I recently went to visit Shanghai for a week. As you may or may not know, Shanghai has a very special place in my heart because it used to be one of my homes for 4 years of my tender adolescent years. I was originally planning on travelling to either Taiwan or Japan, but I ended up going to Shanghai, and I am so, so glad I did.
Some people asked me why I chose to go to Shanghai instead of going somewhere I haven’t been to before. Some people assume that we (TCKs) are naturally adventurous and love to explore because of our background. However true that may be, I think it is also important to trace back and revisit one of our many homes. No need to feel like you’re backstepping, because every visit will feel different. And because so, I had the time of my life in Shanghai.
The feeling you’ll get during the trip is a delicious cocktail of familiarity & novelty served in the most wonderful way possible. When I first set foot at the Pudong International Airport, the familiar smell in the air immediately triggered a flood of nostalgia and got me pumped up for the remainder of the trip that I had just started. As my travels unraveled, I was met with so much newness that at times I felt like a tourist!
It’s amazing how TCKs have been trained to be natural explorers since young age. While it’s tempting to continue going to new places, I think revisiting one of our old stomping grounds is just as fun and memorable. It’s different from going back home on Christmas breaks during college, which might feel obligatory to some. And since you know the general area well, you won’t have to deal with the stress that comes with figuring out how to get around a completely foreign place. (i.e. Which bus takes me to the museum??) Speaking of museums, try going to museums or other tourist places you didn’t get to go when you lived there.
Did this convince you to revisit your homes yet? Where is one of your homes?