Is Vancouver Better Than Singapore
The Pros and Cons Between Vancouver and Singapore
During my recent vacation to Canada in 2009, I have the chance to see the life and culture of people whom has migrated to Canada from different countries and communities. Although my intention is to migrate to Canada but in the same time are half-hearted to leave Singapore my homeland. Below is only my personal view. You're free to comment.
Vancouver is a very livable city. Let me list down the pros and cons:
1. Education: academic standard for primary and post secondary is lot higher in Singapore. But the emphasis here is on creativity, ability to express / discover, and overall development. It is actually not bad. Longer term at university, it is better for the child. The stress of academic achievements in Singapore at a very young age can distort the child's character and overall development. It also destroy the happy childhood. Interestingly, China is engaging a small company here to train all their teachers to move from rote-learning to western style of education that stresses on expression and creativity.
2. Food - not the variety you can find in Singapore. Eating outside is very expensive. But if you cook at home, food is fresh, cheap ( beef is 50% less ), and healthy
3. Jobs: Vancouver is booming. Overall, Canada's economy is doing very, very well. If you are resourceful, you can find a job. Lower your expectation. Better still, start a biz on your own. It is easier to start an internet biz or home based biz here. You can have the US as your market. As for me, I trade on the US and Canadian stocks. I need to work only 3- 4 hours in the morning to catch up with the market and the rest of the day is free to do anything I like. You can actually survive quite easily here. Remember, medicare is free. You do not need a lot of money to live comfortably and graciously.
4. Domestic help and house repairs: need to DIY.. No maid is actually good for your kids. Need some adjustment but not difficult.
5. Living conditions: absolutely beautiful city. I have lived in many continents. Difficult to find a place like Vancouver. Lots of things to do. Trip to Rockies, Disneyland, Europe, National parks, fishing, cycling, etc. Yes, it rains probably for > 6 months. But it is usually light rain where you can still get out. It can be depressing at times but there are many other things to do. The colder temperature is invigorating compare to the hot and humid climate in Singapore. After a while, you do not feel like going back to a tropical climate.
6. Friends: People are friendly, Lots of Singaporean here. A huge MAJORITY love it here and will never go back.
7. Politics: after you are here, you will understand why it is important to have freedom of expression. The environment in Singapore is artificial, stifling and frustrating. Many times you are fed with lies, propaganda from the government although there are doing a decent job. In Singapore you are treated like a kid. Here you are treated like a full grown adult - able to make your own decision. The system is sustainable and allow self renewal. Things can go wrong but it will be corrected. Longer term, I doubt Singapore's survivability if the system does not change.
8. Crime: Certain areas can have crime, drugs but overall very safe. For 15 years, there were no breakins, harassment except for occasional car break in if you are careless. Singapore is a safer place but nothing to worry over here.
9. Culture : The esplanade has offered some world class entertainment recently in Singapore. Over in Vancouver, they have their own world class symphony, opera house and other pop groups. This is one of the film making centres of the world.
10. Cost of living: lots cheaper if you consider food, car, education and housing despite the high tax. I live in a house that cost around S$1m but it will cost around $5m to live similarly in Singapore. Thus, standard of living is much higher here.
11. Relationship: people have more time for relationship. Unlike Singapore, money making is not the primary objective. The main objective here is living life to its fullness - not accumulating wealth. Friends have more time for each other - BBQ, chats, games, trips etc.
Overall, I would rate Vancouver as a wonderful city and certainly better in Singapore. The worst things in Singapore are the politics, education, cost of living, climate and pace of life. The good things in Singapore are the food, domestic help and safe environment but it is not overwelming at all. Remember, you are living in a real first world country here.