Once upon a time we lived in a faraway land: Singapore. In April 2021, as the country started to open after 14 months of extreme lockdown measures, we decided to visit family in New York. During our short trip, Singapore went into another severe lockdown and closed its borders, not allowing us to enter the country despite being long term residents. Lauren was pregnant with Tommy at the time, and we were desperate to get back to our home of over a decade. We appealed to the government to no avail. Soon enough, Lauren entered her third trimester and flying was no longer an option, regardless. We were going to have to have Tommy here in the U.S.   

It would have been easiest to stay in NYC, near Lauren’s family, but after two home births in Singapore, we started looking for a birth centre (not hospital), which New York did not offer. So, we cast a wide net across America to find just the right birth centre, which is what ultimately led us to buying one-way tickets to Texas and landing us in The Woodlands in June 2021. We signed a short-term lease and settled into what we thought was a temporary stay, but during that time, we ended up falling in love with The Woodlands and didn’t want to leave.  

Family standing in Trolley at Play Street Museum in The Woodlands, Texas

Tommy has since been affectionally nicknamed “Tommy Texas” since he is the one who brought our family home. The Woodlands is a wonderful place to raise a family. Everyone is friendly and warm, it feels clean and well-manicured, has all the amenities one needs, and above all, it feels safe. We also really enjoy all the community activities and events that are held throughout the year.  

During the summer, we enjoy taking the boys to the plethora of public pools in The Woodlands. In fact, this year we were the first team to complete The Township’s High Seas Adventure program – We visited 14 pools in 14 days! We love to explore the many parks and playgrounds in the different villages.   

We think there are several things that make The Woodlands unique. First and foremost, it’s the natural beauty of the community. The integration of nature and modern living is blended so seamlessly. All the trails, parks, homes, and roads surrounded by endless green trees; I’ve not yet seen anywhere like it in America. Every village is well maintained, and all the neighborhoods are lovely. Secondly, it’s the investment back into the community. I think the Township (and each of the villages) does an excellent job giving back. Today, our boys are 4, 3, and 2 – And we love living in The Woodlands. 

Simon & Lauren Yap