Sunday, 17 November 2013

Will we return?

This is one of the more frequently asked questions whenever the topic of our emigration pops up. There are several variants of this question, and sometimes people ask us in one way, when they really meant to ask something different.

Let me try to tackle the various permutations...

1. Will you return just to visit?

NO. It costs time and money. If we have that, I'm sorry, but Singapore doesn't make it to the list of countries we'd consider visiting. 28 years of living here is way more than I'd want to spend. We'd rather spend our vacation time somewhere else.

This does not mean that we will never ever set foot in Singapore again. There are people we hold dear to us, and while we would not be willing return just to visit them in SG, we would for special occasions, such as their weddings. But only for those very close to us.

If for example, a dear friend or family member fell very ill, we would return as well.

Of course, while we are back, we would arrange to meet up with the handful of people who would be interested...

2. Will you ever consider coming back to live in Singapore?


3. Will you miss Singapore?

No. I may occasionally crave for certain aspects of life in Singapore, such as my favorite fish ball mee or char kway teow, but that does not equate to missing Singapore as a whole. I may miss some friends here, but anyone worth my time (and vice versa) will visit us in Australia. Australia is actually a pretty popular destination for Singaporeans, and we would make the effort to meet even if they are visiting another city (perfect excuse for a road trip!!!).

Besides, I'd much rather meet the people I love in a nicer environment. I think most Singaporeans would agree that Australia is a very nice place, even if you would never consider it as a place to emigrate to, or are very happy with living in Singapore.

Life in any particular country is like marriage. You have to live with the complete country/person. For all the wondrous things singapore has to offer, it guarantees stifling humidity, oppressive crowds, and poor air quality (better than most neighboring cities, granted, but still inferior to australian cities). I detest the Government's policies and bemoan the citizens' collective lack of courage to do anything about it. Therefore, I cannot miss this country.

Even places from my childhood I fondly remember have been removed, altered or modernized beyond recognition. I'm sure most people share such sentiments as well. There is simply not much in the way of physical reminders to anchor one's memories to.

4. What if Australia is not the place for you?

We'll decide again after we get Aussie citizenship. New Zealand is very nice too!

5. What if the PAP loses in 2016?

Not gonna happen, and even if it does, what kind of mess do you think the new government would have to mop up?

6. What if the PAP wins in 2016?

See question 2.

- S


  1. NZ is full. Piss off! ;)

  2. Hi there,

    I chance upon your blog and I must say it is very interesting to read. I really enjoy reading all the posts of yours. My question is why choose Australia? Why so many Singaporeans never considered Canada? :)

    PS: I am an ex-Singaporean living in Canada right now


      I should perhaps have done a dedicated post on this as this is a common, yet the most basic and important question.

      I didn't mention Canada, but we are even less familiar with Canada. Moreover, the Canadian immigration website is nothing like Australia's.

      As shallow as it sounds, sometimes things happen for reasons like that. We didn't have the time and money to visit Canada back then, so the level of familiarity with Canada is very low.

      Ditto between Oz and NZ. It does play a part. A has not visited NZ, whereas I have visited there twice (once at the age of 3, during my dad's failed emigration attempt)

      Oz, we have visited together twice, and separately I have been there another three times. A has been there without me another two or three times as well. So there's that sense of familiarity.

      And of course, Oz appeals to us, unlike Malaysia, which is another country most of us are rather familiar with as well..


    2. Thank you Neurotic Ramblings,

      Thank you for your honest reply. Yes! I guess it makes sense to migrate to a country whereby you already have a level of familiarity.

      Good to know that you've moved to Australia.

      Is Australia a popular destination for immigration?

      In the case of Canada, yes it is. Every year we admit around 250000 immigrants from all over the world.

      Perhaps because you're from Singapore, Australia would be a better choice because of it's proximity to Asia?

      Canada on the other hand is on the other side of the world and therefore travelling to back will cost alot of time and money.

      I guess Australia has a more temperate climate unlike Canada which can be very cold most of the time of the year.

      Are cockroaches and flies a common thing you encounter in the Land Down Under?

    3. Hi Leon,

      Proximity to Singapore was not a direct factor. Indirectly, yes in that sense that it cost less to visit than Canada, thus we were able to afford more trips (or rather, my parents could afford, in my younger days).

      Climate is a concern somewhat. We feel that cold isn't a huge issue (prefer temperate to freezing though), but we also like tropical diving, which Canada can't offer. Sure, we could fly out of Canada to do that kind of diving, or just do drysuit (for cold water diving), but that's extra cost and hassle.

      At the end of the day, that was also a minor factor. Familiarity is important for most of us. Is Canada the best place for you? Did you also consider all of the European countries? Ok maybe you did, but I sure didn't!

      Adventurous-ness has its limits, I guess. I don't think A and I are super-adventurous, in the big scheme of things. We only seem this way to typical Singaporeans. If we were adventurous, we might have considered doing a recce trip to Canada to make our decision that much more informed.

      Day two in Melbourne, no roaches sighted. In SG I should have sighted at least 4 by now. But I was told that roaches aren't much of an issue in Oz - spiders are. Flies, a couple, but it ain't summer yet. I expect hordes in summer. Oh well.

      How's Canada in the creepy-crawly aspect? I'm sure it's safer in that sense that they aren't as poisonous as some of the Aussie 'favourites' like the funnel web...


    4. Hi S,

      My parents did because it is closer to the USA? I don't know. Maybe Canada was more appealing to us back then because of it's culture.

      At the same time, my parents choose between USA and Canada. But Canada got us first therefore Canada was our destination. We definitely didn't consider European countries because we wanted a society which was more tolerant to multiculturalism.

      Yes! Canada is very cold therefore most of the time we stay indoors. From what I read, both of you like diving and such which Canada couldn't offer. For the outdoor activities Australia triumph over Canada. LOL

      For the creepy crawlies.....hardly any. I live in Toronto we don't have much problems with insects or the wildlife. But if you're living in Vancouver or Calgary on the other side of Canada, we have grizzly bears! And they are HUGE!!! OMG SO INTIMIDATING :(

      Pros and cons living in both countries. All the best in your life in the Land Down Under. Let me know if you guys are planning to visit The True North someday. I'm sure you'll love it. :)


    5. Hey Leon,

      I guess Oz was never really on your parents' radar, the way Canada never quite was on ours.

      I do hear very good things about Canadian mountainbiking scene. I've watched the "North Shore" videos and they are simply sick. Thankfully I'm too much of a pussy to be able to ride like that, so I hope that Oz has sufficient trails to satisfy my cravings.

      Apparently here in Oz we have "Drop Bears". But vs a Grizzly, I think I'll hug the "drop bear" any day! haha

      Will try to link up if we head there.. Likewise if u drop by Melbourne. Coffee here is superb compared to SG, but I'm sure you won't be disappointed either ;)


  3. Alamak... ok, let me join the crowd... Oz is full.. piss off.


    1. U have to put ur City other than Melbourne, followed by "piss off" =D

      Because we are already in Melbourne, I'm gonna have to do the "piss off" thing to other prospective migrants


    2. LOL... I shall be flying to Melbourne sometime next year for business.. I'll let you know, if you are still there, and you can buy me a beer.

      Beer is waaay cheaper in Melbourne than in Perth. Heck, everywhere else, beer is cheaper than in Perth.

    3. Hello!

      I did my degree in Melbourne and i left my heart there.
      Besides that the reason we want to migrate is also because the tremendous stress and pressure that comes with marriage - in Singapore. Not that we do not want to get married, but the bidding of HDB and the money that comes along with it. The amount of pressure our future kids are going to get. It scares us. Of course, there are also reasons being Singapore favors foreigners so much its like living as a second class citizens.
      My bf is still doing his degree in NUS but yeah we are planning our way to OZ in Year 2019 after we have gained some good experiences from Singapore. (Hoping this might be easier for us to get a job? i hope)

      Your posts are extremely positive and informative. We are really thankful for your time to jot down all these details on this blog to share with everyone else who are thinking to migrate over! It definitely gives people the extra boost of faith!



  4. Hi S,

    I am a Singaporean living in French Canada. I enjoy your blog very much. Please keep posting. I am keen to know how you settle in Australia. I may move to New Zealand in the near future. I like Canada but I do find flying back to Asia difficult. Too long , tiring and expensive, more than 20 hours.



    1. Hi Sh,

      Don't mean to be pry but you're living in French Canada? Montreal or Quebec City?

      I'm in Toronto. (Which apparently every Canadian loves to hate) :(

      Why not choose to immigrate to Canada since you're already here?


  5. Congrats, I wished I could be starting my new life like you soon.

  6. I just came back from an exchange program near Sydney, and my boyfriend and I are hoping that one day when we've graduated and settled down we might have the chance to move down under too! Happened to chance upon your blog and I'm so inspired to do my best and get out there to maybe fulfil my dream someday! Thanks for this. :')