Changing Course

A year and three months ago, Simon Amoni’s life changed course. After growing up in the same house in Cary for his entire life, it was a huge shock when his parents moved to Singapore for his dad’s job. Simon comes from an international background and is no stranger to a lifestyle of flying hours oversees to visit family over the holidays. His grandparents live in Umbria, Italy, a small town an hour from Rome and Simon spent his summers immersed in Italian culture, surrounded by his big family, friends, and all the simple joys of life.

While he loved travelling and going on Italian adventures to see his family, he always loved coming back home even more. There was just no other feeling like it - being in a place where he felt completely comfortable, safe, and accepted. Never did he think that ‘home’ would change so drastically, especially to a country that he had no ties or emotional connection to. Now, there was the new possibility for adventure but one that Simon was not particularly excited about. He liked being able to travel and go on vacations but they were exactly that - vacations. His parents moving to Singapore was not a vacation, but their new life now, and it was soon to be his.

“It was a really hard for me because time was winding down and I didn’t want to accept it. Either my dad had to get a new job or we would have to sell our house.” Simon’s parents didn’t want to sell the house because the opportunity to move was available and would offer financial security for the entire family. “Then he broke the news to the family that he was going to go for six months and stay if he liked it. It was tough to accept because he was moving to a place that I had never even seen before, and a place that I knew nothing about.”

When Simon’s father first contemplated moving for his job he went through many of the struggles that one would imagine would come with the decision. He had to think of what was best for his family, not just him and how it would impact them in the long run. Moving across the globe meant uprooting supporting systems that had taken them many long years to build and having to find new ones once they moved. Moving meant that they would have to get used to seeing a new language on the billboards and hearing it in the streets amidst millions of people who had entirely lives than they. And more than anything, moving meant that they would become a minority – something that had never experienced before and which would take a long time getting used to.

The streets of Singapore that Simon and his family are still trying to navigate.

This transition would mark a fundamental shift in anyone’s life, but especially in one that has already been established for twenty plus years. It hit Simon very hard and his reactions show that moving at any age can be hard and life changing in many ways. He described his feelings, and to anyone who has experienced a monumental change in this life, it would be relatable. Some days are better than others. Some days its feels like you’re on top of the world and some days you wonder if you can get out of bed. If you can smile and pretend to be happy or if you just don’t feel like pretending at all. Some days you laugh and are so full of exuberance that strangers wish they were your friends, because then they could be having that much fun too. And sometimes it just feels hopeless, like you are walking down a never ending path.

The Arboretum in Chapel Hill where Simon likes to spend time.


Created with images by cegoh - "garden by the bay singapore night" • Jirka Matousek - "Singapore"

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