Wednesday, May 23, 2012


After almost a decade away, we are returning to Singapore.

It was not an easy or uncomplicated decision to make but it has been the perfect storm of factors and we think this is the right thing to do for now. Jude has been made a very generous job offer that we couldn't turn down and the research prospects in Singapore appear much more promising for me than they are here in the U.S. More importantly, when we asked Sophie if she'd rather stay in Ann Arbor or go back to Singapore, she batted nary an eyelid and replied, "I want to go to Singapore." I think she has very fond and vivid memories of when we were home over Christmas and is really looking forward to reliving them again. She talks about her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, her cousins, and all the things she remembers seeing and doing- she's ready to leave right now if we'd let her :) I doubt she understands the magnitude or permanence of this move but she's happy about the prospect and I guess that's more than we can ask of her right now. And of course, there's our families, who couldn't be more ecstatic about our decision. The happy vibes that were jumping right out of Skype when we broke the news to them could probably generate enough electricity to power a small country :)

We're going to miss Ann Arbor in so many ways- this is after all where Jude and I shared our first home, bought our first car, started and completed grad school, and had our child. And where Sophie is concerned, Ann Arbor has given her just about the most blessed childhood we could have asked for her. It has given her great caregivers and friends, taught her about seasons, and inculcated in her a love for and curiosity about nature and the great outdoors. Ann Arbor made it possible for us to expose her to the array of intellectually and culturally-rich experiences that have shaped her early years. Singapore will do the same as she moves past toddlerhood, but in different ways, and it'll be quite the adventure for all of us.

We recognize that we'll be going home with some degree of privilege-- not of money or status-- but of experience. The last nine years here has influenced us tremendously in the way we now think, behave, and make decisions. And we want to use that experience to do good. To be good. That is what makes me hopeful about this next stage of our lives- that by going home, we can be of greater service than if we stayed here, that we can better contribute to something larger than ourselves, put something out into the ether that was not there before us.

But for now, there are more modest concerns that occupy us- purging and packing up the house, figuring out the details of the move, and dealing with mundane things like car payments, loans, credit cards, etc. Basically, we're slowly erasing the traces of our life here in the U.S. and re-carving one in Singapore.

See you in August, Singapore.

Sunset at MacRitchie
Sunset at MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore


Anonymous said...

Wow that is huge news! Will miss your posts about life in US :) All the best for the move. See u when you are back!

serene said...

Thanks, Debra- many more play dates in the future! :)

Anonymous said...

Dear dear Girl,

Yea! Welcome back with open arms!