A Little ‘Me Time’
Ever feel like you can’t do anything without your squad? Well, I do. I’m scared to go out alone or eat lunch unaccompanied lest I be labelled a “loner”. But that’s not what an “Independent Girl” should feel like.
Independent girls should have the confidence to be in their own company and do some soul-searching. Besides, there’s something magical about just being by yourself from time to time; no pretense, no pressure.
For those who dare to step out of their comfort zone and venture out alone, here are 20 places and activities for independent Singaporean girls to do.
1. Suspend yourself mid-air in the name of yoga
Remove yourself from the hustle and bustle and take yourself on a workout date.
Try aerial yoga, which is similar to typical yoga with one exception: you’re floating like an elegant swan (debatable) in mid-air. Being suspended on hammocks, the sport helps with chronic back issues and the total-body workout increases your strength.
2. Art jamming
Fancy drinking a cuppa tea/coffee while finding your inner Vincent Van Gogh? Well, Arteastiq is the place to go!
You don’t have to bring much with you (other than the money of course) as they provide you with everything you need for painting, from canvases to acrylic paints and brushes.
3. Participate in open mic events
Attend open mic events like poetry slams and comedy shows at Blu Jaz Cafe, located at Kampong Glam to widen your perspective.
Who knows, you might even make new friends there or take part in the poetry slams yourself.
4. Cleanse your soul
Visit our historically rich places of worship to reconnect with your soul and gain a better understanding of other faiths. Spending time exploring sacred grounds can have a calming effect on the mind and encourage peace of mind.
Places you can go to include: Sri Mariamman Temple, Thian Hock Keng, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery and Sultan Mosque.
5. Make your own blackout poetry
Go to any random café, grab a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate and start your masterpiece!
The only tools you’ll need is a black marker, pencil and anything that has printed words on it. I suggest starting out with a newspaper or a book you no longer need.
Step 1: Take a piece of newspaper and box in the words you’re using for your poetry.
Step 2: Using the black marker, colour out the remaining words. And you’ve become the next Lang Leav…almost!
I find blackout poetry to be highly cathartic as it goes against pretty much anything taught at school; which is to be neat, to not scribble or make a mess. And the fact that I’m making art out of something that’s deemed to be trash makes it even more special.
6. Thrift shopping
Wanna pop some tags with only $20 (or less) in your pocket? No fear, Salvation Army is here!
The clothes can range from ‘Vintage’ to ‘Vapid’ but as a famous man *coughs* Macklemore *coughs* once sang, “One man’s trash (is) another man’s come up”.
7. Learning the art of henna
For those who want to learn henna art from a professional, you can book a one-day course at SyraSkins Academy. Or if you’re too lazy to travel like me, stay at home and learn how to do henna art via Youtube Tutorials. You can buy the henna cone from Serangoon Road/Mustafa or get some off Carousell…because you can get anything on Carousell, even a boyfriend.
8. Finish reading a book at Books Kinokuniya
Pick the biggest outlet at Ngee Ann City, so there’s a lower chance of getting chased out for reading a book for free. The thrill of getting caught and reading a new book is just too much to pass. #thuglife
9. Take a hike around the island
Go on a hike by yourself and reconnect with nature. Maybe you could bring a notebook or journal to document your experience; a much-needed change from the constant social media updates.
Take a look at “10 Undiscovered Hiking Trails Every Adventurous Singaporean Should Explore” for inspiration on where to go.
10. Record hunting
Listening to music these days is just a click away. Why not renew the age old tradition of listening to music with vinyls and turntables?
For beginners, House of Turntables at Plaza Singapura is a one-stop destination. You don’t have to go to different shops to get your amps or vinyl records as this store has everything relating to records and turntables.
Connecting to old school music sometimes helps people find themselves as the music nowadays miiiight not make the most sense (e.g. “Work” by Rihanna).
11. Do something that horrifies you, completely alone.
Be it the G-Max Reverse Bungee that’ll have you buckling at the knees or watching a horror movie alone in the theatres.
Or if you feel like staying in the comfort of your home, you’re just a click away from being sucked into the weird side of Youtube.
12. Spice up your life at Little India
Literally. As most of us never deal with spices firsthand because we hardly (or never) cook, it’ll be an eye-opening experience to explore the streets of Little India and learn about some common ingredients. You can also people-watch.
Find out how senior citizens haggle with shop owners for better bargains.
“I’ve been coming to this same shop since 1945, my great grandfather was your great grandfather’s best friends, you can’t be charging me so much!!!”
“I’ll go to the shop next door where they don’t charge me so much”
13. Immerse yourself in the arts scene at Substation/Open Air Cinema
Substation is Singapore’s first independent contemporary arts centre where you can catch local indie movies or attend arts related talks/programmes. The movies are screened every first monday of the month. You can also participate in the interactive discussions about societal issues such as gender racism and the need for the arts.
Alternatively, the Open Air Cinema Club organises monthly rooftop movie screenings of different films, ranging from our favourite movies to independent arthouse titles.
14. Volunteer at an animal shelter
What better way to relax and do something worthwhile with your time than by helping animals?
There’s so much we can learn from these loving creatures, such as compassion, empathy and unconditional love; qualities we all need to become better humans.
15. Ride a bike/E-scooter
Cycle at Punggol Promenade where it’s not too shady for you to undertake a solo journey. You can drop by the beach and even catch the sunset. If you’re up for it, take a short ride to Coney Island and check out the monkeys.
But over the course of your journey, you’ll learn how to persevere both mentally and physically. The feeling of liberation is definitely worth the distance and pain.
16. Discover your inner domestic goddess
Be it cooking or baking, make it a point to learn how to make different kinds of food. Besides being extremely therapeutic, I hear it’s a real asset in the relationship arena. After all, there’s the common saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his tummy.
17. Do your part to empower women
Attend UN Women Singapore organised events/ talks which focus on female empowerment. It will be a great opportunity for networking too if you’re interested in contributing to the cause.
One such event is ‘Project Inspire‘ which provides a 5-minute platform for participants to pitch their inspired ideas for a chance to receive funding for their project.
18. Stargaze at the Science Centre Observatory
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of seeing all those Instagram posts of the sunset and the sky with #nofilter when clearly it was edited on VSCO.
Okay but real talk, it’s difficult to do stargazing in Singapore because of our city lights and occasional haze (thanks Indonesia for 11 months of clean air). The Science Centre Observatory allows you to do so for *free*! Located at Jurong Town Hall, it’s open every Friday from 7.45PM-10PM.
19. Act like a tourist in Chinatown/Kampong Glam
I know it sounds a bit kitschy, but these touristy areas make them the place to pretend to be whoever you want to be. You can buy cheap handicrafts and indulge in local cuisine at Chinatown’s food street while soaking in the culture. Kampong Glam on the other hand is more than just a hipster place for an #OOTD. You can find perfume/fabric shops and Arab food.
20. Educate yourself in contemporary arts
Once a military encampment for the British Army, Gillman Barracks is now a contemporary arts gallery that aims to become a global arts destination. This place is huge and require a lot of walking so be sure to wear your #comfortshoes. No stiletto heels, for your own sake.
Join them on their annual event, Art After Dark, during the Singapore Art Week.
Independent Singaporean Females
Now, I’m not saying we should all disown our friends and only take part in these activities as “solo #YOLO”. But, it’s important to have some quality “me time”.
If we don’t take care of ourselves, who will? It may be daunting to go out alone, especially when society encourages us to be around others. You fear what others will think of you and constantly feel as though everyone’s judging you for being a “loner”.
But nine out of ten times, they’re not. And even if they were, who cares? Ultimately, it’s you who decides if you’re having fun or not. So disconnect from your social lives and go explore our wonderful world.
cover photo: source