I firmly believe that the environment you grow up in can really shape who you’ll become. (I am a third culture kid, after all) Although the thought of raising a child is still daunting to me, I can’t say that the thought of where I would raise my child never crossed my mind. It’s fun and interesting to look back at all the places that have left an impression in my heart and upbringing and ask myself: if I were to raise my child, which one of those places would you go? Or would it be a completely new place that I’ve never set foot on?
I have spent my childhood growing up in the following three countries: Korea, U.S., and China in that order. Spending my high school days in international and expat-central Shanghai, I thought I had everything figured out. Therefore, I devised a plan. (Yes, a high schooler with a grand plan) I wanted to raise my child in the U.S. first then move to China (Shanghai, to be specific) and enroll him/her in one of the international schools. Now that wasn’t really a plan, per se, because that I was simply replicating the chronicles of my upbringing. I was such a cute teenager back then, huh?
Ok, the point of the short anecdote above wasn’t to reiterate my upbringing, but to bring light to a question that had been subconsciously in my head for years. I’m sure my real plan of the future will be more detailed and structured compared to the one conjured up by the 16-years old Somin, but I know one thing that will stay constant. I want my child to be a TCK too.
I’ll put it out there that living the TCK life is great and an incredible experience. However, I do understand that it’s not something that can be granted to every single person. But I would love to provide that lifestyle to my child as much as my abilities would allow me to. Maybe this desire is derived from myself wanting to maintain the TCK/expat lifestyle? Does that count as being selfish, though?
Going back to where I would station my TCK-to-be child, I probably wouldn’t contest the idea of raising them in China. Shanghai would be great! If you guys have been reading my old stuff, you guys know how much I absolutely love the city.
One of the pros of going back to Shanghai would be that because I already have experiences living there, that would serve as a cushion to ease the troubles that come with transitioning to a different country and culture. Also, Shanghai is a great international metropolitan that represents the East and the West very well. I think it would be interesting to raise my child in such a diverse city rather than somewhere that’s more homogenous.
Now allow me to turn the tables around and ask you: where would you raise your child in the future? Let me know in the comments! 🙂