Who are you?
Hello! My name is Kristina. I’m an American married to a southern gentleman named Clayton. Together, we have a beautiful daughter and another bundle of joy on the way.
Since my husband is in the U.S. Navy, we are on a path in life that will involve a lot of moving. And that is okay with me, because I love to travel and explore new places! So far, we’ve lived in Virginia and California. Now, we call Singapore home.
Inspired by my passion for writing and journalism experience, I decided to chronicle our life moving, living and traveling around the world at the blog My Traveling Troop. Feel free to swing by and explore the world with us!Where, when and why did you move abroad?
We moved to Singapore in the summer of 2012 due to my husband’s job in the U.S. Navy. The move marked our first time living overseas as a married couple. (We had both lived abroad before we met.) It’s been quite the adventure so far and I hope it continues to be!
What challenges did you face during the move?
I discovered I was pregnant with my second child just a few days before the big move. I scheduled an appointment with a doctor in Singapore as soon as I could to make sure everything was okay after the long journey from the U.S. The doctor discovered a problem and I was put on a form of bed rest for the rest of the first trimester. It was certainly a challenge to move to a new country, unpack a house full of boxes, research schools and activities for my little girl, get settled in the community and develop friendships (aka. a support system) while I was supposed to be resting in bed!
On top of that, I had been looking forward to trying Singapore’s diverse cuisine after hearing and reading rave reviews about it. Unfortunately, I suffered from morning sickness during my first few months in Singapore and couldn’t stand all the new smells and tastes. Thankfully, my bout with morning sickness ended with the start of the second trimester and I have since enjoyed the food Singapore has to offer.
How did you find somewhere to live?
As a military family, we had the choice to live in a neighborhood where other military families live or elsewhere in Singapore. Since we knew my husband’s job would involve a lot of travel and I was expecting a baby, we decided to live in the community where other military families live so that we had a better chance at getting support if we needed it.
What do you like about life where you are?
There are many things I love about life here in Singapore, but I’ll just highlight a few:
First, I don’t think we will ever get bored in Singapore! The Southeast Asian city-state is filled with attractions and things to do. I crafted a bucket list of the sites I want to see and experience, including a ride on the Singapore Flyer, high tea at the historic Raffles Hotel, as well as shopping and dining my way through Little India and Chinatown. I can’t wait to cross each item off my list!
I also love how diverse the people of Singapore are. Being surrounded by Chinese, Malays, Indians and expats from all over the world has given my family an opportunity to learn about different cultures and customs.
Finally, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of how close Singapore is to other countries in Asia. Once my baby is born and we get the green light from the doctor, my family plans on spending a good chunk of 2013 traveling throughout the region.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
I love expat life, but it’s tough being far from the family and friends we have in the states. There are times when I need a real hug from a loved one – not just an air hug over Skype.
How does shopping differ compared to back home?
In the U.S., I know where to go to buy items on my shopping list because I’m familiar with the stores and brands. After all, I grew up with them. But in Singapore, I’m still learning where I can buy what I need or want. The process can be quite time consuming given that the city-state is home to hundreds of shopping centers! Shopping in Singapore is also pricey since the country imports the majority of its goods.
What do you think of the food in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
I have truly enjoyed trying the food at different restaurants, hawker centers and food courts in Singapore! I highly recommend people visiting Singapore head to Chinatown’s Maxwell Food Center and try chicken rice, the national dish. The dish may look simple, but it’s packed with fragrance and flavor.
Stay up to date with Kristina's expat life abroad at her blog My Traveling Troop.