Getting acquinted with a new country

@chrysz (1603)
Philippines
February 29, 2008 9:41am CST
Well, Singapore is not a big country and you can actually explore it in a day or two. But I am wondering how other people gets easily acquinted with the area they are in for the first time - it could just be a city or a country. I started travelling around the country alone three days after I arrived. On my first day, my uncle and aunt accompanied me in a school where I was applying as a teacher and on the second day, my uncle accompanied me to the Ministry of Education where we took another MRT route. On the third day, I travelled alone to where I was to be interviewed for a job. I just bear in mind the mrt station as my landmark and I always carry my map with me. My cellphone always come in handy, in case I get lost, I could just call anyone for help. How about you? How long does it take for you to be have courage to travel alone? I have to be brave because my uncle and aunt can't be there for me all the time and the longer for me to get acquinted with the area, the longer i'll be disburbing them.
1 person likes this
5 responses
@secretbear (19464)
• Philippines
2 Mar 08
hi chrysz! ^__^ i hope you are getting really familiar with Singapore. so that you can give me tips once i decided to go there. ^__^ i'm also scared of being lost especially in a place that's so far from home, a place that i'm really not familiar with. i remember when i went to another province to pursue my studies, my mother accompanied me for a few days before i was finally alone. i was so scared at first but i learned to live by alone after a few days. it was hard because the dialect was different and i couldn't really learn it so easily. but i was thankful that people were considerate and spoke to me in my dialect. i just had to learn the basics so that when i go out, i know what to say to the drivers. and like you, i tattooed in my mind a landmark so i won't get lost.
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@chrysz (1603)
• Philippines
3 Mar 08
Thanks for responding! I am not yet that familiar with some places here but I have gone to the central business district singapore which I guess is the Orchard and is very accessible with the MRT and buses. I have gone to Singapore Zoo, Changi Singapore Expo and have memorized the MRT stations and interchanges. So far, those are the things I'm familiar with for now. I hope to see Sentosa, bird park and maybe take a ride with Singapore flyer.
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19464)
• Philippines
8 Mar 08
hey chrysz! how long are going to be there? are you going to be there for a long time? you did say you're going to apply for a job there right? maybe if i go there for a trip we can meet! ^__^ and you can give me a tour. hehe..
@skysuccess (8881)
• Singapore
3 Mar 08
Basically, it will depend where I am. As for Singapore, it is a relatively small country and it is quite well infra structured. Getting from one place to another is really effortless and safe so familiarizing with the mass transit and the local bus service will be the 1st thing to begin with. Asking around is also relatively easy and friendly so you should try that sometimes. As for other countries, I would find out about the place via books, online and friends. If I have a local friend then he/she will be the 1st person I would turn to for information if not then I will need the guide books, maps and perhaps a local city tour to find my directions and feel of the place. As for language problem areas then I will need to see if there are any place where they have English or Chinese speaking locals localities if not then I would probably need a local guide and/or a language dictionary to help me out.
@chrysz (1603)
• Philippines
3 Mar 08
I agree with you. I am glad that I live with my cousin and with my auntie and uncle. They are really nice. I have memorized the MRT route but I am not yet familiar with the bus routes so before I get in the bus, I would have to ask for help first. Fortunately, the drivers are fluent in English so I don;t have that much problem conversing with them.
@charms88 (7541)
• Philippines
1 Mar 08
Hello chryz, I see that you are also from the Philippines. How nice! I used to work in another country for many years. Living all alone with no other relatives to guide me, I took in a dosage of fortitude, tucked away my fears, inhaled 10 deep breathes and off I went to explore the city. I also bought maps, learned their language, eat and live like them. It was not easy. As a matter of fact, it took me 3 months before conforming to my new life. The only thing that really pushed me to do all of the above was survival. I hope you do well with the interviews and be accepted right away. Good luck!
@chrysz (1603)
• Philippines
3 Mar 08
That's the reason why I decided that I must travel alone the very moment I arrived in Singapore. I arrived here around 12 midnight of February 20 and I just took a cab to my cousin's place. I must learn how to be independent as soon as I can and until now, I am surviving. The only only problem is, I haven't gotten a job yet since I must also consider the salary I'd be getting and it must be enough to cover all my expenses at least. Thanks for posting!
@maximax8 (28958)
• United Kingdom
1 Mar 08
I have had the courage to travel alone since I took an Inter Rail around Europe when I was 18 years old. I took a guide book and bought a map in each city that I went to. Then when I was 20 I went around the world seeing the USA, Fiji, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. I like to explore a place by strolling around. I don't mind if I go a bit off track and see some really interesting things. The first time I went to Singapore I arrived at the border from a taxi ride that had taken me there from Mersing in Malaysia. I was on crutches because one dark night I had fallen down a drain in Malaysia. So I explored just a bit of Singapore that time I was there. I went back to Singapore when I was 28. That time I explored the city center, the beach, the bird garden and the national park where feeding a monkey is illegal. I felt that I was already had a little bit of knowledge about lovely Singapore.
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@chrysz (1603)
• Philippines
3 Mar 08
Wow! I wish I could also travel as often and to as many country as you did. Singapore is much better now I guess. Maps are of big help. Thanks for posting!
• United States
29 Feb 08
I have never been to Singapore, but I have had an experience traveling to a foreign country alone. This location was Canada. I know if you live in the United States, one might not consider Canada foreign, but it was to me since most of their signs were in French. I have the courage to travel alone from day one as long as I have my Treo with me. Because my Treo have a GPS system in it which tells me where I am going, how I should get to my destination with details on how to return. It is times like this that makes the GPS very useful to me. -Feel Free to Disagree!
@chrysz (1603)
• Philippines
1 Mar 08
I hope I have the same PDA phone like yours. I think Singtel (the provider I am using here) has GPS service but I am not sure if my phone has that service. I am using k750i but i havent scrutinized my cp yet.I am not the techie type of person and as long as I can text and call, Then I don't care about its other feature.