What’s next after 30 countries? Falling in love again in Singapore!

Oh Singapore, I really really love you. I spent 6 days in Singapore – you would think that after all my mouth, I was going to relocate there, lol. Those 6 days have to be the most activity-packed days of my life, so far. Pheeew! Of the 6 days, I had only 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) to be a tourist, so the real title of this post should be something like ‘how to explore Singapore in 48 hours’.

No comment 🙂

I realized that in my former post, I did not disclose the purpose of my travel to Singapore. Well, I went there on a spiritual retreat to attend a conference called Kingdom Invasion. After I completed my project 30 by 30 (30 countries before 30), it seemed like the next logical goal would be 40 by 40 or something fancy like that. However, that didn’t excite me as much. Instead, my new goal was to become more purposeful about my travels. I have a coach who spends ALL of his vacation days attending events (conferences, seminars, revival calls, etc) centered on God’s Kingdom and how to manifest His presence here on earth as it is in heaven. Instead of just envying him and calling him #goals, I decided I would start attending at least one of such events every year. And so late last year, I signed up for Kingdom Invasion as my first trip for 2017.

Kingdom Invasion!!!

Kingdom Invasion is an annual event beyond church or denominational lines. It was 4 days of teachings and impartations about how to fulfil the portion of the Lord’s Prayer that says ‘thy Kingdom, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ It had over 1,000 delegates from about 40 countries and teachings led by 5 amazing teachers – Bill Johnson (Head Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California. If you are into gospel music, you probably know Bethel music well); Heidi Baker (an American missionary sent to Africa who actually lives in Mozambique and is taking the gospel of Jesus to most remote parts of Africa), Lou Engel (a firebrand man of prayer and fasting who is constantly rocking back and forth while standing or sitting, and is leading the prayer revival in the US) ; Ed Silvoso (the pioneer of the message of city and national transformation through the gospel and author of the book ‘Anointed for Business’ which reveals God’s mind and practical ways through which your job or business can be your ministry) and Shawn Bolz (Word of Knowledge minister who has demystified what it means to hear God and how we can translate God’s voice in our day-to-day lives). The time I spent there was absolutely life-transforming and I am excited about the practical manifestation of all I learnt and got during the conference. My biggest takeaway was a deeper revelation of the crazy, unrelenting, unbelievable, border-line ridiculous LOVE that God has for all of us. *goosebumps*.  I definitely fell in love with Jesus ALL OVER AGAIN!!

To crown it all, I attended the Friday night worship session with Bethel Music’s finest – Brian Johnson, Amanda Cook and some other amazing worship leaders. Whooooosh! That was amazing.

Brian Johnson and the Bethel Music crew

So, I was done with the conference on Friday night and my flight back to Nigeria was on Sunday night. I had 2 options – just sleep in and take it easy or go hard and max out on being a tourist for those 2 days. I am sure you know what option I went for, lol. Sleep is important but yeah, I figured I could sleep on my flights back home. No food or movies, just sleep.

Over the course of the week (specifically during the conference’s break sessions when I had time to daydream, lol), I started making a list of 10 must-do activities in Singapore.

1. Spend the day at Sentosa Island – includes visit to Universal Studios, beach bumming and some physical activities
2. Eat chilli crab (which is the Singaporean local delicacy)
3. Visit Chinatown and Little India
4. Visit the Botanical Garden
5. Catch the sunset and amazing view of the city at Marina Bay Sands
6. Visit the Gardens by the Bay
7. Visit the zoo during the day or go on the Night Safari
8. Take a long walk on Orchard street (you may choose to shop or not)
9. Extra for Kemi: Attend service at Joseph Prince’s church
10. Extra for Kemi: Visit the INSEAD Singapore campus to get closure, lol

 

Closure, finally!
Hanging out with Joseph Prince

Around mid-day on Saturday after having my first sleep-in for the whole week, I set out to tick off most of the activities on that list in the 34 hours I had before heading to the airport on Sunday night. The cool thing about Singapore is that because it’s a single city-state, everywhere in the country is within a 45-60mins drive range. This meant I did not have to worry about going out of town or missing out on some major attractions due to location. So I thought to myself, ‘Kemi, this your plan is kinda feasible’ 🙂

Good people, I am proud to announce that I managed to accomplish 60% of my target. When people start using percentages, you know they are trying to sound more profound than is necessary, lol. Okay, okay, I managed to tick off 6 of the 10 things on my list, and I even got to hang out with 2 of my favorite girls from business school.

The struggle to get a good selfie with Shaivi and Malini was real

Sentosa Island was a lot of fun! Too much to do, jeez. I managed to get a picture in front of Universal Studios, lol. There was no time to actually go inside to explore and get on all the crazy rides. You need a whole day to do Universal Studios justice. However, I got my adrenaline rush from ziplining at the MegaZip Adventure Park at a nearby beach also on Sentosa Island. I figured I could still visit the other Universal Studio theme parks in the U.S and in Japan (I will take any excuse to go back to Japan, lol).

Just in case I never get to Universal, at least I have this picture 🙂
Zip-liner Kems

The night safari was also beautiful. So many animals, all well-behaved roaming freely and staying in their lanes. For the first time in my life, I saw zebras (fun fact: zebras are actually black with white stripes), elephants, hyenas, monkeys, hippopotamuses, rhinos, lions, and giraffes. I even saw a tiger!! The tiger was the only animal that was kept behind a wire fence. I guess they must have realized that tigers can’t mind their business, lol. It was so dark and flash photography was prohibited so the pictures didn’t come out great. So sorry, no pictures from the night safari. You should just go there yourself to behold the breathtaking beauty of a night-time zoo.

I was torn between going to the Botanical Gardens and the Gardens by the Bay, but I chose to spend time with my friends at Ce La Vie (the restaurant at the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands); catching the sunset and just being satisfied with taking pictures of the Gardens by the Bay from the rooftop. I love plants and gardens but it’s not that deep, really! Lol. I promise you, the view from the Ce La Vie was just as gorgeous.

Gardens by the Bay – spot the domes and the super trees

For me, the 3 most striking things about Singapore are how green the city is, how many malls they have and how much food is available.

Greenery: Singapore is like Dubai with more greenery. Singapore reminded me so much of Dubai. Apparently, Dubai got their inspiration for the building their city from Singapore. There are trees and plants EVERYWHERE! It’s almost ridiculous. I got tired of taking pictures of the scenery, because it was like taking pictures of the clouds. Duh, clouds are everywhere so there is nothing unusual about it. That’s exactly how plants and trees and vegetation are everywhere in Singapore.

Greeeeen!!

Malls: I thought Dubai had malls until I got to Singapore. Singapore is the winner o! There are malls EVERYWHERE. Infact, at every metro station, there is a mall. There is a whole network of malls connected by underground tunnels and bridges. It’s almost confusing, lol. And you have every imaginable shop in those malls. You need a lot of willpower or no cash to resist the shopping temptation in Singapore. Good luck!

Food: There is a wide variety of good food in Singapore. Eating out is like a national sport. I remember my classmates in business school saying it was cheaper to eat out than to do groceries and cook at home in Singapore. During the course of my stay, I ate all sorts – Indian, French, Chinese, Japanese American, Asian fusion etc. There are a lot of food courts and hookah centres everywhere you go. You can never ever starve in Singapore. Food is cheap, fast and tasty! After having such a great time with food all week, I had to make sure my last meal in Singapore was epic and memorable. I had the the black pepper crab (thanks for the recommendation Jumoke G) and it was hard work! Epic, memorable and plenty of work. De-shelling and extracting ‘meat’ from the crab was work. At some point, I got so tired, put the tools they gave me aside and just started using my hand, lol. Thank God for good friends like Shaivi who rescued me and started de-shelling for me. I think you burn all the calories from the meal by just working through it. All the same, it was quite an enjoyable experience. I genuinely believe there is a business opportunity to sell de-shelled chilli crab to lazy people.

See the TOOLS I was given plus a bib for protection, lol

 

The joy when the black pepper crab finally arrived!
I gave up on that last piece!

On my flight back home (when I wasn’t sleeping and hopefully, not snoring), I was reflecting on how Singapore has ZERO natural resources but managed to turn their nothing into a country that is the hub of trade in Southeast Asia.Their efficiency is great, everywhere is clean but Japan is still my personal winner. They are also very open to foreigners, although (as usual), I did not run into many black people. When I got back to Lagos, I was tempted to begin to whine and complain about everything that wasn’t working BUT I remembered my decision to go on a negativity fast (as inspired by Heidi Baker) and instead, started to focus on the things that are working. The airport is looking better, the wait times on the queues are shorter, the A/Cs are working well, there are fewer touts hanging around the airport these days and things are getting more efficient. And to make things even better, Mama Kemi offered me a delicious hot meal of amala, ewedu, gbegiri and plenty pieces of meat when I got home. Mama Kemi for President!!!!

Amala – before Kemi happened to it!
Amala – after Kemi happened to it!

I must confess, it was hard to leave Singapore. The time was too short, I didn’t spend enough time there and I feel like I did not get the chance to be fully immersed in their culture. So I have to go back, yaaay!

Doing a negativity fast in Singapore was super easy since everything works, but to be honest, it hasn’t been as easy in Nigeria. However, I shall not relent. Anyone want to join me on this negativity fast? We can do this till the end of April. No negative talk about anyone, anything, no complaining about Nigeria, no whining about talented drivers in traffic, no cursing politicians and all that. Just positivity and optimism all day, every day. Deal?

Here’s to good vibes, positivity and joy all the way!

Kemi 😉

p.s – please don’t try to do this crazy 48-hour vacation. My feet are not smiling at me now.

Published by

Kemi O

Explorer. Happy Woman.

30 thoughts on “What’s next after 30 countries? Falling in love again in Singapore!”

  1. I have admired you way back from CU days. You are not slowing down. Girl, you are unstoppable. This has given me a new look to my life right now.
    Way to go gurl!!!

  2. First, I’m jealous of you ☺️, when I grow up I’ll be like you 😊
    I’ll start my negativity fast in 2 months time 😣

  3. Well articulated and very interesting write up…you expressed everything so well Kemi!.. I appreciated the fact that you actually went for a spiritual trip (very few pple do that)..sure it would have been an encounter of a life time..thanks for sharing! Keep Shining. Cheers

    1. Thank you Kenny. It was my first time and it was truly an encounter of a life time ( I could not describe it any better)!

      So when are you going on your own spiritual trip?

  4. I like the fact that this was a spiritual tour for you and you have such an amazing way with words. You literally took us through the journey and I could imagine myself there. Definitely have to visit Singapore and I’m up for the negativity fast particularly where our dear country is concerned. Lord help me!

    1. Thanks for your comment egbon!

      Lord, help all of us! It’s almost a crime not to speak bad about our country when others are doing it. God will give us the strength! Amen

  5. I’m with you! My negativity fast officially starts now…
    Thanks for sharing this Aunty K! You have woken up the traveller in me, I need to do this.

    Side note: Please tell me you brought copies of “Annointed for Business” by and silvolso 😩😩
    Plus, I think I can guess who your coach is. 😉

  6. This is absolutely inspiring… I am totally doing the “negativity fast”. Nice one Kemi, greater things are coming your way.

    1. Yaaaay!!! Glad you are doing the negativity fast.

      Kindly note that once you sign up for it, almost EVERYTHING will become more annoying. Don’t worry about it – you will overcome! And even when we slip, we get right back up, make positive declarations and keep going!

      I am rooting for you girl – let me know how it goes.

  7. Sincerely, you held me up with each paragraph.. I started from the car, to the living room, to the bedroom (together with my daughter, she could only admire the pictures). Your stories are quite educating and inspiring. I just felt like I was beside you, giving me all the gist..lol. Weldone, Welcome and keep enjoying God Sis!

    1. Thanks love!! Did you tell Omo Olowo that Aunty Kemi used to be her mum’s chauffeur? Lol..

      Amen! enjoy God too sis!

  8. Great post as always. Guess I will start the negativity fast as well. Vacationing for spiritual growth events sounds like a great plan as well. Thanks for sharing your experience!… and also the downing of the Amala and ewedu before and after. Lol.

    1. Thanks Captain! Good luck with the negativity fast – God help us.

      lol.. amala is bae!! I am not sure when I became a big fan but I am now.

  9. Always a pleasure reading your stories…especially the ajala ones 😉
    So glad you FINALLY went to your dreams destination, Singapore!
    Can’t wait to explore Asia in the nearest future…Singapore is def on the list.
    And I totally get your amala and ewedu episode….LOL! That’s what I used to do (when I was single…lol!) anytime I came back from one of my ogbodo oyibo trips…my mum always had oha soup and eba waiting for me to devour! *shines teeth* Nothing like mama’s home-made food 😉

    1. My ajala mentor! Thanks for being such a cheerleader 😉 I can see you doing a 1-year backpacking trip soon.. Please take me along o.

      Local food right after an international trip is the best ‘welcome back home’ treat one can get! God bless our Mamas!

  10. I have just two thoughts. First is you write in such an amazing fashion. Almost felt like we were having a F2F conversation where you were talking to just me! Second – who took these pictures? Random passerbys?

  11. Wow!!!!!

    Just discovered the blog (from LinkedIn). Aunty, you are talented oh. A worthy example to follow. As for Singapore, my love for Singapore started in 2013, bought Lee’s book “Third World to First World” two days after his death (I even cried when I read the news that he died!) – roughly two years ago. As someone who Googles, reads, watches about the happenings and Singapore’s news daily, I am not mystified about your experience. I hope to undergo my post-graduate studies in either NUS or NTU – with hard work and determination.

    For the negativity thoughts, unfortunately, I cannot stop complaining. I have not seen light for six hours straight for weeks, generators throughout since – yet persons want the economy to move forward? Meanwhile, she (Singapore) got her independence in 1965!!. I shudder at people who have hope in Nigeria.

    Congrats on your trip.

    P.S Singapore is the second safest city after Tokyo according to the EIU. How was the experience safety wise?

  12. Kemolala, vintage writing. Your write-ups aren’t only fun to read, there are always salient life points to pick up.

    Thanks for sharing

  13. What a wow! Kemi. I always think of vacation in terms of shopping and just seeing places. I am trying to plan a eat, love and pray trip sometime..

    The idea of a spiritual convention is so so nice.

    Now when I eventually decide to go to Singapore, your list is good enough. I will “epp” you tick all 10. And you went to the New Creation Church?😳 Wawu

  14. Very interesting…. I’ll definitely be following… I smiled soo much, my son kept asking “Mummy, what’s funny?”. I feel your energy, Sis. The exhilarating experience is great… Keep on keeping on. Where next? #lookingforward

    1. Tell T-boy its his Aunty Kemi that’s making his mama laugh.

      Where next? Cape Town to jump out of a plane! lol.. Not sure what’s next though.. Still enjoying being on land for now 🙂

      kisses!

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