Over the holidays I met a very intriguing family from Singapore. They were staying at One Village Place in The Village at Northstar for the week. The father loved to ski with the two boys, leaving mom plenty of time to share their experiences with me. It was their first time experiencing Tahoe. The beautiful scenery and straightforward access to the San Francisco Bay Area, where they visited prior to arriving in Tahoe, amazed them. The mother was so excited to expose her two boys to the Tahoe outdoors and all of the activities possible at Northstar Resort.
I mentioned to the mother that I had passed through the Singapore airport on my way to Thailand a few years back. She began to explain how Singapore is a “city state” and most of the citizens have very little, if any, experience outside of a city. Most children in Singapore have live-in nannies and are sheltered from many of life’s challenges. So absorbed with video games and handheld devices, she exclaimed, many of the children in Singapore barley know how to tie their own shoelaces. She also mentioned that the labor is so cheap in Singapore it is common to call someone even to fix a light bulb. She believes 90% of Singaporeans can’t even fix a light bulb themselves. She also mentioned how Singapore is one of the safest cities in the world with very low crime rates. This was a worry to her because she felt that her children lack “street smarts” and tend to believe everywhere is equally as safe as home.
Although California, and specifically Tahoe, would not be considered dangerous to most, the freedoms allowed here in the United States are educational for many. Tahoe is just far enough away from big cities to give us the secluded outdoor experience we all desire while remaining close enough to stay attached to our daily real-world responsibilities. Taking a step back and looking at our beautiful area in contrast to a dramatically different environment such as Singapore, we can appreciate the unique and special opportunities that we have right out our back door. The value of ownership in a place such as Tahoe is undoubtably high; a place where outdoor experiences and challenges are a part of everyday life.