Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Return to Singapore

I am back home from the States and have been delaying any posts because I'm just not so sure how I feel about it. Everyone said the first 4 to 6 months would be the hardest...wrong. I actually got through those fairly well and without too much homesickness. (Yes - I'm through 6 months already!)

Going back home in Feb was wonderful to see everyone, feel the same old routine, know what was going on, etc. I really enjoyed my time. Hence the hardship of travelling back by myself.  I try to be positive in my posts because while it can feel good to vent my frustrations, I know it's much more exciting to hear good news.  So I don't want to take any rants to my readers :). 

But I must say that I did underestimate the difficulty of living abroad on my own.  I have pretty much recovered from the pangs of homesickness at this point - the jet lag last week didn't help.  I'm back into my day to day routine and when work slows, I need to make more of an effort to get myself out and about making friends.  I am happy to report that I had to request 14 days of leave (i.e. vacation) before 30 June or lose it.  I've planned a few 3- and 4-day weekends in the coming months and hope I can take advantage of them to do some quick trips in SE Asia (Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc.).

Observations from my trip home:
  • LOVE the fact that I went 1.5 weeks with absolutely no cash (I could have made it the whole 2 weeks if I wanted, but it was just easier to get some).  You need cash in Singapore.
  • The cold weather on a sunny, windless day is still great.  But it gets old real quick once the clouds roll in.
  • You really cannot sleep in United economy.
  • I quickly forgot the level of humidity in Singapore.
  • No matter how well planned - you always forget to pack everything.
  • In the grand scheme of things, not much changes (but I manage to still feel a little left out).
  • Only 5 lbs gained - seen as a great success as I figured it could be as high as 10.  Sausage and milk for breakfast every morning?? Also LOVED it :).
  • I'm getting old, fast.
  • Snow removal in Peoria has not improved.
  • I miss warm comfy sweaters and blankets.
I think I went the whole trip without taking any pictures!!  Unbelievable I know.  Well here are some older pics of family and friends.  No one was intentionally snubbed - I only had so many pics to work with.  Miss you all!!
My crazy sister Katie at Disney - I did not get to see her :(.  She moved away to SC. 
*Tom, her boyfriend, is not pictured.  He must have been willing to sacrifice her to the zombie hippos.

The cows - we had new baby calves and they all got out one Sunday morning.  Like old times.

My brother Curtis and his girlfriend Emily - he hates taking pics.  We did dinner in Bloomington one night.

Gotta love Mom!

Dad's always working outside.  Don't worry our house is OSHA approved ;).

Some of my great Peoria co-workers...there are more than just these two clowns ;).

Who can live without best friends??  Miss Shaun.

And last but not least, the little cutie pies - Blake and Avery (these are a bit dated - Avery now has a little brother and Blake's got one on the way). I forgot to take current pictures. 
My friends from home, Kristin and Brenna, have wonderful families of their own.  I'm jealous girls :).


  1. Getting old is only in our mind.
    Age never prevented people from doing things:

  2. Man I'm white! Maybe I should get some sun this summer.

  3. Aw, Lena :( I want to come keep you company right now! Even though I think you're sleeping...or just about to get up. Probably still sleeping ;)

    I cannot believe it's already been 6 months. Oh my gosh! I seriously would've guessed 2, maybe 3. You are one brave cookie for going abroad and I know that you'll be happy you went :)

    Home looked like a wonderful time - love the calves and sausage every morning! : )

  4. What?! Not a single mention of getting completely crunk and having sweet nerf fights?! Lena... I am shocked!