My first international trip wasn’t entirely planned. It was more of an I-just-need-a-country-to-go-to-so-I-can-gracefully-exit-Philippines-immigration. I know it sounds less fabulous but that was my case and I had to take it or else I would risk being offloaded if I take the direct route from Cebu to Dubai.

Singapore is ultra urban for a country mouse like me. My idea of vacation and relaxation doesn’t involve riding trains, going to theme parks or strolling the mall along with a crowd waiting for a big lure Pokemon party. But Singapore is all that, it was all new to me.

I was in Singapore for a good ten days. I was with two other guy friends for the first three days but after that, I was on my own. First three days was all touristy. For first time international travelers, we were pretty amazing except for the occasional mishaps enumerated in no particular order: “Why did you hail a Mercedez cab?” or “I can’t find my phone I left it in the taxi queue!” or ” I left my backpack in the train!” Luckily, we survived and yes, we figured out Mercedez cab charges the same as regular cabs unless you hop in late at night there is an extra ‘night differential’ fee; we learned that sometimes it’s good to check all your inner pockets first before panicking and declaring you’ve lost your iPhone 6+ and; we are overly grateful Singapore is so efficient, lost items can be tracked in no time!

The next seven days that followed was uncertain, I didn’t have any solid plans. I was simply waiting for my Dubai visa to get approved. I thought of crossing Malaysia but I was told it’s not advisable to go on a solo trip not only because I’m a girl but it is simply risky I may not be allowed entry again to Singapore. So the rest of the days I roamed around the pretty nooks and crannies of the city. I went to see some street arts, visited churches, read a book while on the train,  went shopping at Expo, see a Panda and elephants, went on a random date with a random boy on a band, had my eyebrows shaped by an Indian girl, had dinner with long-time Singapore-based friends while during the nights, I couchsurfed/ sala-crashed a friend’s sala.

My Singapore experience was different, I was surprised that I actually loved every day of it!