much larger spacious homes. We have a brand new cluster house, for less rent than we paid in the Bay Area. It can be done!
In our second time around, we do a lot of things differently. Some things, like neighborhood, are cost driven, some things, like where to shop, are experience driven. We hired a helper again, but this time went through HOME, on their Anisya web site. Our decision to go through Anisya was based on a desire to hire someone without straddling them (and ourselves) with debt. The girls are only charged $59, and we did the paperwork on MOM’s web site ourselves too. It was so much more affordable, and much better leaving an agent out of the experience. It literally took 20 minutes to do the application online, and within half an hour I got the approval. How efficient! We also started doing a lot of shopping on Redmart. While I don’t think it is any cheaper, it is so much more convenient, especially when I was working full time. We live near an MRT station so we can take public transport, so we don’t use a car. When we need a car, we use Grab, which is often cheaper than taxis. These changes made it easier and more affordable to live here.
I’ve decided to do travel blogging this time around. I’ll also be blogging about my new, more “seasoned” finds in Singapore. Hope you enjoy it!