Home » Lisa Pickering – Expat Story – Singapore

Lisa Pickering – Expat Story – Singapore

Lisa Pickering

Tell us a little about yourself.

Where have you lived?

I’ve lived most of my life in the United Kingdom, both north (in Cheshire) and south (in Oxford and Kent), but I also spent two years teaching out in Doha, Qatar and then four years as Head of Primary Music in a British school in Abu Dhabi, where I met my husband and had my eldest son. We moved back to the UK to be near family and had a second son, then the expat life beckoned again, so we ended up exploring the Far East this time!

Lisa and her family

Where are you from?

I was born in Southport, a coastal resort in the north of England not too far from Liverpool, but I spent most of my life living in the countryside in Cheshire.

And where do you live now?

We moved to Singapore last month and are settling into our apartment in Hillview with our little rescue dog, who’s just joined us from the UK. We’re loving Hillview as it’s nice and green, with some great dog walks at the Nature Parks and down the green corridor.

What is the hardest part of living away from your home country?

Definitely missing family and friends, especially during the holidays and for key events like birthdays and Christmas. I also tend to miss the seasons, particularly Spring and Autumn and of course the big one-stop supermarkets where you can get all the British labels as well as really cheap clothes and shoes! One of the taxi drivers was telling us how he was bowled
over by Asda when he visited the UK and thinks we should have one in Singapore!

What is the most rewarding part of being an expat?

Probably the little wins each week – I try to set myself small challenges, like learning some Mandarin or exploring a new place. It keeps life exciting and reminds you why you want to come here for a new adventure. I also love seeing the children grow in terms of resilience, learning to be flexible and adaptable, more willing to try new things and increasing their self confidence. They were very conservative and stuck in their ways in the sense of food when we first arrived but are now trying different things at the hawker’s markets, and finally, we can all eat the same meal at home at dinner time so I don’t feel like I’m running a café!

Moving to Singapore

Expat Advice

What advice would you give someone starting on their expat journey?

Be brave and write lots of lists. I wrote down the pros and cons of the move and often look back at it to remind myself of why we’ve done it and how far we’ve come, especially when I get homesick or frustrated.

Lists of what to sell, buy, give to charity, take to the tip/paperwork that needed doing/ vaccinations to get/ people to notify/ leaving gifts to buy … it all helped us organise ourselves!

What is the one tip you could give someone moving to Singapore?

Buy lots of summer clothes, school shoes and toiletries before you come as everything is super expensive here and they don’t have Boots or Superdrug!

Where have you loved living the most and why?

It’s probably in the countryside in the UK, as I love letting the dog off the lead and watching him run through the fields chasing his ball. But I get my fix of nature here as although you’re in a city, it’s very green with lots of lovely walks.

What are you doing now?

I’m currently tutoring English online, writing freelance for blogging websites and magazines and looking to volunteer with community music or music therapy. I ran my own music therapy business back in the UK, so I really miss working in dementia care homes and mental health residential centres, but will hopefully find a way to help with this sort of thing
here in Singapore!

Click here for Lisa’s personal blog

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I hope this post has given you the information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we may receive a commission at no extra cost if you purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information.

Check out my Instagram page or join the Truly Expat Facebook group. 

Pin It For later

Lisa Pickering

You may also like

Bernadette Nagy – Expat story – Singapore

Dr Kristen Hobby – expat story

Laura Whitton – Expat story


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top