Live and Thrive Wherever You Are

Life Overseas

Life overseas isn’t always glamorous especially when you’re there as a temporary worker or the spouse of a work visa holder. I’ve met people who bemoaned not being able to get the same job or the same managerial level in the same industry. I’ve met people who became frustrated with the bureaucratic processes involved in getting a work permit for themselves or their spouses or renting an apartment for their family. I’ve met spouses who claimed boredom after living in their temporary home for more than a year. I’ve read articles about spouses who became depressed after losing their social network.

Life overseas as an expatriate can be both liberating and confining depending on how you look at it. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to live in countries where English was one of if not the lingua franca. When I moved to Australia, I experienced bouts of insecurity, not only because I didn’t know their culture but also because I had to start at the bottom. I struggled to understand some of the conversations when Aussie terms where used. But I learned and I adapted.

When we moved to the United States of America, it was another upheaval. There were the usual visa processes but then layer that with trying to get a Social Security Number, opening a bank account, getting a driver’s license, with everything depending on having a Social Security Number and the frustration mounted. But that too, passed. I met people, joined a club, and travelled the country and my life there became easier.

Now, in Singapore, it’s somewhat similar to the US. We also had to look for an apartment, opened separate bank accounts, compared health insurance offers, and scrounged the net for reviews on health providers.

To help others learn make life overseas easier or to just give a general idea of what moving and living overseas entail, I’ve made comparative posts on various topics. I’ve also added some light-hearted posts on the leisure activities in each country.

Happy reading!



people networking

How to Get a Job in Singapore

Getting a job in Singapore is the same as trying to get a job in other countries. It’s a combination of factors.Moving countries is hectic enough, more so if you’re the trailing partner and you find yourself in the position of looking for a job.  First things first, though, you need to make sure you…
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meditation pod

7 Things to Know when Moving Condos in Singapore

Yes, you read that right. We moved condos in Singapore. Part of expat life is that you will find yourself moving condos every one to two years unless you and your landlords are perfectly happy to have a long-term contract. We liked our first condo. It was small, just 764 sq feet but it had…
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Visiting Optometrists in Singapore – Keep your Eyes Healthy!

It’s not hard finding optometrists in Singapore. It’s finding good ones with affordable services that may trip you up. If you have an expat insurance, you probably won’t have to worry but if you have the basic hospital and emergency cover, then price and quality would be a consideration.   Your eyes are the windows…
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teeth health

Obtaining Dental Care in Massachusetts

Dental Care Treatment in Massachusetts Before the year ends, I want to round up my oral care posts by writing about obtaining dental care treatment in Massachusetts. Before I go to my experience, note that health insurance in the United States is confusing and complicated. When we were there, Obamacare officially called the Patient Protection and…
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Getting the Best Oral Care in Melbourne, Australia

  What You Need to Know about Dental Insurance in Australia Since I’ve talked about oral care in Singapore, here is the comparison with dental care in Australia. I’m limiting this to Melbourne but there shouldn’t be too much difference in different parts of the country. Dental care in Australia is generally built-in to the…
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Dental Chair

Oral Care in Singapore

Mind your dental expectations Time to get our teeth prodded and cleaned. Earlier in the week, H visited two clinics in the area. One was closed despite the prominent business hour notice stating they were open. He stood there awhile wondering if the entire staff was on break before he read the “Dental Assistant wanted”…
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Australia vs. USA vs. Singapore – How to Open Bank Accounts

Requirements for Recent Arrivals How do you open a bank account if you’re a recent immigrant in Melbourne, Australia? Can a dependent open a bank account in Boston, USA? Can my spouse on dependent pass open a bank account in Singapore in his / her own name? Those were the questions I asked when I…
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Settling in Singapore

Our furniture and boxes finally arrived! We had so many issues with the shipping company, I despaired of ever seeing our things again. First, the shipping company hired a 3rd party contractor to pick up our things. No issue with that. What worried me was when they started dismantling the furniture. “Aren’t you going to…
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How to be Comfortable Meeting People

I hate networking. I hate the image it conjures. I hate being forced to do it. I know. There’s a lot of hate there, then I realized I was misusing the word. Hate was too strong a word; I was uncomfortable with the idea of networking.   When I first heard the word “networking”, it…
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How to Write your Resume if You Have Employment Gaps

Employment gaps are not career killers. This was the general gist of Suzanna Borst’s workshop at the Resume Writing Event hosted by PrimeTime Singapore at the Caribbean at Keppel Bay on 27 September.   I’m trying to get back to the corporate world after taking a sabbatical for close to 2 years. Unlike many who…
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Home for the Wandering Soul

“If you could please initial this page you missed, thank you, then we could proceed with the inventory,” the real estate agent’s voice was a mix of friendliness, excitement, and professionalism as he directed H to each room. Ray* punctuated his statements with a chuckle, apology, and information as he pointed out the curtains, the…
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Breaking the Bystander Apathy

Photo from “Driver, I want this guy thrown out of the bus. He swore at me. Pull over and kick him out…What? You’re scared of him coz he’s Black? You’re probably white aren’t you? You’re fucking scared of him. Fucking cowards! C’mon, you want to fight me? I’ll kick your ass.” This was a…
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Valerian vs Wonder Woman or the Movie Experience

I’m not fond of crowds. I’m not oclophobic. I can attend a concert and I have attended protests but I just don’t like being surrounded by people when watching a movie. I blame it on my lack of patience on a number of behavior I’ve observed and been subjected to over the years: being distracted by…
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Isolation, Confusion, & Depression

When I made the decision to move to the United States with H, it was with the caveat that I be given the opportunity to work, whether I wanted to utilize that opportunity or not. H agreed, which was why he insisted on the E-3 visa as opposed to the more popular H-1B visa, even…
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E-3D Visa or How I ended up in the US

Before I continue with my travel and other related stories, I’d like to share how I came to live in the US. I’m on an E-3D visa. For those who don’t know, the US has an alphabet listing of visa categories from A to V. There’s the A visa for diplomats, the B-2 tourist visa,…
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Credit Cards, Banks, and Banking

*I’m interrupting my Quebec travelogue because I need to give a compliment where a compliment is due.* Me (on the phone): Hi, I made an incorrect transaction in my credit card. Instead of paying off my bill, I accidentally transferred it to one of my accounts. Consequently, I got charged a cash advance fee and…
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