Citizen of all and none #thirdculturekid
I consider myself lucky to be a third culture kid. My father kept reminding me that I had seen more of the world at age 15 that he had at age 40.
“Where is home?” is probably one of the most difficult questions I can answer. I was born in Malaysia, lived there for a few years, then packed up and moved every 2 years to countries in Europe and Asia. I graduated from an international high school in Beijing, China.
So instead of a city, a driveway or even a house, my home had always been where my family was. They were the only constant thing that I could rely on.
Truth be told, I’ve never really felt “different” growing up in this lifestyle. Being protected in an international bubble was all I had ever known but that popped when I moved to Boston for university.
For the first time in my life, I felt like an outsider.
And I was grossly aware of how different my views and prioritise were to many of my fellow university mates.
I struggled to answer simple questions.
When I got asked about a typical day at “home,” I was unsure whether I should be honest or make something up so that they can relate to it. Having a driver, eating out every weekend, and travelling to new countries every few months may not be the answer they’re expecting.
How do I share certain things about my life abroad without coming across as a snob?
Being a third culture kid can be challenging, at times you lose a sense of identity because you don’t feel like you belong to any certain group. But at the same time, I relished in being a blank canvas.
You become a product of all the places and people you’ve met -- creating something entirely unique. This experience ignited my passion for travel.
There is nothing like experiencing new cultures and meeting new people from around the world – each having their own stories to tell.
The one thing i’ve learnt through this entire experience and the one thing that I hope I can convince you to always do is this:
If you bring an open mind but also a backpack full of everywhere that you’ve been to each new beginning, you will always be able to live stories more than once and add to them to make them even better. And that, my friends, is an amazing feeling.
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