After spending her internship in China, Milda had plans to pass through Singapore on her way to Hong Kong but then found something amazing and is now celebrating her 3rd anniversary in her home in Singapore.
1. Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Lithuania
2. Where do you live now?
I am currently residing in Singapore
3. What first attracted you to your new home? Did you try anywhere else on the way? Did you move for work or for lifestyle?
Singapore was not planned. I originally had my eyes set on Hong Kong. I lived in China (Wuhan) for a year during my internship whilst at university and used to travel to Hong Kong a lot. Fell in love with people and bustling city life which still managed to keep that unique oriental culture alive. So after my internship was over, I promised myself I will come back to Hong Kong for good and marry a lovely Cantonese man. However, when I graduated Project Management in the UK, the reality kicked in and I could not get working visa in Hong Kong. So I thought to start with something closer, like Singapore and move to Hong Kong later. I applied for an events manager role in Singapore and although it was a long shot with a total of 600 candidates, I nailed it and in a week’s time I packed my life and left UK.
I have originally planned to stay here for a year, but I guess the fact that I am celebrating my 3rd anniversary here in a few weeks, means I found something amazing about this place! Singapore is just so easy to live in: it’s amazingly safe, convenient, clean, great weather all year round. One of the things I love most is the location; it’s just so easy to travel anywhere, starting from cheap weekend getaways to neighbouring Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand as well as long haul destinations like London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, etc.
4. What kind of property do you live in now? Will you stay here? What’s your ideal place to live in within your new country?
I am currently sharing a condo flat with my friends. I have a master bedroom with private bathroom. Accommodation is very expensive in Singapore, so unless you are a couple or on an expat package, you can rarely afford to live on your own. However, the quality of the accommodation is also much higher. Each condo would have its own swimming pool, gym, BBQ pits, etc. I will be staying in the place for a while.
5. Are you speaking a new language? If so, how did you learn?
Unfortunately, in Singapore everyone speaks English, so there isn’t a chance for me to learn a new language. However, I am continuously practicing my Mandarin since I’ve lived in China as a lot of my friends here in Singapore are originally from China.
6. What do you do for a living? Where do you physically work from? Do you work with clients/customers back in your home country or your new one?
I am a Community Manager for AsiaRooms.com here in Singapore, where surrounded by an amazing team I try to inspire people to travel! That being said I work with people from all around the world.
7. Do you work online? If so, what is the internet connectivity like? What software do you commonly use on day to day basis? What would be your top tip for online working from your new country?
I am working from the office, but my job is all online. Singapore is very efficient so there are no issues with internet connectivity; you literally have it everywhere, even the trains.
My top tip would be to get a local sim card for your phone. Pretty standard tip but you cannot access the free internet in most cases without an SG Sim card.
8. Are you paid in your new home currency or in pounds/dollars/euros? Do you exchange money often? If so, what service do you use?
I am paid in local currency straight to my bank account that I mainly use here and I’ve got cards that work great everywhere I travel. I also do send money back to UK and Lithuania and found this amazing service offered by Singapore Post called Cash Home, where you basically link up your account here to a Visa card in any country and can transfer money very cheap and quick through ATM’s.
9. Do you have children? If so, how did they adapt to the move? How are their schools? Are they bi-lingual? Are their good future career opportunities within your new country?
I don’t have children at the moment. Singapore is however the economic hub of Asia so career opportunities, especially working online roles which are very much available. The level of education is also excellent with a number of international schools available for those moving here with family.
It’s a fantastic lifestyle and a brilliant, safe upbringing for any child.
10. Did you bring any pets with you? Or leave any behind? How did this work out?
I don’t have any pets.
11. Is your life better than it was before? If so, how?
My life here is definitely much better; I would not be able to earn as much money anywhere else paying an extremely low tax rate. This affords me to lead a very comfortable life here as well as support family back home. On the other hand, I think this is to blame that so many people here in Singapore become very pretentious, living the “high life”.
I miss genuine and down to earth people back in Europe.
12. What are the best things about living in your new country? Has the move been good for the whole family?
It’s safe, clean, efficient, comfortable, great weather and a convenient location for travelling with one of the best airports in the world. Who wouldn’t want to live here?
13. What are the most challenging things about moving to and living in your new country?
I think the most challenging part is leaving your family and friends behind, however with today’s technology advancements it has been made easier. I personally Skype my mom and friends everyday when I get a minute, so in reality I talk to them more often than people who live in the same country.
14. Are you here for good? If so, why? If no, why not?
I love Singapore, but I would not stay here for good. I guess simply because it is so far away from home. The main thing keeping me here today is my job! I absolutely love it! But hopefully one day I will be able to work remote and I will be able to live wherever I want doing what I love!
Most people harbor an ambition to be one day ‘location independent’ and I am no different but at the moment I am very much enjoying my life in Singapore.
15. Any partings word to people thinking of moving to your country?
Singapore is a great place for young people wanting to kick off their careers, enjoy a fabulous life and travel! It also is a great place to raise families with so much to do in a country with one of the lowest crime rates. The amount of parks, great education system & of course great living environments makes it a stunning place to live for people of all ages. Most of all Singapore welcomes and actively encourages expats into the country making it a superb choice for those wanting to experience life abroad.
Milda Ratkelyte is currently a Community Manager at AsiaRooms.com, where surrounded by amazing team she is managing The Travel Community inspiring people to travel! On her free time, she is a passionate travel writer and photographer who is looking to get off the beaten path and explore the places usually overlooked by tourists. She shares her stories on her blog www.mildaratkelyte.com.