A Summer in Singapore
All birds have to leave the nest sometime, right? I thought I had taken flight when I left my sleepy, one horse town for the lights and Starbucks of West Palm Beach, but college was merely a baby step toward the edge – I hadn’t jumped quite yet. There was a whole world out there and I had no clue. I hadn’t even scratched the surface.
I still remember the conversation with my sister, Leslie, that started it all. It was the beginning of my junior year of college. I was surprised to hear from her that night. We didn’t get to talk much because she and her family had moved to Singapore a few years ago and a 13-hour time difference made it difficult to catch each other on the phone. We talked about my summer, my (previous) internship, and how much we missed each other. The combination of those three topics is where our fantasy began. “What if you could get an internship here, in Singapore?” she said – almost in a whisper. Of course, the lights started going off in my head like a fireworks show before she could even finish her thought. 2010 hadn’t exactly been a hallmark of years for me – I was recently single and completely focused on school, volleyball, and my future (hopefully awesome) career. So, what did I have to lose?
The thought of interning in Singapore consumed my thoughts over the next few days and I was certain that I had begun my slow decent to crazy town. What the hell would my parents say? I tried not to dampen my excitement with such twaddle.
We emailed back and forth, part small talk like normal and the other part we spent watering the seed of crazy we had both planted in our brains. I held my breath with every new email I received from her. I kept my phone by my pillow at night in case she emailed at a weird hour. Finally, at 9:30 on a Tuesday morning, I received the email I had been waiting for. She had discovered an internship opportunity at a place called TWG Tea Company. A little Googling later and I realized that I had drastically underestimated my sister’s sphere of influence. Since when was she friends with the Co-Founders of internationally renowned companies?? I digress. We agreed to keep our mission hush-hush for the time being.
Over the next week or so I spent every second of free time I had in my advisor’s office writing and rewriting my resume and cover letter. It was impossible to focus on anything else. Any thoughts of reality, like, oh I don’t know, moving to Singapore for an entire summer and somehow breaking that news to my parents, tied my stomach into knots. I tried to suppress those.