Moving to Singapore – Working Through Tough Life Decisions

by Aug 2, 2017

“I do.”

First Chapter in Our Ever After

8 months ago on August 13, 2016, Nadia and I got married and our thoughts were consumed with our impending honeymoon; whereas moving to Singapore did not.

Thinking back, if you had asked me before whether I would have ever considered moving out of California, much less Silicon Valley I would have laughed in your face. And to even consider moving out of the country would have been an even unlikelier scenario. But then I met a girl. I married said girl.

And then I followed my girl turned wife to wherever she needed to be; in this case all the way to the hot and humid shores of Singapore…

Leaving the Bay Area that she and I have called home for nearly all our lives…

No more would we call home the state of California where we’ve spent a lot of our time growing up in…

We will be living outside of the United States where, while having traveled, is nearly all we know…

And worse of all, be far away from a bulk of our dearly loved friends and family.

Long and Winding Road

But Life is a crazy thing. And sometimes it asks you hard questions that are harder to answer. And then she has the gall to tell you have a limited amount of time to do it because there’s other people interested if you aren’t. Not to mention that if you decide to go with it, then you have less than a month to move.

Keep in mind during this entire process, you need to figure it all out during your honeymoon which is when you’re supposed to be relaxing, unwinding, and sipping on a coconuts and rum….

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. That’s a lot to take in without knowing the context of the story, so let me back track a second for you to get a better perspective.

JM and Nadia Waiting to Board the Seaplane at the Conrad Maldives

Moving to Singapore, Hong Kong, or Tokyo?

A really long time ago, before elections and weddings, there was a question at Nadia’s company whether she would be interested in working abroad for an undetermined amount of time. If she took the position, it would have been a toss up between moving to Singapore, Tokyo or Hong Kong.

At the time, it was a wondrous concept of moving else where for new food and travel opportunities. As time passed with little follow up, this mental exercise became more and more a flight of fancy. Other things replaced our thoughts of moving abroad, namely moving my last name to the end of her name.

Yes, if you don’t know, by now, we got married (I’ll be sure to write about it sooner than later)!

From the proposal to the honeymoon, every facet of the wedding logistics was being meticulously planned. Nadia had taken into account everything from seating charts, vendors, locations, guests, accommodations, activities (before, during and after), 2nd ceremony in Penang, and ultimately our honeymoon to the Maldives and French Polynesia.

Then the guests came, drinks were drank, we got married, food was eaten, and fun was had (in more or less that order though to be fair I think drinking occurred all throughout). We were having the time of our lives.

Cha-Cha-Cha Changes!

Little did we know that changes were being made at Nadia’s company and decisions were being decided. Prior to our departure, Nadia was again approached with the foreign position, though now with the caveat that it would only be in Singapore.

Having been asked this question before, she answered “yes” and thinking that nothing soon would come of it, we went back to our newly wedded bliss waiting for us in the Maldives.

JM Thinking About Moving to Singapore While at the Conrad Maldives

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions….

The first couple of days in the Maldives were gloriously spent on the beach, under the water, and making friends. Nadia then received a call that required some liquid libations; she GOT the JOB in Singapore. As luck would have it, and I consider luck both a double edge sword and a frenemy:

  • There was a time frame to decide because the company needed the position filled ASAP
  • There was a line of other people waiting to take the position if Nadia passed on it
  • If taken, we would need to move to Singapore ASAP, as in about a month from then
  • Considering that Chinese New Year was on the horizon, it would also be easier to finalize the move sooner than later
  • Also it would be in our best interest to do it all before we get to comfortable in our married life stateside

Now we were faced with this decision some hard questions needed to be asked:

  • Will there be a change in salary?
  • What’s the tax rate in Singapore?
  • Is it going to be hot AND humid year round?
  • Where will we live?
  • What are we going to eat?
  • How much is the cost of living?
  • Will we need a car?
  • How are we going to move all our stuff?
  • What will our families say?
  • Etc, etc, etc…

While not necessarily deal breakers by themselves, it’s got to be more of a win-win situation all the way around to consider moving to Singapore.

Nadia Jumping Up and Down in an Underwater Restaurant in the Conrad Maldives

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Yeah, I Guess We Are Moving to Singapore…

Having considered and weighing the options she said YES! She said YES again (to me, to the dress, to the vendors, and to this position) to another life decision in the span of 15 odd months. After a few calls to our parents, a lot of number crunching, bottles of alcohol and walks to the beach we agreed to go for it.

Sure, things would be rushed, things would be less than easy, more decisions will have to be made, and we would need a lot of help from our families but the pros outweighed the cons. And we would finally be able to check that off our Bucket lists. Who knows where this would lead to?


Where was the last place you moved to?

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