The sultry slow days of summer have caught up with Singapore. Relying on anecdotal evidence alone, I am told that some companies are shutting down for an entire week due to the record temps. As I gaze out the window at the summer that hasn’t really been here in Germany, it is hard to fathom that it is warm somewhere else.

As one of the four so-called tiger nations with a staggeringly low unemployment rate of 1.9% (March 2011), Singapore is as efficient, productive and immensely focused as they come (Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are the other three tiger nations ~ all of which have copies of The Power of Slow in their respective languages). In fact, Singapore was rated as having the fastest pace of life according to a 2007 pace of life study by UK Professor Richard Wiseman.

That Singaporean companies are shuttering their doors for a week is a power of slow message. If you can’t stand the heat, slow it down. And if you really, really can’t stand the heat, come to Germany where the country shuts down for the entire month of August with, or in this case without, the heat!

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"The Great Wall of China" - 长城

Image by SmokingPermitted - "Cosa sono? La bambina dei no" via Flickr

Angela Petitt has what I would call ‘time freedom’. She woke up one day, twenty years into her corporate career, took stock of where she was versus where she wanted to be, quit her job and went on a one-and-one-half year sabbatical. She reduced her debt to the point that she could comfortably live on her savings while investing in herself.

“I believe we all have deep-rooted desires that we want to accomplish, but we suppress them due to the daily grind of life and responsibilities.  We tend to think ‘One day I will do it’ or that they are pipe dreams and not possible.” She climbed the Great Wall in China, froze in Siberia, escaped the unfortunate earthquake and tsunami in Japan, learned how to fly a small plane and started working on her doctorate.”

Her adventures have been documented on her blog, Sabbatical Scapes. For her, the nineteen months she’s spent discovering the world brought her closer to herself.

Isn’t that what travel is all about? Travel is a stretching experience. Where will your life take you?

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