Living and working in Singapore is one of the best decisions I took during the Covid-19 pandemic. While many countries like the UK and other European countries faced the wrath of the pandemic, Singapore has comparatively had fewer cases and rare deaths due to Covid-19. Unfortunately, I was stuck inside my apartment in the UK last year, and except for a few months, all restaurants and pubs were closed, so it wasn’t much use for me, considering I am a food blogger.
I spent the required 14-day quarantine period in a dedicated SHN facility after arriving in Singapore. As soon as the result came back negative, I moved into my new place at Coliwoo. Coliwoo gave me a virtual tour of the facility so that I could make an informed decision.
Let me take you through my day today to give you an idea of what it is to be a digital nomad in Singapore.
I am up early today because I have a meeting scheduled with a US website looking to partner with me. So after a quick shower and a shot of black coffee, I am all set for it. Internet connectivity across Singapore is superb, which makes it perfect for remote-working freelancers like me. The place I stay – Coliwoo @Lutheran – has unlimited fibre broadband connection, a good workstation area in every room and an onsite printing/scanning service making it perfect for work from home. And the beautiful green view outside my window just makes it delightful.
After the meeting, I quickly take a bath in my ensuite bathroom and get ready. The building facility is well managed and the operations team go out of their way to help the tenants. This is one of the greatest benefits of getting a co-living studio apartment for rent in Singapore instead of sharing a flat with other mates. You don’t have to worry about the cleaning or repairs, or the bills or the interfering landlord (Ugh. I really hate that!)
I plan to visit Chinatown food street today, which has recently reopened after more than a month. Camera check. Recorder check. Umbrella check. (A quick piece of advice for those planning to come here. Singapore has a tropical climate, which means it is hot, humid, and can rain anytime. So, it is best to carry your umbrella wherever you go out. Especially if you carry expensive gadgets).
The MRT system in Singapore is very well-planned, and it’s the fastest way to get around. My stay is close to 3 MRT stations – Tan Kah Kee, Farrer Road and Botanic Gardens so I am very well connected to Downtown line, Circle line and the North-East line. Accessibility is an important factor for me to choose a place of stay. I get to Chinatown food street, and it totally lives up to all the hype. The mix of exotic smells and sights from all the food stalls is heaven for food lovers like me. I have my lunch at a seafood stall and spend some time capturing the beautiful colours of this place with my camera. I can go on and on, but I have had sufficient shots for the day and need to sort and sift through them before I can do anymore. I choose a comfy-looking café and spend the next couple of hours doing this. Time to head back.
I must do some grocery shopping on my way back. Today me and a friend from co-living have decided to watch the Euro Cup match together and cook up pasta. One of the benefits of co-living is meeting new people and communal living. Many youngsters, Singaporeans, and expats prefer to live in these co-living spaces that are hassle-free, close to central areas, and yet not so expensive. Back at my place, I quickly freshen up and go down to the kitchen to start cooking dinner. Enjoying the match and dinner with a friend is the perfect evening for me.
A few practical tips
- Singapore is undoubtedly an expensive city compared to many other Asian cities, but it is due mainly to the cost of accommodation. Otherwise, food and internet are cheap, and travelling around is super easy – you can buy monthly passes for the MRT, and call-cab services such as Grab are also pretty effective any time of the day.
- Singapore is one of the safest countries, even if walking alone at night. The crime rates are one of the lowest though sometimes you do hear of scammers. Many buildings like Coliwoo @ Lutheran where I stay, have 24X7 CCTV surveillance to ensure the safety of their tenants.
- Even though there are spurts of Covid cases now and then, the Singapore government is extremely proactive in containing affected areas so that the whole city can avoid a lockdown.
- The healthcare facilities are top class, and it’s best to have personal travel insurance or medical insurance to cover any medical issues.
- Covid-19 restrictions are ever-changing in Singapore, so you need to check the latest updates just before you plan to travel.
A bit about co-living in Singapore
- Coliving facilities are fast gaining popularity in Singapore due to the hassle-free living without being heavy on the pocket. The rents are quite affordable even after including the utilities. Most of them are fully furnished and have favourable short-term rental contracts as short as 1 month.
- I live at Coliwoo @ Lutheran, which is conveniently located near Bukit Timah and Orchard and has facilities like supermarkets and pharmacies nearby.
- Check out the small advantages a co-living may offer. For example, at my co-living Coliwoo @ Lutheran, the entrance has a shade so that you don’t get wet getting out of a taxi. These small things make living a pleasant experience, so be on a look out for those.
- Make sure to inspect the facilities before you book them. You can contact most of them online and request a virtual tour.
- Take a room for rent near MRT station and with other amenities like shops and ATM nearby. It saves a lot of time and trouble.
- Different kinds of rooms are available in co-living arrangements depending on the size of the room and the added facility. For example, the room I live in is a large queen suite almost 400 sq. ft. in size and comes with ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, a TV, a mini-fridge, and a lot of floor space left even after being furnished with a queen bed, workstation, and wardrobe. Of course, I prefer a bigger room because it is my house for the next few months after all. But, of course, you can always pick something that suits you, depending on the location, room, and budget.
Singapore is truly a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities and one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had. I would definitely recommend co-living to anyone looking for accommodation in Singapore or would like to try it out experience it for themselves.