I was in Singapore this summer where there is a huge outdoor garden with structures called 'Supertrees' that they light up each night with a show. Ok, yes that is like Debra's post. These Supertrees are vertical gardens that generate solar power and act as air vents for the nearby biomes ... so they let off steam. Yes, again like Debra's post. But in all seriousness, the real story here is along the lines of what Greta Thunberg has been urging the UN about lately. How cool that she is Time Magazine's Person of the Year? This 16 year old already has her own Wiki page to explain her activism on climate change. You go girl!
Singapore was the last international stop for me before heading back to NY. I started in São Paulo. As we were nearing the airport I looked out my window to see mountains coming in and out of the cloud layer. It was stunning. Bright sunlight above the clouds and deep green below; gorgeous intrigue as you fly in. We were only there for 2 days, and then we were on to our next destination. We did get a night out at a great local restaurant I would recommend for anyone visiting called Tordesilhas Cozinha Brasileira. The food was amazing, which was also paired with the typical Brazilian Cachaca (a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice) which is a must try. But not too many! It is a wicked hangover.
On to the next stop, London. I've been back and forth to London several times in the past few months as you can see on my Instagram. I had to laugh when I saw the sign 'you've arrived' as London seems to have become my home away from home this year. We were in London just 2 days, stuck in conference rooms. And after our final meeting the team I was traveling with ran back to the hotel, grabbed suitcases from the front desk, literally changed in the downstairs lobby and ran for the airport. You get to know people on a trip like this.
Anyway, on to the next city. Each time we got on a plane the flight seemed to just keep getting longer. Nine hours to Brazil, 12 hours to London, then 13 hours to Singapore. When we arrived in Singapore we were stopped at customs. Seriously? There were questions back and forth between English, and then I think Chinese to another border guard. Then back to English asking how long we were in Brazil? How many days ago were we in Brazil? And did we get a yellow fever shot before entering Brazil? Wait, what? I'm now having visions of getting hauled off to some back room and meeting up with a masked guard holding a syringe. I explain that I'm traveling as a group who have literally gone from airport to conference room to airport. There has been no jungle hiking, and extremely low change of contacting yellow fever, oh and it's been 6 days since we were in Brazil (apparently 7 days would have been a better answer). More discussion in Chinese. And finally yes, we are waved through.
Fairly exhausted from flight and customs, I was happy to finally get a weekend off. I should have gone straight to bed. In fact one of our team members did and we didn't hear from them for 18 hours. We thought she was out exploring on her own, but found out she'd slept her way through the weekend. Wow, just wow. Never done that before. Anyway, I took my weekend to explore a bit. The last time I was in Singapore was 20 years ago and a lot has changed. I set off to the Garden by the Bay to see the Supertrees which was a 10 min walk from the hotel, and my god it was humid. By the time I walked the garden and got back to the hotel all I could think about was stripping down and getting in to a stone cold shower. I seriously have no idea how people live in climates like this. The flight home was 18 hours, literally the longest flight available. That kind of travel messes you up. The silver lining was discovering the joys of Melatonin ... they sell some of the highest doses in Singapore. Which I brought home with me.