When I Quit Being a Digital Nomad

I’m back to Singapore since early this year, now not being a digital nomad as I used to since 2011, but working at ‘normal’ time, morning to afternoon. Although I’m back to my routine life and not moving from one place to another anymore, the first six months, I still lived like a nomad, or considered homeless.

The first six weeks, I stayed with somebody who offered me his empty room until another tenant occupy the room. Then, for another 3.5 months I stayed at different hostel each month, until I got chicken pox. YES!! I got chicken pox as a grown up lady!! I experienced the symptoms when I was at work, but didn’t notice I carried that annoying disease.. I felt so tired especially on my back, headache, loss of appetite and fever.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t fully blame hostel, I admit it, this is my mistake.. When I felt so sick & fell down from my bunkbed at 3am, I asked myself how could I be so weak like this. I rarely sick since I was young. But since I stayed at hostel for months, then I got sick easily from flu, cold or just giddiness. I dragged myself to ER in the afternoon, and a quick check up I heard from the nurse;

“You have fever, did you travel overseas recently?”

That question really slapped me!! Overseas?? Oh, I stayed at hostel for months and my roommates come and go from around the world, if that what they meant why ‘from overseas’ question becomes an SOP question in hospital, people from overseas could bring any random virus but as long as we’re fit, the virus they brought might not really affect our body.

But me?? I always back to my bunkbed after working from morning to afternoon/evening, I was not on holiday mood like these travelers in my room, I came back to my bunkbed in tired condition, low immune system because lack of sleep and I ate rubbish, meaning my lifestyle was so unhealthy and very bad diet. I became sick easily during my hostel life, till this ‘kid disease’ forced me to rent a real room.

The nurse measured my blood pressure, pricked my finger to check my blood sugar level, she said it’s fine only fever. But when I was suspected carrier of chicken pox, the nurse sent me to isolation room. I was shocked, when I dragged myself to hospital I didn’t even know I had chicken pox. My complaints were; I felt so sick, nausea, vomits, dizzy and then turned out, GPs interrogated me about suspicious chicken pox over my body.

Long story short, CONFIRMED!! I had chicken pox, and I was not allowed to leave the hospital; because I was staying at hostel, the hospital even interoggated my hostel; who is who the possible guests who brought this virus. My second day in hospital, I asked doctor when can I discharge from hospital, she talked something about; in my case, they need to ask permission to ministry of health.

God, .. ‘ministry of what??’, now, I’m worried my name would appear on local newspaper as the girl in hostel who got chicken pox, another thing I’m worried, I hope the newspaper won’t reveal my age. 😋

Singapore becomes the first country I had to sleep in hospital for a few days

at-hospi

And when you get so depressed being sick alone in hospital, you started to doodle from a piece of newspaper

 

 

 

 

Hospital Meal, being sick sucks you know!!

Hospital Meal, being sick sucks you know!!

Coconuts from colleagues, *heart melt*

Coconuts from colleagues, *heart melt*

01-hospi-room

Looks much better than my hostel room!!

Look much better than my hostel room!!

A few days later, I finaly allowed to leave the hospital but I don’t want to be a selfish jerk of course (back to hostel and spread my virus to other Travelers) I contacted somebody I know who offered me his empty flat in Bishan.

And I stayed in an empty flat alone for 2 months, yes only 2 month because  it felt so creepy lived in an empty and abandoned flat a.l.o.n.e!! Two empty rooms were locked & I had wild imagination that somebody hid Annabelle’s doll in one of the locked rooms. So, I decided to find another room. Because when I stayed there, the floor looked a bit creepy, I was on second level and when I opened the door I was greeted with a big tree, and my flat was on the corner and I had no neighbour, also almost never seen human but me.

Looking for room in Singapore is not easy, and Singapore is not cheap when it comes to housing. Even rent Prices in Singaporeare 142.69% higher than in Germany. And renting a room in Singapore is full of rules. One of the reason I lingered to stay in hostel because I couldn’t find the place to rent that I think suitable for me. Common rules you read when you search for the room in Singapore is;   “no heavy cooking allowed’ meaning you can only cook noodle and reheat your unhealthy processed food in Microwave. Sounds like no difference from hostel.

Then, one day on my lunch time I found my dream room via google; Mini Studio where I don’t need to share the toilet, kitchen with landlord or other tenants. And the most important thing, I have my own window now!

My Little Kitchen!!
Pantry

Pantry

The eating out lifestyle is common in Singapore and most of Singaporean don’t have much time to cook. But since I have my own room and I want to watch my diet and being more economical. Sometimes, when we eat outside we don’t really know whether chicken we eat fresh or frozen chicken, because frozen chicken or meat are cheaper than the fresh one.

I’m satisfied that finally I eat my own cooking, I know what’s the ingredient I add, or at least I know whether my food has hidden MSG, or too much sodium, or sugar. I make my own homemade pasta from real fresh tomatoes, no MSG added, no preservative or other chemical substances like in commercialised pasta sauce. If I want to add beef or fish into my tomato sauce, I’m pretty sure the meat is fresh not from processed meat. For me, cooking should be from scratch, not using instant seasonings or canned soup.

And one thing I love from preparing my own meal, I love grocery shopping than dress shopping.

Homemade tomato sauce is much better than commercialized sauce!!

Homemade tomato sauce is much better than commercialized sauce!!

When I was growing up, my mom always forced me to help her out in the kitchen. When I was young, I hate doing it and protested to my mom, it’s not my duty as a kid. But then now, I thankful to my mom, if she had never forced me to get involved in kitchen,I might not know how to prepare even a decent meal, lack of cooking knowledge, don’t know how to cut vegetable or chopped onion, chilly and stuff. Not only that,   I might never know what to do with chicken, or prawn, squid or fish.

And, what I’ve got for lunch on the weekend?? ANCHOVY FRIED RICE with my own basil, yes.. I grow a pot of basil plant in my room!!
My Anchovy Fried Rice

My Anchovy Fried Rice

AND THESE !!!! Click the photo below to enlarge, but I’d warn you, I won’t be responsible if you will be drooling over my Home-Cooked Cuisine.

What #chefRafma 's produces in her little kitchen

What #chefRafma ‘s produces in her little kitchen

I leave house for work at 7.30am, do you think I have much time to prepare all of these?? Or like today’s trend over social media, you think I practice #mealPrep ?? Yeah, sort of … But, I don’t use #mealprep method like people do to their food.

Why My Meal Prep is Different from the Others

For food sake, I LOVE Fresh Food, and I avoid Microwave due to health reason. There are a lot of studies about colon cancer and microwave, aluminium foil and Alzheimer disease, it doesn’t mean I don’t use microwave and aluminium foil, I just use them once a while, not for everyday usage.

I’ll reveal my kitchen hack here;

  1. I do my grocery shopping on the weekend, Friday or Saturday night and instead of cooking and portion my meal at one time on the weekend, I chop vegetable, and to make celery last longer, trim the leafy tops off celery and storing them correctly in containers and refrigerate them.
  2. Grow my own ingredients. Such as; basil, tomato,  chilly etc.
  3. Because I avoid microwave and appreciate fresh food, (you know, vegetable when it’s cooked and not be eaten in a few hours, the green part will turn darker and it doesn’t look healthy and nice to eat, so I don’t pre cook all of my food on the weekend for my weekday lunch. Since I like my vegetable freshly cooked, I portion them out for each meal and put them in containers, in the morning they are ready to cook, it won’t take a lot of time. Not gonna be more than 5 minutes. Trust me..
  4. Marinate chicken,  fish or meat for the weekday, and half cooked, then refrigerate them and reheat or full cook in the morning, I use an oven so I can leave my cooking while having shower.
Meal Preparation ala myself

Meal Preparation ala myself

Marinated squid, cooked fish, veggies & homemade seasoning can be used anytime for a lot of thing

Marinated squid, cooked fish, veggies & homemade seasoning can be used anytime for a lot of thing

I cooked this egg on the run, this is why I don’t practice #mealPrep like others do. I want my sunny side egg is freshly cooked, it won’t take more than 5 minutes to make this. And for me, cooking is relaxing, and I love physical activity from cooking.

Fresh Lunch, and only takes not more than 7 minutes of cooking

Fresh Lunch, and only takes not more than 7 minutes of cooking

And, please have a look my portfolio since I quit being a digital nomad and regulate my life to what we called ROUTINE LIFE.
Salmon & Pasta

Salmon & Pasta

Pasta & Beef Sausage

Pasta & Beef Sausage

Potatoes & Tandoori Chicken

Potatoes & Tandoori Chicken

Mixed Brown Rice & Spicy Prawn

Mixed Brown Rice & Spicy Prawn

05_mealprep

Mee Pok, chicken, french bean, cherry tomatoes and egg

Mee Pok, chicken, french bean, cherry tomatoes and egg

Pasta & Cheese Sausage (yeah, don't eat too much processed food please!!)

Pasta & Cheese Sausage (yeah, don’t eat too much processed food please!!)

I feel like life is so much better when I prepare my own meal now, I can watch my calorie intake, and whatever intake. When I was 20s something, I don’t care with what I ate, but apparently, it’s not true what random quote said, ‘Age is just a number’

No, no.. age is not just a stupid number. Age affects your health, your sleeping schedule. 10 years ago, I was able not to sleep 48 hours without getting sick, I ate rubbish or fast food, but then now.. I think 30s is the crucial part in our life the time when we need to change our unhealthy lifestyle in 20s.

I pass hospital everyday on my way to office, and two weeks ago, I saw at least 3 elderly people sat on wheelchair legless or one of their limbs got amputated. What else if not because of Diabetes, Singapore is fighting against diabetes now. Diabetes is common and people are ignorant about it and lack of knowledge about it.

Better prevent than cure, better safe than sorry for better long-term health outcomes.

It’s just about our lifestyle, diet and stress. Three factors that will lead us to degenerative disease, but of course, we can’t guarantee we will live healthy though we watch what we eat. We live in capitalistic world, not really sure whether vegetables or meat, chicken we eat are free from harmful chemical substances. Even our cookwares.

When I was on the road or traveling, as a digital nomad, I don’t really care about this. While traveling, you’ll be happy if you found cheap local food, but we don’t know how the food is processed, MSG will make food you eat delicious instantly, but it’s not good for our health in long term. (oh, this morning I just had my MSG noodle.. 😛 ).

How about you, when you travel do you care with what you eat?? Whether it’s healthy or unhealthy?? If you don’t, trust me.. you’re still young. Maybe early 20s something. Age is not just a number when you reach the BIG 3. It’s the time when your metabolism get slower. And, aging and metabolism are best friend.

 

Happiness is making your loved ones happy!! Such as; cooking for your nieces & nephews when you met them though sometimes it’s just once in a year or even more than that. I love cooking, I have a dream, travel the world and rent a studio apartment or flat, having my own kitchen and utensils then cooking local menus and make my own YouTube Channel for cooking. Like these; from Indian, Thai and Italian food. Chapatti (of course I bought them at Mustafa Center singapore), pasta & Thai Grilled chicken Are homemade, and tandoori shrimp and seashell, but to be honest, I used tandoori paste I bought at Mustafa center again, I love that 24 hour giant store that sells everything 😉. The reason why I travel and cooking, because different places, it would be hard to find the specific spices and it would make the taste is not authentic anymore. Unless you buy the instant season, which is considered the processed food. Chicken soto or Indonesian food might taste very different in Indonesian restaurant in India because there are some Southeast Asian spices such as galangal, nutmeg etc are not really common there and vice versa. It’s funny when I was teenager I dislike cooking and had a dream to invent a smart machine in my kitchen that can produce international food based on my request. 😋 in one button P.s oh ya, I made my own chai with ginger when I went back to Indonesia for a week. My ex Indian housemates taught me how make chai, the first time in my life I boiled milk, tea and spices. It’s not common in my culture where we drink tea without milk.

A post shared by Ra Kiutski (@sangmusafir7) on

 

3 Responses to “When I Quit Being a Digital Nomad

  • Hi thank you, I know.. been very busy this year no time for blogging
    Rahma Musafir recently posted…Secret Cinema in SingaporeMy Profile

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