Was it the delicious orh luak (oyster omelette)? The world-class cocktails? Or perhaps the amazing rooftop views? Mitchell Hyde of AdventureFaktory tells us why he and his wife Thuymi Do chose to settle in Singapore after travelling the globe.
8 Jun 2022 / By SGN
92 countries across 7 continents – now that’s a well-travelled couple. But having seen so much of the world, how do they decide on the place to base themselves in?
“We like a safe city with easy airport access,” Mitch reveals. “We also look for good work stations and a range of outdoor activities in nature or by the beach. Singapore ticks these boxes.”
For him and Thuymi, travel is a way of life, so it doesn’t hurt that Singapore is a hyperconnected hub with over 100 airlines bustling through its airport. Although the couple has settled comfortably into the city over the past two years, this long-term move wasn’t always on their itinerary.
Journeys of an adventurous couple
Hailing from Australia and Canada respectively, Mitch and Thuymi met in Saigon in 2014. Back then, he was a physical education teacher and she was a strategic planner in advertising. They discovered a shared love for travel and began checking off their bucket lists together while documenting their experiences online as AdventureFaktory.
Together, they’ve ridden horses on the beaches of Fiji, watched the sun set on Santorini, climbed the Mayan ruins in Mexico, witnessed the great migration in the Serengeti, picnicked in front of the Eiffel Tower, and even set foot on the icy plains of Antarctica.
Along the way, AdventureFaktory grew its following and partnered numerous travel (e.g. Klook, Royal Caribbean), hospitality (e.g. Marriott, Four Seasons) and lifestyle (e.g. Apple, Adidas, Audi, Peroni) brands.
Mitch and Thuymi’s adventures have taken them to far-flung destinations, including many wonders of the world.
After several years of living in Dubai, the couple made a pit stop in Singapore, using it as a travel hub to explore Asia for a few months while fulfilling Mitch’s dream of opening a gym (he became the co-owner of the Serangoon Gardens branch of Spartans Boxing Club).
And then COVID happened and dashed all their plans. With global travel brought to a standstill, Mitch and Thuymi were forced to hunker down and contemplate their next move. For the first few months, pandemic restrictions kept them indoors, but as measures were eased, they were able to move about and discover more of the island.
“We quickly fell in love with Singapore during this time and decided to make it our permanent base,” Mitch shares.
Favourite spots and sights in Singapore
Besides being impressed with Singapore’s cleanliness, lush greenery and seamless public transport, Mitch and Thuymi appreciate the rich variety of activities on the island, from surf parks to museums.
The outdoorsy couple enjoys nature walks at MacRitchie or Mount Faber, as well as the vibrant bar culture in the city. “Caffe Fernet at Marina Bay is fantastic,” Mitch notes, “and Smoke & Mirrors has my all-time favourite view of Singapore.”
For foodies, he says, the options are endless, whether you’re after restaurant fare or hawker delights. One of his absolute favourites is East Coast Lagoon Food Village.
“It is located right by the water so you can take your food down to the beach and enjoy it there. Plus they do a killer oyster omelette.” East Coast Park, which runs parallel to the beach, is also a great place for a relaxing afternoon lying down in the grass, he adds.
How to live like a digital nomad
For those looking to relocate to Singapore, Mitch’s advice is to first consider work: “You cannot live here without employment as a foreigner, so start looking at the job boards nice and early.” Because Singapore has a strong work-driven culture, he finds it vital to seek balance and always make time for oneself.
As for which neighbourhood to live in, Mitch says, “There are many gem places on the island to live in, so write down a list of the things you want – there will be an area to accommodate you.”
Though they’re now based in Singapore, the adventurous duo still cherish their digital nomad lifestyle. “In our eyes, a true measure of wealth is freedom of time and location,” Mitch explains. “This means having the ability to be working wherever and whenever.”
In order to achieve this, the pair have had to become highly organised, seek out profit-making activities, and learn basic coding to run their digital platforms.
“Now as businesses move away from traditional office structures, hopefully the digital nomad option will be available to more and more people,” Mitch says.
The adventures continue…
Amid all their globetrotting, Mitch and Thuymi make sure to return to Canada and Australia at least once a year. “We try and add it to the tail end of our trips so we can see our families and friends and they do not forget us!” he says.
With borders opening up, AdventureFaktory is certainly back in full swing. The couple are excited to resume their global adventures and check off more bucket-list destinations such as Easter Island, Valley of the Kings, and the Trans-Siberian Railway – with Singapore as their home base.
As Mitch puts it, the island city is the place to be for avid travellers like them. “Singapore represents for us a chance to grow and experience the local culture while still being able to explore the rest of the world.”