We take familiarity and its comfort for granted, far too often. We go by our seemingly mundane routines and the occasional “Is this really all?” lurks at the back of our heads. It’s only when we scrutinize our surroundings like a tourist that we start to appreciate the little things; and realize all the beauty we’ve been missing out on.
It’s strange that as a globetrotter, you often forget about the beauty of your own city.
After being surrounded by lush jungles and endless mountains, soaking in the urban jungle of my little city can be quite a challenge. It seems like falling in love with where you were born, is far off.
But lately the OOWA lens has put Singapore’s beauty in a fresh perspective for me. I never thought that I’d easily capture the rawness and grandeur of an image with an external smartphone camera lens. And the thing that blew me away the most — the insane field of view you can capture with the OOWA wide-angle lens, and with almost zero image distortion.
They have made daily photo-taking such a breeze. This allows me to capture moments when my camera is absent and pushed me to go out and explore this beautiful city of mine; bringing me to places I have never even been to or seen before.
Discovering Singapore’s beauty with my new lenses is like an adventure. From regular hiking trails, to high rise buildings; everything seems to tell a new story. You know they say there is beauty in everything and I’ve realised that, indeed there is. The endless blue skies and clouds peeking through the forms and shapes of all these buildings; I’m still in awe.
I’ve been a tourist in my own city; unravelling beauty in the simple things. It has reminded me of the beauty within my reach and convenience of this place — Home, where I always come back to, after traveling to different parts of the world.
I would like to leave you guys with one of my favourite quotes:
”The best camera is the one you have with you.”
Known to the world as a small red dot on a huge, geographical world map, this country houses four (and more) different ethnicities, diverse foods, iconic skyscrapers, and a land full of people.
A place that I can proudly proclaim is my home.
Travellers from all around the world flock here for a unique Southeast Asian experience. Some choose to dine and drink at the luxury restaurants within the CBD at a height, as the mesmerizing cityscape unfolds before their eyes. They watch the fury of the vehicles in the city rush in, making their way downtown past the Esplanade. Right beside it, bumboats cruise through the waters; a view nicely juxtaposed.
New adventures arise as one scales the heights in a cable car, from Mount Faber all the way to the depths of Sentosa. Uncommonly experienced by locals, visitors will leave fascinated with the landscapes and architectural structures that have carved the South. It was my first time taking this cable car ride in more than 10 years; and I found myself snapping away as if I was here on my first time.
However, there’s a flipside to all this grandeur—residential areas that fill up the rest of the country.
Neighbourhoods used to be kampongs, or villages in English; which most elders of the previous generation grew up in. Kampong is an open concept living space: neighbours sleep with their doors open, have farm animals in their backyard, and kids running around catching spiders. My grandmother often tells me of how simple life was back then. How you could get a bowl of fishball noodles with 20 cents or less; how there were no smartphones to stop youths from exploring their surroundings.
Today, within our housing estates, I choose to believe that this kampong spirit persists within us. It’s in our culture to live as such — with neighbours of various ethnicities all around — it’s what makes us so unique. This fluid exchange of cultures, food and practices, full of love and harmony; without any form of prejudice, truly is rare and precious.
Though iconic landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands and Sentosa have captured the hearts of many travellers and locals, let us not forget that these humble estates require as much love and pride from us, to grow and flourish.
If you’re reading this, and new to my island home, I highly recommend you to explore the different estates for a true local experience.