Solo In Singapore

Tonight was the first time I’ve cried in six months.  This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but it’s true.  And yes, I actually know that’s how long it’s been and thanks to my usual perky and optimistic nature it’s been quite a while (also thanks to regular exercise- hello endorphins).  Anyway, it was a rare moment where being on the other side of the world without any friends or family got to me emotionally.

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.

You see, I’m not really alone like a lot of other travelers out there, I live onboard the boat with two other couples (one married, the other practically married) so I do have daily company and it’s become a lot like family between us, but essentially I am the ultimate fifth wheel (and that’s 24/7 my friends).  None of this bothers me though, really, I swear.  I’m not looking to get married or even have the responsibility of a relationship; I’m truly enjoying my selfish years.  Also, the couples I live with aren’t the PDA-in-your-face type so that helps. Like I said, it’s really comfortable between us all.

When I have days off however, I’m on my own.  If I were to consider this prospect years ago, it would make my skin crawl. I am a people person. I always have been (thanks mom for the genes on that one) and I can easily weasel my way into getting a friend to come along with me on whatever it is I’m doing, just so that I’ll have company.  At least, that’s how I used to be (obviously, not really possible at the moment).  Having said that, now I really enjoy my time on my own; I’ve learned to love it.  Exploring new cities and countries on my own means no one having to compromise with on what to see and do.  No one to accommodate for but myself.  I’ve even gotten comfortable going out to eat by myself.  Bring a book, people watch, strike up conversation with the bartender- it’s really not a big deal and I find it kind of nice now.  (I really hope you aren’t starting to think I’m some kind of a loner & a freak at this point…) Regardless, solo traveling and exploring really can be a wonderful experience.

cheers to being independent!

Anyway, last night everyone (the two couples) went out to dinner for a birthday celebration at Ku De Ta, an amazing and fancy restaurant on top of Marina Bay Sands with the most spectacular views of Singapore.  I was left on the boat because after all, I’m the nanny and the 13 month old isn’t going to watch himself.  I’m not going to lie though, I felt a little left out, but whatever, life goes on and there will be other times.  The only thing is that I really really want to go, but it’s one of those places that you have to have a reservation for and the thought of booking a reservation for one kind of makes me feel like a loser (serious moment- I am not judging ANYONE, this is simply how it makes ME feel in this particular situation). I also remembered the staff member at the Mega Zip park on Sentosa who, upon learning that I was on my own, looked at me like I was an orphaned puppy with three legs and told me “oh, it’s okay, you can have fun by yourself too”, in that voice (Seriously? I know that. Thank you condescending Cathy.).  Still, the idea of getting this reaction at a fancy place makes me want to curl up into a ball and hide in a hole.  I know it’s not going to because I’m sure they are professionals and not idiots like that staff member, but you just can’t help where your minds wanders sometimes.  Honestly though what made me sad is that I would really love if I had a friend to go with for once to share the experience with and have some nice conversation with, like the other couples get to have when they go out. Once again, this is NOT me saying I want to be wifed up.

Marina Bay Sands, easily the most impressive building in Singapore (photo found on google)

On top of Marina Bay Sands, it’s unreal. (photo found on google)

Either way, I’m going to do my best to carve out some time in my schedule to go and check it out- by myself. Screw you, Mega Zip park staff member. After all, I’m great company and if worst comes to worst, I can always find a way to entertain myself.

seriously, I’m REALLY good at entertaining myself. (I’m definitely going to regret this one…)

Just a reminder to everyone out there that thinks it all looks so spectacular and wonderful %100 the time, there are some downsides.  But trust me, I’d still take this any day over sitting at a desk back in Maryland.

Oh, and the tears only lasted about 30 seconds before I slapped myself in the face and told myself to man up.

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9 responses to “Solo In Singapore

  1. The other fifty percent of your gene pool spent about fifteen years in introversion, books and long walks alone (and mostly happy about it) before connecting with the referenced extroverted and phenomenally gregarious other half. You are a cognitively dissonant product of both. And so it comes as no surprise to me that life feels awkward at times to you, and lonely (as it does to most of us at tines). But how you deal with this solo (but hardly ascetic) once in a lifetime trek through and across worlds otherwise invisible and unknowable to most, will inform the rest of your days. A cross, a badge of honor, an incredibly life enriching opportunity fulfilled — your days are now all these things and so more. All things will pass — and I’m certain when this phase is done for you, you’ll remember nothing but the wonder that it happened at all. My only advice — when you are feeling especially alone, find ways to reach out and give to others less fortunate than you (there are so many, as you are daily observing), and your place in the world will ultimately be fulfilled. ILY, Dad

    • Thanks for giving me three new words to look up in the dictionary (says the head-hanging English major)! Love you more, thanks for your half of the gene pool, I like to think that’s where I get my curious nature from 🙂 love, your little Ferdinand off smelling the flowers.

  2. First: I LOVE the ‘condescending Cathy’ – I think I’m going to start using that!

    And second: This is such a wonderful post, about the downsides of being that fifth wheel. But you definitely have a great spirit and wonderful view of life! I can’t wait to read more of your adventures! (And be so SO jealous of what you’re doing! Do you mind if I ask, how did you find this job? I would LOVE to find something like this but honestly have no idea where I would look!)

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m definitely a naturally upbeat person so that helps 🙂 glad you enjoy the blog! it’s been a lot a work thrown in on top of my main “9-5” haha!

  3. UPDATE: it costs TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS just to go to the top. Rethinking this choice. Although if you have a reservation, it’s free (given that you are ordering off the pricey menu). But the restaurant is separate from where you see the amazing pool view. decisions, decisions.

  4. Beautiful and honest post! Your life sounds like something to be jealous of, I admire your courage to also describe the downsides though.

    If you get tired of being alone in Singapore; the CouchSurfing community is huge there! One of my best friends lives there and hosts events almost weekly, they do 12-hour foodwalks (which is quite the challenge), hikes and tours. I know for a fact that he’s never been to Marina Bay Sands so maybe you can find a buddy in him 🙂 If you’re interested in meeting up with him just shoot me a message, he’s the nicest guy in the world and he loves meeting new people!

    • You just made my day! Thank you do much for your kind words, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Also, thanks for the advice- it’s hard to tell when I’ll have days off as its a very different working schedule but I’ll definitely look into the couch surfing scene and may be messaging you soon! 🙂

      …and that food tour sounds RIGHT up my alley

      • No worries! And careful what you’re getting yourself into, haha… 12 hours of eating at a different place every hour and skipping one is apparently not an option 😉 That being said, I heard it’s an absolute must! Enjoy your time in Singapore! I’m looking forward to more stories since I’ll be heading over there myself in April 2013!

      • Okay, that’s actually a bit frightening! Definitely going to rethink it. I’ve got a lot more on Singapore coming though so I think I’ll be able to help you out 🙂

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