An Expat-Insider

Sunday, March 03, 2013 0 Comments

bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo :: Singapore :: An Expat-Insider

Time check and I see that it’s a little past noon. This means it’s time for some afternoon contemplation! Either that or I just saw myself staring blankly at the flat screen. Chinese news being aired. It has been more than a year, and after so much exploring around Singapore, I’m beginning to see the transition from an expat to an expat-insider. I’m starting to see how the culture here is slowly rubbing in and I no longer feel like a complete outsider of this superb city.

An insider may generally be about knowing the tips and tricks of the local way of living, and sharing idiosyncratic quirks, but more so, it has something to do with performance and attitude. Do you feel alone? Do you feel lost? Do you feel out of place? How does our mentality and attitude answer to these things? These things and a few more questions to answer. Think that once there is assurance and confidence within, then that’s a done deal. Assurance in understanding that a new life in a new city is for the best; confidence in discerning that the fear and wonder in your daily grindings are all part of the package: the expat life package.

But, even after we answer these things, there’s still a huge chunk of the equation – performance. To be an insder, a local, a “real” part of the community, you have to fake it till you make it. Sharing the best and most superlative version of your real side; being honest just like how you did it when you were in your hometown; maximizing time, no matter how fleeting or slow or erratic it may seem; feeling at home a way from home; exhausting all energy and effort to grow. There’s no such thing as trying hard if you know what kind of proper attitude and performance that you’re trying to pull off.

Being an expat has its perks and favorites, but being an expat-insider is even better.It’s not just learning the ropes and doing the drill. It’s an honor, a bragging right - an additional citizenship badge. It’s not about what you can gain and get from the city, but more on sharing and being a part of the city. 

[SINGAPORE TRAVEL] Read the rest of Explore Singapore Travel Blog Series:


Bowdy is an amateur adventurer, a coffee sleepyhead, and a start-up rooter, with a penchant for classic-looking photos. At last count, he has visited some 60 countries, and is now living in Singapore. He's always in search of fascinating routines to exploit, within the edges of after-office hours and (un)limited holidays.

For collaboration ideas, email bowdywanders@gmail.com.

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