First impressions of Singapore

singapore

When I arrived in Singapore I was a little bit burnt out from travelling around Sri Lanka. Although I loved the country it was not an easy country to travel in as a newbie traveller and I was frequently overwhelmed by the sighs, sounds and different cultural practices.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I arrived in the vast Singapore Chiangi airport. I window shopped at all of the Western luxuries that I had been without for weeks and my mouth watered when I saw a Subway. Sri Lankan food is delicious but it does get a bit repetitive. It’s very hard to find bread and mayonnaise that is not sweet out there too! I had actually dream’t about a tuna and cheese sub when I was on my bus to the airport in Sri Lanka.

My backpack was now 19kg so I treated myself to a taxi to the hostel to save my legs and my dignity. It was strange not having to barter for ten minutes before agreeing on a price. The hostel was cosy but absolutely tiny! Luckily it was very well laid out and every square foot was useful and functional. I would soon learn that most Singaporeans live in small government owned flats. It’s a very densely populated city state!

 

I wandered around the sprawling city after recharging with a nap. I absolutely love architecture and Singapore’s skyline was nearly as impressive as Dubai’s! Despite the city landscape there were areas of grass and trees too.

 

 

 

Singapore is modern, clean and English speaking. It was a welcome rest-bite from ‘real Asia’ and I spent a week relaxing and eating delicious local and international food. I love fashion and I loved the Singaporeans quirky fashion sense. I spent hour looking at kooky Asian cosmetics and beauty products, I couldn’t believe that they had strips to make their eyes a more Western shape and every face product was whitening.

I guess everywhere in the world people want what they don’t have.

The rumours are right, Singapore is spotlessly clean and there are signs everywhere telling you not to chew chewing gum, jaywalk or even bring smelly Durian fruit on the metro!  Other bloggers have described it as being too perfect but I thought that it still had lots of character and history.

In Singapore I was anonymous. It’s very overpopulated so people barely acknowledge your existence as they push past you in the busy streets or busy metro system. Surprisingly I had mixed feelings about this. I sometimes got annoyed at how much I stood out in Sri Lanka, how people would chase me down the street trying to sell me things or talk to me. Here everyone just went about their daily business, barely glancing up from their smart phones.

I missed the attention.

I ended my first day in a hawker centre near Bugis street. Eating the delicious and very cheap food (just $3 for prawns and noodles!) I felt excited to further explore the city. Singapore has world class museums, art galleries, monuments, nightlife and undoubtedly the tastiest and cheapest food in the world. I felt completely safe.

Despite all this I felt like I wasn’t in Asia anymore….

 

Have you visited Singapore? If so did you think that it was too perfect or an example of how a well run city should be?

You can keep up to date with my adventures by following my Facebook page. I update it daily and it’s an easy way to contact me.

https://www.facebook.com/PearlsandPassports

 

 

 

My one week Travel-versary!

Dubai, shisha

I can’t believe that I have now been travelling for over one week! I have visited 2 very different places; Dubai is an extremely modern place and a show of excessive wealth whilst Sri Lanka is a place with breathtaking scenery but poverty.

I loved Dubai, I would actually live there someday. It’s exotic but refreshingly similar. Sri Lanka is my first experience of a developing country. The people are really friendly though and once I got over the initial chaos I ahve grown to love it’s charming customs.

Overall it still feels like I’m on holiday. It’s hard to believe that I won’t be going home for months and that this is now my life. I have not been that homesick and I have not cried yet. I’m staying in the same guesthouse for a while because it’s cheap (Just over £5 a night!) and I’m starting to get my bearings. There’s no street signs in Sri Lanka!

I do want to travel around Sri Lanka though. A lot of guest houses are not advertised on the Internet so I will have to be brave and just try to find somewhere to stay when I rock off the train. Easier said than done with a massive backpack to carry!

 

Before tanning…

Overall I am having an amazing time. I have had so many incredible experiences and seen many amazing things. It’s lovely not having the stress of having to go work every day too. Each day is my own 🙂

Unfortunately the hostel does not have many people staying here and the resort is full of couples, mostly Russians believe it or not! I can’t wait to experience the proper backpackers party scene and meet more fellow travellers.

Here’s to many more months of happy travel 🙂

Organising a round the world trip is stressful!

view, mountains

Planning a round the world trip is not easy. In effect I’m leaving behind all that I have worked hard for all these years for the unknown. So many people have said to me ‘if it’s so stressful just don’t go’.
but I need to go!

Luckily there are books out there that go through the logistics of planning a career break, I especially found the ones by lonely planet helpful. I remember sitting in the garden last summer devouring every word in these travel books. It was a glimpse in to an unknown world, a world of mystery and independence. A world where anything was possible and I could follow my dreams.

it was all I could think about

This excitement phase lasted a good couple of months. Then when the enormous reality of planning for such a trip became apparant, I became scared and overwhelmed

Visas, passports, vaccinations, malaria tablets, shoes, clothes, sunscreen, travel insurance… The list of things I needed to get got longer and longer by the day.

I am also having to give up my lovely flat in Liverpool, somewhere I feel happy and safe. Give up the security of a job for a year. Not to mention the stress involved trying to cancel contracts and sort out bills! Sometimes it seems that no one has ever left the country for more than two weeks before!

But they have, many many more before me

It’s now 25 days before I leave. Less than 4 weeks! Luckily I have most things sorted but I still feel a little overwhelmed at the enormity of what I am about to do. I know that even though it’s scary I will love it and come back a better person. I’m so lucky to be able to take a year off from the rat race to do exactly what I want to do.

Even though it’s scary, I will do it and I will do it on my own

 

My first Travel Blogger Interview!

retro, 1950s

I have just been featured in an interview with the wonderful Neil from Backpacks and Bunkbeds!

Have a read and find out about my first travel experience and my exciting future travel plans!

http://www.backpacksandbunkbeds.co.uk/travel-blogger-interviews/stephanie-pearlsnpassport/