This article comes from my ramblings on my own personal Twitter account. After a recent holiday to Singapore, with trips to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Qatar, I looked at the way life works in these countries, and compared it to back home in the UK, as well as other locations I have lived and worked in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Kuwait, and Spain.
This is a piece not specific to football, but it will be interesting for coaches who have or who would like to work abroad. It's about socio-economics and urban planning. Riveting topics, I know, but for those who think there could be a better way of doing things, who want to escape the British Isles, join me on this dive.
For context, for those who don't know me personally, my wife is from Mexico. I met her while living there. We want to travel the world and live in different countries. For the time being, we're both in England until she gets a British passport, then we'll be off somewhere else. When we go on holiday, we take the time to look at a place and ask if we could live there. Does it suit our wants and needs? And a lot of this research I report back to BFCN with.
I'd like to take a moment to talk about urban planning. It's about four years until the wife and I can leave England. My first choice is Singapore. Hers is probably Dubai. We don't want USA or UK. Here's why.
The above photos are from where we stayed in Singapore. A standard apartment complex, with a pool, roof terrace, and fitness area. Singapore is about twice the size of the Isle of Wight, has around five million people, and is very green despite being densely populated.
The city relies on an excellent public transport system of buses and trains. They are cheap, easy to use, clean, safe, regular, and cover a lot of the island. The metro is one of the best in the world.
It's still possible to drive around. Wide roads, well monitored, good drivers. Car taxes are high, but the most effective way of reducing road users has been excellent public transport and walkable cities. So many Singaporeans are walking distance of their basic needs.
People are able to live healthy, outdoor lifestyles. There are so many walking paths, cycle paths, and parks for residents to enjoy. Jogging and biking are huge. A healthy, happy populace. It's safe to go out at night. Everywhere is well-lit and crime is non-existent.
You've probably noticed that despite being a large city with a lot of people, it's very green. Gardens, parks, shrubbery all contribute to the air being fresh and clean. This, plus the public transport taking cars off the road, also mean that is a very quiet city. No noise.