Somewhere in the middle of the night, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned my head around and leaned forward to hear what my friend was saying. ‘Are you having fun?’ she asked. I replied with the biggest grin on my face.

That was my first night in Singapore and I was at Marina Bay Sands’ nightclub, Ku Dé Ta. Trust me, I wouldn’t have changed anything about the moment.

Singapore is vibrant and full of energy. Even though its residents find it monotonous after a point in time, as a traveller, 18 days was too short a time for me to explore it entirely. I must admit, I was soaking up much of the city-vibe that I had missed all these months.

I love travelling by myself. It teaches me limitlessly and introduces me to incomparable experiences. Singapore has been my second accompanied-destination in the past year of travel; amongst the eight solo stories. And I was very happy that I had company for most of my time in Singapore.

I discovered my club-friendly side

I don’t remember the last time I went dancing and well, I am not a lover of parties. However, in Singapore it seemed like an irresistible idea. There are plenty of options, it is a safe country at any hour of the night and there are other people who’d step out for the common cause! 1-Altitude and Ku Dé Ta are the renowned nightclubs and the former provides an exceptional 360° view of Singapore. I found 1-Altitude more impersonal than Ku Dé Ta, where I absolutely fell in love with the music. After all, what’s a night of dancing without screaming out those lines from your favourite song with a dear friend!

Overlooking Marina Bay Sands from 1-Altitude.
Overlooking Marina Bay Sands from 1-Altitude.

I learnt that a little bit of motivation can fight allergy

In the haven of seafood, I must have been the only one allergic to it. I am allergic to shell fish and I’d rather not try it than get ill. Sitting in a traditional food court in Geyland, with two friends on both sides and a preparation of crab staring straight at me, it was a tough choice. I gave in. In this trip, I tried crab after a decade and loved every bit of it without getting ill the following day. If I were travelling by myself, I would have skipped this authentic experience because there wouldn’t have been any motivational words influencing me. Peer pressure isn’t bad actually.

Encouragement changes the science of our body!
Encouragement changes the science of our body!

I sent my internal GPS system on a holiday

It’s great to be self-sufficient and hence, have the ability not to lose our way in unknown locations. I am quite proud of my internal navigation system but having someone else navigate me while I discover the place, was an unknown solace. It is a comfort I seldom experience because I am always on the lookout for the next turn I need to take! I have walked astray on this island more than once, only to be found back and continued to enjoy the pleasure of being nonchalant. Sometimes, absolute freedom is only experienced when the mind is on a weekend trip.

It is all right to be directionless.
It is all right to be directionless.

Even though I will continue to explore places solo but may be sometimes having friends around heightens the experience. May be it is like the dialogue from The Lunchbox, ‘I think we forget things if we have no one to tell them to.’ May be.

Self portraits are always more complete with a friend.
Self portraits are always more complete with a friend.

Amrita Das

I have been a travel and culture independent journalist. My bylines have appeared in many publications worldwide including National Geographic Traveller India, Lonely Planet Magazine India, The Indian Express and World Travel Magazine. A fellow of Media Ambassadors India-Germany 2019 program by Robert Bosch Stiftung and Centre for Media Competence, University of Tübingen. Currently, I am the photo editor for RoundGlass Sustain, a wildlife and conservation e-publication. I live in India.

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2 thoughts on “Why travelling ‘not’ solo in Singapore made me happy”

  1. That was a nice post. I am sure you had absolute fun in Singapore in 18 days.
    In November I visited Singapore for 7 days and quite enjoyed the vibrant, sweet and small man-made city.
    I have always traveled in company (not many) maybe because I dread being solo.
    Wow, 8 solo trips up your sleeve, I am inspired..

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Manjulika. Singapore is lovely in its own way noh? Though please don’t dread travelling solo. It’s just a step away, literally. You’ll be surprised at how wonderful it is :)

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