Hey Brianna, thank you for joining me on this adventure! Can you tell me a bit more about yourself and about your expatriation in Singapore? What was your motivation to go?
Well, I’ve always wanted to start my own business and I fell in love with a New Zealander working as an expat in Singapore. So I’ve expatriated myself to be with my loved one, and I wanted to experience something new!
What was the turning point for you?
When he asked me and I lost my job in the US. It gave me no excuse and I had nothing to lose.
How did it felt then?
How long have you been there?
It has been 2 years.
What made you choose this place in the world in particular, besides the fact that your boyfriend was living there?
Singapore is modern, there are lots of opportunities for traveling, and so many other expats who are new and in a similar position as me.
How many languages do you speak?
I speak two languages, Polish and English.
As an English speaker, you already knew the official language of Singapore (one of them actually). How did it help? Do you recommend learning it beforehand?
It helped with making friends, and just daily life in general. If you don’t speak English, you don’t particularly have to learn it beforehand.
Did you encounter any difficulties?
Yes, getting a job and finding a place were a difficult part, and also making friends: in fact I still struggle to make friends, and the ones I have are mostly other expats, not locals.
What do you think is the reason for that?
Singapore is not an easy place to blend in as an expat’: there are just too many different cultures with not a lot in common and people tend to stay to themselves.
I see what you mean. Having said that, what do you think was the most difficult part of your expatriation?
Keeping myself busy and dealing with loneliness.
Looking back on it now, what would you have done differently upon your arrival there?
Explore more instead of sitting at home feeling homesick.
And what would you have done differently during your preparation?
I would have spent more time saying goodbye to my family and favorite places.
On your day of arrival there, did you really feel lost? How so?
Yes. I thought, ‘what now?’
Where did you get the most/best information about the place of your expatriation?
My boyfriend and meeting other expats giving me advice.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to come live as an expat’ in Singapore?
Go out and make friends.
Duly noted! Now, about the adjustments you needed to make during your expatriation: how about the food there?
Yes it needed adjusting. Most things were spicy and Asian food. Coming from the US, there aren’t too many options for western food.
Did you need an adjustment to the people? How so?
Yes. I wasn’t used to the big city rudeness and I have a hard time walking through large crowds of people.
Did you need an adjustment to the legislation?
No, not really.
Even though the Singaporean legislation is one of the most restrictive in the world?
I guess I found some laws quite strange and bizarre and sometimes I think the government is a bit too strict with ridiculous things such as the ban of chewing gum, not being fair about same sex marriage laws, etc. But none of the laws here have affected my daily living lifestyle so I don’t mind and I am respectful of the country’s legislation. Although I believe strongly in better rights for the lgbt community here.
Did you need an adjustment to the climate? How so?
Yes. It’s so humid and hot year round. I miss seasons.
Did you need an adjustment to clothing? How so?
It’s so hot and I only wear clothes that I can sweat in. I don’t put as much effort into fashion, hair, and makeup like I used to. The hot humidity makes it hard.
Did you need an adjustment to the customs?
A little bit.
I find the “singlish” slang to be very hard to understand. It’s english, but they throw in a bunch of other words and phrases that I don’t understand as a native English speaker. I’ve also had to deal with hatred just because I am an American. And getting used to the hawker street feed was hard for me at first. But now I love it!
I see. Did you also need an adjustment to the way of living? How so?
Yes. Things here are much more expensive and you spend most of your time indoors.
Did you need an adjustment to the work life? How so?
Yes. This is the first time I am full time working for myself.
Did you need an adjustment to anything else?
Yes, I had to get used to the time difference making it hard to sometimes call family and friends back home.
Your last word? 🙂
Singapore is a fun place to grow and enjoy life in the modern clean city but I wouldn’t stay here forever.
Well thank you so much Brianna! It has been a real pleasure interviewing you!
Brianna de Gaston is a very successful YouTuber and Instagram influencer. She creates great content about her expatriation in Singapore, but also about fashion, lifestyle and traveling! Check out her social media:
Brianna’s YouTube Channel: Brianna in Singapore
Brianna’s Vlogging YouTube Channel: Brianna and James
Brianna’s Instagram Account: @briannainsingapore
Brianna’s Twitter Account: @briannadeg
Brianna’s Blog: http://www.globalfashiongal.com/
Brianna’s Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/GlobalFashionGal
If you also want to be involved in my ‘One Goal: Expatriation!’ project and share your thoughts on your expatriation on my blog, please check this post.
*© Photos: Brianna, Brianna in Singapore.