My friend L and her hubby have been here 18 years. They say that going back to America now would be like being expats in their own country, so much has its landscape changed since they first left. Even the yearly Target shopping trips and family vacations don't feel like a homecoming but a stopover for goodies. Singapore has become their home and their child, born here, identifies himself as Singaporean.
I often meet new people here and one of the first questions to swap is how long we have been here and where we came from. 6 years, 8 years, 7.3 years, all with a sheen of deserved pride (and sweat!). I keep meeting people who are so pleased to have found their place, their home, their country. There is that sigh of relief, or an imperceptible look shared with their partner - an acknowledgment that this is home, they feel at entirely at ease, settled and secure. I sometimes wish I was that person. Or that there was such a place for me. Or that I could stop looking and be happy with what I am in. Actually that's inaccurate. I am happy where I am for the most part but I'm always interested in the new or the idea of new. I can't look forward and see very clearly where the Kid or us will be in 10 years. I see flux, waves of the unknown and the oscillating ideas of change. I see adapting and adventures and new horizons. I can even honestly say I don't share Vs love of the UK and his desire to go back to Blighty. I don't know where we will end up but I'm loving all these stops on the way. I honestly now believe that at this time, in this age, my home is wherever V and Kid and I live. Whichever apartment, whichever city, whichever continent. Geography is wonderful.
The time has come to move on from Singapore. We've been here 2.9 years. Shorter than we envisaged. And much as I love this place I readily admit I already had itchy feet when talk of a move began. In a month and a half we will be in a new city. And no, I won't tell you here or on Facebook or whatsapp which city, quite yet. Just suffice to say I'm brimming with excitement - and suffering through the stress that moves bring. I'm trying to be all zen and mainly making it look easy while inside I'm a cauldron of nerves. I'm at the airport as I write this, leaving in a jet plane, to go find an apartment. 5 days of estate agent wrangling should be quite enough. Wish me luck!
P.S: Pictures of packing boxes in 2 weeks. And of course turning 40 tales, as that should be fun, drinking wine out of plastic glasses on the floor of an empty apartment.