Moving back to Singapore

Among other stressors such as unclear job boundaries, difficult relationships at the workplace, and organizational change (Michie, 2002), relocation can be a significant source of stress.

More effort in pre-move preparation has however been associated with greater post-move mental wellbeing (Martin, 2010). So being mentally prepared goes a long way.

While official guides describe local cultural practices and traditions in Singapore, and offer the basic facts and figures about Singapore, other sources can be equally instructive. A diligent independent guide by Singapore expats offering reassuringly level-headed advice, while a Travel CNN review on the 50 reasons why the garden city is great is quite insightful.

Making the move however can be made Real Simple with a comprehensive checklist for things to do before you move. A print-ready moving checklist cuts the work down to size, reminding you to label and pack these last: kettle, toilet paper, toiletries, towels, and bedding. But since toilet paper and cleaning necessities are never too far away at a supermarket, and char kway teow, satay, and chicken rice at your friendly neighbourhood hawker centre or kopi tiam are only an MRT stop or quick taxi ride away, there’s no real need to panic about not having packed utensils and washing-up liquid. And you can treat yourself and the family to a leisurely al fresco brunch after all the unpacking’s done.

Overseas relocation is acknowledged to be stressful, particularly when it disrupts social support systems (Fontaine, 1986), making it difficult for social support — interpersonal relationships which support individuals in times of stress (Cohen & McKay, 1984) — to play a protective role against psychological stress. While it can be daunting to find the right social network to help one settle in, supportive friendships can certainly be helpful in buffering stress at the new workplace and home.

Here’s a starter kit to get going…

Where to live:

The basics:

Getting around:

Where to Shop:

For families and kids:

For those new in town:

Outdoor activities:

Nightlife & Clubbing:

Social & Recreational clubs | Associations

Where to eat:

And when you can appreciate local acronyms, Mr Brown, and the highly nuanced locally-produced TV comedy called The Noose, it’s a sign of acculturation. Meanwhile, for the really kiasu ever keen to get a headstart on Singapore culture, here are some things you might not have known about Singapore and a succinct cheat sheet from Travel CNN.

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