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
Last month, a group of my non-Korean coworkers went to a free K-pop concert. At the mention of the word “free,” I immediately asked them (no shame) if I could tag along. They broke the bad news to me: “sorry, it’s only free for foreigners…” WHAT.
Ok, so that was obviously a marketing plan to boost tourism in Korea, but still, the foreigners who attended don’t care about that bit – heck, it’s free! However, one thing is clear: that was one of the privileges of being an expat. Continue reading
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. 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
I personally love plane rides. Despite the fact that I’ve been on countless flights growing up, I still find myself getting giddy and excited like a little kid whenever I board. There are certain items that I bring with me all the time, and they sure contribute to that experience. Since I’ll be flying to Shanghai in a few days, I thought I might as well share them with everyone. Go ahead and scroll down to find out! 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
Ernest Hemingway will always be revered as one of the greatest American writers. His identity as member of the “Lost Generation” American expat in the early-20th century Paris played a huge role in influencing his writings – without it, we will not have the masterpiece such as The Sun Also Rises.
I chose this quote because, my goodness – just read how it captures the energy of his life! I remember when reading about Hemingway in my 10th grade English class and thinking how fascinating his life was, only to realize that I was also living a unique expat life. (This was back in Shanghai) If there is one place that describes this beautiful quote, it is none other than Shanghai. It was the place most foreign to me when I first went, but over time I learned to love the city and all of its charms. To this day, I’m still enamored by the city even from a distance away, and I hope to go back and drown in everything it has to offer. Yes, you can tell I’m missing Shanghai a lot.
Meanwhile, I hope everyone is having a great Monday! I’m going to try to live by this quote today (well, everyday) – hope you all do too!
“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.