Moving To Singapore For Love: Brianna’s Story | Expat’ Interview #1

BRIANNA

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?

Exciting!

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.

How so?

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.

The Next Chapter Of My Life | Thoughts On Expatriation #1

It’s all about opportunities” … or character. In a couple months I will turn 25, aka a ‘quarter of a century‘. Here are my thoughts on how I’ve always intended to live my life and how I’ve been able to fulfill my dream: living an expatriate life.


I’m that annoying person who’s always claimed:

If you want, you can

This French saying basically reminds you that if you really want something, you can get it, or do it. Nobody or nothing should ever stop you from reaching your goals. And I’m the living proof that that motto isn’t only motivational talk. So, when it comes to my love of travelling, I always knew where I was going.

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone Is The Hardest Part

As a kid, who did you find most inspiring? Astronauts? Scientists? F1 drivers? Firefighters? For me it was travelers. You know, real backpackers, wanderers, international reporters, professional translators travelling around the world… really anyone that could travel full time, either through their work or on savings, allowing them to discover new cultures, customs and languages.

This seemed like the dream life to me.

I don’t remember exactly when I first discovered it was actually possible not only to visit other countries but actually live there, as an expatriate. But it must have been when I was 7 or 8, through a movie or a book. What I do remember is what I thought to myself that day: I would give anything to live this kind of life.

Little did I know at that moment what my future life would be like.

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Me then, quietly enjoying the Irish landscapes – © Gilles Gautier

Pretty soon, life answered me.

Right after finishing high school, when I was only seventeen years-old, I got accepted into a very selective university program, allowing me to study law in Dublin, Ireland for two years.

Those two years were absolutely incredible, but to be honest, I didn’t enjoy them as much as I should have, because at the time, I struggled with my anxiety a lot: getting out of my comfort zone wasn’t easy at first, but I’ve learned then to enjoy and control it.

The Courage To Lose Sight Of The Shore

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. – André Gide

This perfectly sums up the most important lessons I’ve learned from life so far: you will never do anything in life, unless you make a leap of faith.

I’m not saying you should take such leaps every minute of every hour of every day of your life. What I’m saying is to take a leap from time to time, when you want and are able to take it. And this does not only apply to travelling: the same goes for everything in life.

Your life can radically change from one minute to the next, so why not control those changes as much as you can?

Why wait to experience new things when you don’t know how much time is on your hands?

Think about what you’ll say to your children and grandchildren: do you want to say “I’ve always wanted to do it, but I never found the time and the courage“? Or do you want them to know you’ve done everything in your power to live your dreams and always come up with new ones?

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Me now, living my best life in Japan.

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.

Defying All Odds

My main point here is this: I was not predetermined to live the life I’m currently living.

I’m a only child. My whole family is French and doesn’t speak any other language than French, except my father who speaks English in his work. I’m from a rather small city in Southeast France, Lyon. My father is an IT consultant, my mother’s an accountant. I didn’t learn any English before I was 11 years old, and even then it was only through school. I never went to any prep schools, or took international classes. I never traveled outside France during my childhood.

But: I doubled my efforts to learn English by myself. In high school, I worked much harder to get into a selective university program. Then I worked harder to stay in the university path I’d chosen. Then I worked even harder to pass the French bar exam. And for the last 4 years, I worked my a** off to be the best intern possible.

So today, I’m almost 25. I’ll be graduating as a lawyer in a month. I’ve lived in Ireland for 2 years and I’ve traveled to 3 continents and more than 10 countries. I’m learning Japanese, Chinese and Korean, and I’m getting ready to expatriate myself in Asia to work for a multinational company.

What were the chances? You tell me!

If I hadn’t doubled my efforts, I would not be where I am today in my life, but I was willing to put everything I had into it to follow my dream!

So stay tuned to my blog to follow me on my next adventures, because let me tell you right away: there will be a lot more!


This is one of the most personal blog posts I’ve written on this blog. This subject was not easy to write about. I’ve carefully chosen every single one of my words here, and I hope it inspires you to take a leap of faith, just like me!

Signing off,

Lilly, aka The French Hat

Testimony Call | Appel à témoignages

1280px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg ONE GOAL: EXPATRIATION! 41NWAuoUChL._SL500_AC_SS350_

Hey everyone!

I’m very happy to tell you I’m currently actively looking for people who would like to answer a questionnaire I’ve created revolving around expatriation, interview-like, all around the world, that I will then publish on this website in my expatriation folder.

What is project “One Goal: Expatriation!” about?

From the interviews I’m conducting, I would like to gather as much material as I can on expatriate life in general, and expatriation in specific countries in particular.

You currently live as an expat’ in Southeast Asia? You recently arrived in Australia, New Zealand or Canada under your first Working Holiday Visa (WHV)? You’re getting ready to expatriate yourself from Europe to the United States or Africa for an internship in the next few months? You HAVE TO answer my questionnaire!

After you’ve answered it, I will contact you by email or WhatsApp to review your answers with you and maybe ask you some more specific and unique questions, according to your situation.

I will then draft the blog post relating your interview, and let you review it to make sure I’ve perfectly re-transcribed everything you wanted to share!

Why Would It Interest Anyone?

Because I’ve already expatriated myself from France to Ireland for 2 years, and am now getting ready to expatriate myself again, this time in Asia, and I cannot find any platform gathering enough valuable information on expatriation, for anywhere in the world for that matter!

Of course you can find practical information, on official governmental websites, and vlogs from expats everywhere on the globe, but not necessarily what matters most to all who wish to expatriate themselves: REAL INSIGHTS.

How does it really feel to live in Sweden? How are Chinese people like? Is living in Singapore that much different from London? Would a British find food s/he likes in Australia? Is it easy to make friends in Colombia? Do black people easily get around in Japan? How hard is it to get a place in France? Do you really need to speak the local language to find a job in Korea?

Your answers would be extremely valuable to others who desperately need insights on the place you currently live in as an expat’ or are getting ready to expatriate yourself to! I can assure you there will be readers from all around the world!

What Would You Get In It?

You mean apart from the fact that you will for sure be helping and educating others? 😉

You will of course be featured on my blog and my social media (unless you want to stay anonymous), as I will link your website and/or your social media right under the re-transcription of your interview and in my tweets!

If this project goes well, my ultimate goal would be to come and interview my collaborators in person (yes, you!), and publish the videos on my YouTube channel, without monetization.

You will then get questions from my readers who will contact you directly if they need more answers about the place you talked about in your interview: it’s a win-win situation.

What Would I Get In It?

Just knowing I’ve created a place on internet where people can find as much information as they want on expatriation would be a big deal to me: I want my readers to be able to get answers to their most profound interrogations, not ready-made answers that don’t tell anything concrete.

If You Have Any More Questions

Contact me at this email address created for the occasion: contact.frenchhat@gmail.com


ANSWER MY INTERVIEW IN ENGLISH

It only takes 30 minutes to complete 🙂


1200px-Flag_of_France.svg UN SEUL BUT : L’EXPATRIATION ! 1200px-Flag_of_France.svg

Salut salut!

Je suis super contente de vous annoncer qu’en ce moment je recherche activement des personnes souhaitant répondre à un questionnaire que j’ai mis en place, sous forme d’interview, centré sur l’expatriation, partout dans le monde, que je publierai ensuite sur ce site web dans mon onglet expatriation.

Le projet “Un seul but : l’expatriation !”, qu’est-ce-que c’est ?

A partir des interviews que je conduis, j’aimerais rassembler autant de contenu que possible sur la vie d’expatrié en général, et l’expatriation dans des pays spécifiques en particulier.

Tu vis actuellement en temps qu’expatrié en Asie du sud-est ? Tu es tout fraichement arrivé en Australie, en Nouvelle-Zélande ou au Canada avec ton premier visa Vacances-Travail ? Tu te prépares à t’expatrier depuis l’Europe aux États-Unis ou l’Afrique pour y faire un stage dans les prochains moins ? Tu DOIS répondre à mon questionnaire !

Une fois que tu y auras répondu, je te contacterai par email ou WhatsApp pour qu’on revoie ensemble tes réponses et que je puisse peut-être compléter l’interview par des questions plus spécifiques et uniques à ta situation.

Ensuite je ferai le brouillon de l’article de blog qui retranscrira ton interview, je te le ferai relire pour être sûre que j’ai parfaitement retranscrit tout ce que tu voulais partager !

En quoi ça intéresserait les gens ?

Parce que je me suis déjà expatriée depuis la France pour l’Irlande durant 2 ans, et me prépare en ce moment à m’expatrier à nouveau, cette fois-ci en Asia, et que je ne trouve aucune plateforme rassemblant assez d’information intéressantes sur l’expatriation, pour n’importe où dans le monde d’ailleurs !

Bien sûr qu’on trouve des informations pratiques, sur les sites gouvernementaux, et des vlogs d’expatriés partout dans le monde, mais pas forcément ce qui importe le plus pour tous ceux qui souhaitent s’expatrier : UNE VRAIE IDEE.

Comment c’est vraiment de vivre en Suède ? Comment sont les chinois ? Est-ce que vivre à Singapour est vraiment différent de la vie londonienne ? Est-ce qu’un(e) britannique trouvera de la nourriture à son goût en Australie ? Est-ce que c’est facile de se faire des amis en Colombie ? Est-ce que c’est facile pour les personnes de couleur au Japon ? A quel point est-ce difficile de trouver un appart’ en France ? Est-ce qu’on a vraiment besoin de parler coréen pour trouver un boulot en Corée ?

Tes réponses seraient extrêmement précieuses pour d’autres qui sont désespérément à la recherche d’une vision depuis l’intérieur de personnes déjà expatriées ou bien se préparant à le devenir ! Je peux t’assurer qu’on aura des lecteurs de partout dans le monde !

Qu’est-ce que tu en tirerais ?

Tu veux dire au-delà du fait que tu aiderais les autres et que tu les informerais ? 😉

Tu seras bien évidemment cité sur mon blog et mes réseaux sociaux (sauf si tu veux rester anonyme), puisque je mettrai un lien vers ton site et/ou tes réseaux sociaux juste en-dessous de la retranscription de ton interview et dans mes tweets !

Si ce projet prend de l’ampleur, mon but ultime serait de venir interviewer en personne mes collaborateurs (oui oui, toi !), filmer, et publier tout cela sur ma chaine YouTube, sans monétisation.

Tu auras ensuite des questions provenant de mes lecteurs qui te contacteront directement s’ils ont besoin de plus de réponses à propos de l’endroit dont tu parles dans ton interview : tout le monde est gagnant dans l’histoire.

Qu’est-ce que moi j’en tirerais ?

Le simple fait de savoir que j’aurais créé un endroit sur internet où les gens pourront trouver un maximum d’information sur l’expatriation serait exceptionnel pour moi : je veux que mes lecteurs aient des réponses à leurs plus profondes interrogations, pas des réponses toutes faites qui ne disent rien de concret.

Si tu as encore la moindre question

Contacte-moi à cette adresse e-mail que j’ai créée pour l’occasion : contact.frenchhat@gmail.com


REPONDS A MON QUESTIONNAIRE EN FRANÇAIS !

Il prend seulement 30 minutes à compléter 🙂