The following is a guest article written by one of our Token crew Courtney about her world tour in 2017. And the good and slighty not as good things about being an expat in Singapore and taking on the token chalenge…
Ahh July. The magical month where people all around you partake in Dry July enabling you to quite easily save some precious tokens for the festive season ahead. Am I right?
Enter July in the South East Asian tropics of Singapore, where you find yourself surrounded by swarms of British expats who still call July ‘summer’ despite it being a balmy 32 C all year round. This means your weekend activities are consumed by boat parties, lunchtime binge drinking, swanky beach clubs and shorts trips to the surrounding islands. [Can I hear you say #expatwanker?] All of which are ripping good times, but call for a more booze hound version of yourself than most Aussies are use to come July…
Living away from home as an expat in a foreign country definitely puts a new perspective on the token challenge. On the one hand you want to meet new mates, so find yourself saying yes to social events more often, usually revolving around a drink. On the flip side you want to make the most of your time, and your money, so you try to get out and travel on your weekends. No matter what the occasion, you do find yourself reaching for that cocktail by the pool more often than you should! This calls for some strategic planning on when to use a token and when to try to go it sober. And I will admit, its lead to some binge drinking behavior as I try to negotiate my way through the token year. Something I have been trying to work on.
Living in Singapore means am I also fortunate enough to travel a lot for work to the surrounding countries. Usually my work trips to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia end with a drink at the hotel bar looking out over the Twin Towers, however, with the token challenge in full swing I was presented with an excellent opportunity to have a #tokendayoff.
I got to stay in a different area to my normal location, slightly outside the city. I checked in and looked out my hotel window onto a neighborhood that felt strangely familiar. I had lived in Kuala Lumpur as a kid but hadn’t been back since I was 10, until now. I quickly jumped onto google [taking inspiration from the film Lion!] and looked up the Ballet studio I had studied at while living here. And, to my complete surprise realized it was in the neighborhood I was looking down on! When the taxi dropped me off I recognized it straight away. From here I was able to trace my way around what had once been my stomping ground as a kid, and even remembered how to find my old family home!!
In a total trip down memory lane I sent some videos back to my parents who weren’t even aware I was in Malaysia, and just said ‘guess where I am?’
Its going to be pretty hard to top that as a token day off!!
All up this year I am currently sitting on 41 tokens used with 36 yays!
It’s been a challenging year reevaluating my drinking patterns but for me that was the point of starting the challenge in the first place.
With the second half of the Token Challenge year ahead I’m going to focus on not over indulging on binge drinking, and instead try to switch my mind set over to concentrating on what I am doing on the #tokendaysoff instead. The benchmark has now been set pretty high but I am looking forward to seeing how I can top it!