I finally made it back to Singapore and my ex-pat life. I left Singapore for one of my routine trips back to the US. However, Covid and the many different guidelines set up by Singapore complicated my return. I hadn’t seen my husband or dog for over a year, and I finally made the long trip home.
As an ex-pat, I am not a Singapore citizen or permanent resident. The first process for getting into Singapore is to get approval from the government for entry. Planning the trip home took several attempts as my arrival had to coincide with the dates given by the Singapore government, the availability of flights into Singapore, and the availability of designated stay-at-home quarantine hotels. Once all the pieces aligned, I could finally schedule my long trip home.
As a former flight attendant and living in SE Asia for over ten years, I am accustomed to traveling long distances. My first attempt at getting to Singapore had me transiting through Germany. That route was ideal as an established travel lane between Singapore and Germany was established, and travel connections were perfect. As I could not coordinate all the pieces for my travel, I transited through Istanbul, Turkey. This route meant an 11+ flight from Dallas to Turkey, a 9-hour layover, and another 10+ hour flight from Turkey to Singapore.
With 30+ hours of travel ahead and my experience as a traveler, business class on Turkish Airlines was my preferred way to travel. The benefits far outweighed the costs for me. I was particular in this choice because it meant having access to the airline lounge where showers, private suites, meals, and luggage lockers were available. My preference is always to have a stopover as I do not have a tolerance for 18-hour flights. I can only say that a hot shower between trips can make a difference between a good or great travel experience.
For me, travel is more than getting from one destination to another; it is about the travel experience. If you ever must travel long distances, try to make it as pleasant an experience as possible. Investing in your travel experience will make a tremendous difference in long-distance travel. Have you taken long-distance trips? How was your experience? Comment and let me know.
p.s. I made preparations to spend my two weeks of mandatory quarantine at a designated stay-at-home hotel before being allowed to go to my home in Singapore. However, I was permitted to spend my quarantine at home. I will not be able to leave home for seven days and must wear a tracking bracelet. In Sunday’s blog post, I’ll discuss more on the arrival process of getting into Singapore.