Singapore- My First Trip Abroad

By Mridula Dwivedi January 30, 2013 12 Comments ,

Singapore is always going to be special in my scheme of things. It was my first tip abroad and it was to attend an academic conference at Nanyang Technological University. I was a Ph.D. student then! It was not only my first international trip, I was also flying for the first time in my life! It was a Sri Lankan Airlines Flight and it had a stop over at Colombo. I remember reading all those drug related warnings and feeling quite dazed.

I have written about this trip before (long back) but I decided not to look at it and write from memory. I think I remember many stray incidents but not much about Singapore Tourism.

Singapore Airport

When I used to be 14 Years Younger and Weigh 10 kg less! At Singapore Airport

As a part of the conference we visited the Singapore Airport and this photo was taken in that part of the airport where there is no common access. I remember listening to the talk given by a senior pilot and why we were required to switch cell phones off during a flight. As part of the conference program we also visited Tiger Beer factory and even though I was even less of a beer dinker then it was a fun experience.

I was staying with my school classmate’s elder sister and her family and was always escorted and never needed a Singapore Map. Thank god for it, I have always found maps the toughest puzzles to solve! Meenu didi was very kind and took me around the city. I remember her husband dropping me to the conference venue as well. I roamed around Orchid Road and saw an aquarium. They also took me to Mustafa”s and to Suntech City. I bought a Yashica camera which I used for quite sometime. If I dig deeper into my memories it seems I always liked photography but it took sometime to get really crazy about it! Digital of course made it more affordable.

I also remember my first experience of authentic Chinese food and how bland I found it! It was a blessing to come back to didi’s home in the evening and eat channa and rice and all the good home cooked food.

Another strange bit I remember from the trip is from my Delhi-Colombo flight. I had dozed  off at some point and I woke up with a start because it felt as if a small explosion happened somewhere. It was the guy on the next seat opening a bottle (or can can’t remember which) of alcohol.

This post will be incomplete if I don’t remember the three kids (who must be teenagers now) of didi’s family! They were fun to be around and I wonder how it would be if I meet them know. I have still remained in touch with the family and of course my school friend. Also I still have a top left with me that I bought on this trip!

When I started writing this post I was not sure what I will remember but what fun it is to go down the memory lane!

So which was your first international trip? Did you write about it sometime? What do you remember?

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12 thoughts on “Singapore- My First Trip Abroad”

  1. Lovely photo, and you really haven’t changed!
    Would you believe, my first international trip – can’t count England to Wales – was to India, aged 8. But the first foreign country I really remember is Sri Lanka, where we got off the ship in Colombo and, after a break there, took a lovely old-fashioned train to Talaimannar for the ferry to Rameshwaram.
    Of course, I had the opposite problem to you in Singapore, with the food in Tamil Nadu!

  2. The memory you had when you were younger, Yes I have memory’s from years back. That is one thing that no one can take from you. Great photo’s Mridula. My first international trips were Bahama Islands and Canada and I’ve traveled all over the USA.

  3. Thank you Shalu 😀

    Vishal same year this Singapore trip also happened in 1999.

    Meena 😀 😀 😀 I was a sportsperson so I could eat as much as I wanted to and would never put on any weight. Sigh … those were the days.

    Qaminante thanks for sharing your experiences. I can imagine how hot our food would have felt! Did you ever get used to it?

    Arnab Bhutan is international and exotic too!

    Thanks Arum.

    Thanks Meenakshi.

    Thanks Abeesh will check it out.

    Barry thanks for sharing your destinations, they all sound exotic to me.

    Sajeev 😀 I guess you liked it lot!

    Debopam I agree 😀

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Mridula Dwivedi

I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!

If you wish to collaborate with me, please check out my media kit. You can write to me at

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