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F.A.Q.: Frequently Asked Questions - Expats Life PDF Print E-mail
Frequently Asked Questions - Expats Life

Question :We have 3 children and when we move to Singapore, we would be taking the kids away from their grandparents and great grandparents. We only live about 15-20 minutes from the family and we see most of them about once a week. They are really dismayed that we are even comtemplating a move half way around the world. As my dad said, "There's no need to chase the old mighty dollar." Have any of you encountered this situation? Do you regret leaving the extended family? How do you get over the guilt of leaving or do you just live with it? 

Answer 1: I think Grandpa has a mighty narrow view of life. Civilizations exist all over the world and with the internet bringing Singapore into your home, I feel it best to get to know something outside your own four walls. I too have parents who live only 20 miles from where they were raised, and their first reaction was, "are you sure you want to do that?" They still refuse to come visit, but I am damn glad we did this, after all we are the ones who are living our lives, not them. You will never regret making the decision to live overseas. The new friends you will make will last a lifetime and the experiences you will have will be priceless. The children will learn that Sacratomato is not the center of the universe and that sending Grandpa and Grandma letters, pictures and e-mail (assuming they are online, or are willing to become if they want to keep in touch) is great fun. There are numerous different cultures just on this island with several more available for exploration for cheap money airfare to destinations nearby. Purely for the sake of not regretting passing up the opportunity in later life, go for it. The pursuit of the dollar should be secondary, the opportunity to expand your world and know and understand someone other than fellow Californians should the your primary priority!

Answer 2: It will get easier when you see how your children with thrive and turn into well rounded individuals because you exposed them to a whole other world that you and I didn't grow up with. In fairness to your fathers comment, one thing to keep in mind is that families didn't move around like this when our parents were young or raising their families. So the very thought of your move is probably very foreign to him, coupled with the emotions he's dealing with at the thought of you going. Everyone who has been faced with this decision can understand what you are going through. Do yourself a favor if you decide to make the move and don't be too hard on yourself, you aren't doing anything wrong. I spent the first year and a half when we moved to London hating the place and wishing myself back home because I was so guilt ridden.
Don't do that, if you are only meant to be here for 2 years don't waste your time feeling bad about it. If your parents aren't on line, get them on line before you go and even plan a trip for them to visit before you go so it will make everyone feel a little less sad and give them something to look forward to. We now have great technology at our disposal, sending home camcorder tapes and digital photos via email is easy. Finally IDD and videophone over the internet are cheap in terms of calls (local call at each end)

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