MIND THE GAP
This is an adventure. A soft one, with a Jacuzzi and a dishwasher. At least, it’s my version of adventure.
I didn’t take a gap year after school, never backpacked, no camping trips for me. I didn’t want to stop before college, just forged on with my eyes tight shut and my fingers in my ears, keen to be a ‘grown-up’ (whatever that is), happy to leave the travels til later.
Then I married and we had a child and I started writing from home and the idea of a spell abroad hovered in the background but expat life still wasn’t for me, just long-haul two-week trips and then home again. But I had married a traveller and over the years he gently suggested – once, twice, three times – that we consider some time in the tropics. Go on, he said, it’ll be great. No I said. Go on, he said, you can take your writing anywhere. No, I said. On the third go I started Googling ‘schools in Singapore’.
This, then, is our double gap year, our gap biennial. A table for three, a double with a single in the corner. One big tent and a small one alongside. It is sponsored by a large investment bank and I make no bones for that. I have ended up with a city boy living in Singapore with monkeys in the trees and Mandarin on the homework schedule. This is how it is. I know I will be homesick and I’ll often wish I lived nearer to my familiars, but then one day I will be home again and the dream will have gone as fast as it arrived.
So for now we live on the equator and I guess we’re staying here until we are well and truly monkeyed out. But if you lot back home don’t follow us here, leave comments, send postcards and write emails, this gap year will be gappier than planned.
Stay in touch.