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? Continue reading
By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be on my way to or will already be in Shanghai. (*high-pitch giggle*) As if you can’t already tell, I’m super excited for my upcoming trip to Shanghai. I have not been back since 2011, and in fast-paced Shanghai 4 years missed could amass to about 10 years worth of change. So you bet I am excited to to see what have changed and what remained. As I’m preparing myself for the trip, there were these random thoughts whirling around my head. They go something like this: Continue reading
For the past few months, I’ve been debating on whether I should visit Japan or Taiwan until prices went up and I couldn’t afford either of the places anymore. As you may or may not know, I have my two dearest friends in those respective countries, and the whole purpose of my trip was to have a reunion. Continue reading
I love being a third culture kid. I embrace it as a unique characteristic that defines who I am. But like everything else, there are things that I constantly deal with, no matter where we go or who we meet. Coming back to the motherland was no exception, and there were some things I had to deal with repeatedly. Here are a few examples:
1. Getting my identity questioned. All the time.
I’m pretty sure this one is a no-brainer and a staple problem for many fellow TCKs out there. As a matter of fact, this very topic is what the concept of TCK is built around. To others, we’re very difficult to put a label on. How many times have you explained the story of your life to someone you’ve just met? And the struggle to crunch the whole story in just 1 minute? Psh, we’ve already mastered it. Continue reading
“Third Culture Kid (TCK): (n) a term used to refer to children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their development years.”
My life in a nutshell
That is basically what I am. I am a Korean-born globetrotter who has been thrown into this cultural-identity-crisis limbo, due to having lived in different parts of the world for so long. When I was in 3rd grade, my family moved to a tiny suburb near San Francisco, California, where my younger sister and I spent our childhood scrambling to pick up English (which we did in an incredibly rapid pace) to assimilating into the “American” culture. Four years later, we moved down to sunny Los Angeles – and I gotta tell you, from where I was in the Bay Area, you didn’t see that many Koreans around; but my goodness, I thought L.A. was where all the Koreans were at (which isn’t a totally false statement).
Then in 2005, my father broke the news to my sister and I, that we are moving to China because he was relocating his business. China. Not Panda Express China, it was going to be the real deal. My teenager self had everything planned out – graduate from Crescenta Valley High School with my friends, enroll in (probably) one of the UC schools, graduate with a good degree then find a job… That was all about to change.