Back in July 2022, I got to finally travel back home to Singapore after 2.5 years away. I hadn’t seen my parents or brother in that time period, due to the pandemic. While I’ve lived in Austin now for almost a decade, I have always felt like myself when I return back to Southeast Asia. Whether it is the presence of my mother, who always makes me laugh, or the memories of my childhood – Singapore is home.
Especially after Crazy Rich Asians came out in 2018, many people turned to me as their residential Singaporean to validate their curiosities: Is Singapore really that rich? Are the houses that big? Is this place even real?
The answer is… yes and no. Yes, Singapore has all this wealth. It is one of the most expensive places in the world to live, due to its condensed size and cost of living. It is also one of the biggest financial centers in Asia.
But Singapore is much more than its lavish buildings.
It is the shophouses that have been there since the early 1800s, combining Chinese, Malay, Peranakan and European elements. It is the street food that allows you to get Michillen-star quality food for just $4. It is the humid air that makes your clothes stick to your back, and the nature that makes the country so green and sustainable. It is the uncles and aunties that give you unsolicited advice on how you should live your life.
Singapore is special, and not just a layover stop. Please enjoy the photos from a Singaporean-American girl who got to go home after a very long time.
(All these photos are taken with the Fuji X100V. This is the perfect travel camera – not too bulky, and the colors were incredible to edit. Definitely recommend.)