SINGAPORE: As recently as a few years ago, San Francisco was considered to be one of the best cities in the world to live in. “The City by the Bay” was, in fact, proclaimed the world’s best city by entertainment guide Time Out in 2021. But fast forward to 2023, and things look quite a bit different. Some now fear that San Francisco, with its long-standing homelessness crisis, drug problems, and high crime rates, may be stuck in a “doom loop.”

One woman has opted out of the gloom and doom and chosen instead to live in Singapore, where life is much safer. TikTok user Heather (@unicornheatt), who said she never thought she’d ever leave San Francisco and who left her heart there, as the song goes, recently said, “I think San Francisco in 2023 is just too dangerous and not worth the risk.”


Why I left San Francisco…and moved to Singapore Still love san francisco and left my heart there 🤍but i think san francisco in 2023 is just too dangerous and not worth the risk. #leavingsanfrancisco #sgexpat #movedabroad #sanfranciscocrime #leavingcalifornia

♬ original sound – unicornheatt


In a video that has since gone viral, she said that the city has been on the decline “for quite a while now”, especially after legislation was passed downgrading stealing from a felony to a misdemeanour. This enabled people to steal like there are no consequences, she added.

“There’s this general feeling in San Francisco of lawlessness, which brings me to my biggest reason for leaving,” which is safety. On a personal level, Heather bought a car in 2021, and within a year, experienced a “smash-and-grab” three times. A smashed window is no joke, costing US$500 (about S$685), she added

She also recounted the time when she was assaulted on her way back from a dental appointment, with no one stepping in to help her. When we reached out to Heather, she noted how hate crimes have been increasing exponentially against Asians in the US recently.

she told us, “My experience in SF is that of a 5’2 Asian American girl. It’s obviously a very different experience living in SF as a tall white guy, who might still not feel safe in SF either. I’m glad that many people never have incidents happen to them, but there are also many others who’ve had things happen and don’t report it.“

Thirdly, like many other Americans, she has serious concerns about gun violence. A week before she moved to Singapore, while she was walking her dog, she saw a man with a gun running in Rincon Hill, one of the safest neighbourhoods in the city.

“At that moment, I saw my life flash before my eyes,” she says in her video, adding that the incident just added to her feeling of helplessness and being unsafe in San Francisco.

But why Singapore? Heather answers the question here. To make a long story short, they were originally supposed to settle in Hong Kong, but the lockdowns happened. Later on, on a work visit to Singapore, she loved it—giving the food (bak kut teh) and security (chope system) a special mention.


Replying to @i_dunno_how_to_tiktok pt 2 for why I left San Francisco and picked Singapore! #sgtiktok #sgfyp #leavingusa

♬ original sound – unicornheatt

“Looking at the future, SG is already the place where a lot of companies around the world are moving their global HQs. It’s the tech hub for APAC, I wanted to take my experience working in tech in Silicon Valley to SG, to hopefully start a new business,” she told TISG.

As to what else she’s enjoying in Singapore, go ahead and check that here.


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