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'Luxurious lifestyle on a budget': Swiss expat explains why it's hard for foreigners to leave Singapore

'Luxurious lifestyle on a budget': Swiss expat explains why it's hard for foreigners to leave Singapore
PHOTO: Screengrab/YouTube/Swizzyinsg

Mary Muller swapped Switzerland for Singapore and it seems like she ain't heading home anytime soon.

The Swiss expat's experience of the little red dot has been amazing so far, based on her most recent YouTube video on Monday (Feb 5).

In the clip, Mary delved into potential reasons why expats like her find it "so hard" to leave Singapore.

According to her, a sizeable chunk of expats and foreigners end up staying much longer than they had originally planned.

But why?

Living the good life

Singapore shared the top spot with Zurich as the world's most expensive city in 2023, so the idea of Singapore being budget-friendly might be puzzling for some.

But in Mary's view, Singapore "enables [one] to live a quite luxurious lifestyle for an affordable amount of money". Or as she puts it in a segment of the video: "Luxurious lifestyle on a budget."

She went on to explain how a similar lifestyle would not be possible back in her home country.

In Singapore, she can take a private-hire car ride or enjoy a relaxing massage every once in a while.

Even something as rudimentary as eating out is an activity she treasures here.

In comparison, Mary said: "I would never eat out on a regular basis in Switzerland."

It can get expensive there, but in Singapore, having a meal out is an option she can actually consider.

Smooth and fast

Mary is also of the belief that Singapore enables a "super smooth" and convenient lifestyle.

The fact that Singapore has 24-hour convenience stores and supermarkets is mind-blowing to her.

"Singapore really tries to make your life as easy as possible," she opined.

Mary also noted that most expats in Singapore live in private housing. Not only is this an example of luxurious living, the useful amenities within close proximity is a nice touch.

Nothing says convenient like a gym and swimming pool just a short walk away from your home.

And if you've got a bit of a travel itch or have a long weekend to spare, Mary pointed out that expats can explore a whole host of nearby destinations. 

Malaysia is just a short drive away while popular travel destinations like Thailand, Japan and Australia are no more than a couple of hours by flight.

Safe and sound

When it comes to safety, nowhere in the world tops Singapore, according to Mary.

Leaving your belongings unattended would (generally) not lead to a theft. Mary could attest to this. 

"I accidentally left my phone the other day in front of the gym for one-and-a-half hours. And when I got back, it was still there," she recounted.


Safety for women is also one of Singapore's strong points, Mary shared. The Swiss noted that her country does well in this aspect but Singapore simply "takes it to the next level".

For other expats from countries that are less safe, Mary noted how they appreciate the serenity and lack of danger in Singapore.

One would think it might be hard to head back to a less-than-safe environment after having experienced what Singapore could offer.

Other notable points Mary raised was the easiness of forming social circles here and the Singapore weather.

According to her, making friends is a breeze. Many expats put in the work to form these bonds and might find it hard to "leave everything" they've built in Singapore.

As for the weather, 30 degrees Celsius all year long is a massive plus (as much as some Singaporeans may feel otherwise).

Dark and cold winters can have an adverse effect on Mary's mood, but in Singapore, she does not have to think of this at all.

"Even if it rains, it passes within 15 minutes so I really enjoy Singapore weather," she said.

In the comments section, some expat netizens sang the same tune of how liveable Singapore is.

Things like cleanliness, food choices and multiculturalism were honourable mentions.

One user commented: "Spent six years in Singapore, loved every moment of it."

Local netizens appreciated Mary's positive outlook on the country, with one suggesting that it might be time for her to "find a Mr Right" and "make this [her] second home".

ALSO READ: Swiss expat points out 'bizarre' Singaporean habits, including snapping photos of food

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