TCK Project #5 – Lindie

Lindie Botes was born in South Africa, speaks 10 languages and has lived in France, Pakistan, the UAE, Japan and Singapore. She is a full-time designer and a part-time language YouTuber currently based in Singapore, eager to share her passion for language learning with anyone! 

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I’m Lindie and I’m a Third Culture Kid. I was born in South Africa, and then my parents, brothers and I moved to France for 9 months. The plan was to stay there for a while, but things changed at my dad’s work and we got sent to Pakistan. We lived there for 3.5 years until we had to evacuate during 9/11. Then we went back to South Africa for a bit, followed by a 5-year stay in Dubai. After I started university in South Africa, my parents moved to Japan for 4 years, and I spent all my uni holidays there. I just moved to Singapore one month ago.

Because of my interest in foreign languages, I feel a strong connection to Korea and Japan. I am a culmination of all the places I’ve left my heart, whether that be a place I’ve visited multiple times, or spent years living in. Not going into detail, but I can also live in a place for a long time and not leave my heart there, too, hehe.  

Growing up it was difficult to make friends with non-TCKs and non-expats. I was often seen as a snob or came across as bragging when I spoke about my life. It was hard making friends because all of my world views and frames of references were so different. In university this panned out a bit and I found being in a class of fellow designers gave us more points to connect on than I ever could with fellow high school students in South Africa.

While at university, my parents lived in Japan and I would visit them every few months. I spent a cumulative amount of one year in Japan, over the span of 4 years. Having Japan be my “home” for that time really had an impact on my studies in Information Design. I purposefully chose to do my compulsory internships in Tokyo instead of in Pretoria. I was the only person in my graduating class to do their internships outside of South Africa. Many people saw me as adventurous and brave, but for me it was the logical choice not only because my parents lived there, but because of my love for Japanese design.

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If I weren’t a TCK, I don’t think I would have applied for a job in Singapore as I probably wouldn’t be comfortable with working and living in a different cultural society than South Africa. I’m glad my upbringing has given me confidence to pack up my life in one place and easily move to another without fear or stress.

What do you usually say if someone asks you where you’re from?

“I was born in South Africa but grew up in the Middle East and Asia”. People usually ask where, which is fine and I’m happy to explain! But it just feels wrong to say “I’m from South Africa” because my background is so much more than that.

Have you ever felt the “need” to fight racism? Or counter ignorant statements about different cultures?

Absolutely. Someone on the train asked me the other day “how’s the racism in South Africa?”. It was rather out of the blue and I didn’t know what to say as it was coming from a stranger. I also often get questions like “Why are you white?” or “which country in South Africa are you from?”. I try and answer politely with reference to history and politics, but it gets tiring often. I can understand that history and geography may not be someone’s strong point, but I make an effort to look at a map and know where a country is, so I would at least expect someone to know that South Africa is a country, even if they can’t place it on a map.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have some relatives who have reacted negatively when they found out I dated an Asian guy in the past. That’s just pure ignorance and needless to say I don’t really share much of my personal life with them anymore.

What country is “home” to you currently and why?

Singapore. I know I’m where I am meant to be at this specific point in time!

Do you picture yourself settling in a specific country? Why?

That’s a really tough question. Settling is hard for a TCK! I feel like many TCKs have commitment issues when it comes to choosing to live in one country. I enjoyed growing up having to move countries every few years, and it’s in my blood to want to move around a lot. If I get married and have children though, I’m not sure I’d want to subject my children to the stress of uprooting every few years, unless it was part of my job or my husband’s job. If that’s not the case, I would probably settle somewhere until my kids are out of the house. Then time to move around again!

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What are your views on relationships? There’s an on-going debate on whether TCKs should be with a TCK partner or a non-TCK partner. While love should have no boundaries, do you think the story that has shaped you should be understood in some way by the partner you are with?

I’m a Christian and the most important thing for me when looking for a partner is meeting a fellow Christian. Having the same faith already creates a lot of common ground for us. That aside, it has been difficult to connect with fellow South Africans, especially if they haven’t lived overseas. Our interests and worldviews have just been too different, and I’m not really interested in South-African-style dating, like clubbing, going to a game reserve to camp, watching rugby or having a barbeque.

Even if my partner is not a TCK, the most important thing after our mutual faith is whether or not he can understand me – and generally guys who understand me are the ones who have traveled a lot, lived overseas, or are interested in different cultures.

Though I’ve never dated a fellow TCK, I’ve had relationships with non-South Africans and found it rather easy to communicate and understand each other. I think part of this is because I speak other languages and tend to be attracted to people who speak those, but in general, being a TCK and having grown up here and there is what formed my identity, and I need someone who can understand and relate to that. For example, having spent significant time in Japan is a great talking point when I meet a Japanese guy, or being able to speak Korean made it 100x easier to understand cultural nuances when I was in a relationship with a Korean guy before.

Have you ever had to move back to your “original” home? If yes, how was that been?

Very difficult. I suffered severe cultural shock each time. South Africa is not a very safe country, and I disliked having to look over my shoulder each time I got in or out of a car or left my house. That was something I never had to do overseas.

As a high schooler, moving back to an all-girls school was difficult because girls had already established their own friend groups. I was coming in as not only an outsider to the school, but to the country and my own culture as a whole. I tried many coping mechanisms, one of them being trying to adopt a strong South African English accent, scattered with South African slang here and there. I look back at videos I took in high school and can barely believe I’m the same person.

 

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There’s a growing debate on third culture kids and first/second-generation immigrants being the same thing and that third culture kids is just a way to distinguish white people from everyone else. What are your thoughts on that?

I’ve never heard of this debate, nor have I ever associated TCKs with white people. Interesting. I can see how kids of immigrants can have similar situations as TCKs, but if they’re living in one country for a long time and have grown up there, they probably have a stronger sense of home to that country than a TCK will ever have. Whether I agree with it or not, the concept of identity and gender is very fluid these days. I think the same can be applied to the TCK term – though you may not “tick the boxes” you can certainly share the same experiences. I find that I connect well with ‘halfies’ too – mixed race people often tell me how they struggle to feel completely part of one nationality or culture, regardless of whether they are a TCK or not. This is something I can identify with, but that doesn’t mean I am a halfie.

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Lastly, are there any tips you’d like to share on adapting as a TCK? In some situations, you are in a one-culture environment and it may be a culture you are familiar with but is not 100% you.

It probably comes with confidence in foreign languages, but making friends with locals rather than expats from the start has helped me settle into a country more and reduce culture shock. Eating with locals at their favorite food stalls instead of dining at fancy expat restaurants is one example of a way to settle in quickly and comfortably. Sometimes I don’t like going to new places alone, so making friends with locals helps me feel comfortable in a new area if they can take me around. There are always websites like Internations to find fellow expats in your area, and those are great if you need someone in the same situation to talk to, but personally I enjoy using local meetups and apps to meet people who are from the country I’m in.

That being said, I found lots of benefit in talking to fellow TCKs, either online or people in the country. Knowing that there are others who deal with the same situations as I do made me find comfort in being a TCK. I’ve learnt that this is my identity and it’s something to be proud of. My background has made me uniquely me, and that’s something no one can take away from or deny.


Follow Lindie on Instagram, Youtube and check out her blog for more!

 

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Almost Home

By Maria

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Some people have a very precise concept of home. They spend their entire lives in one city, know everyone that lives there and are familiar with every little nook and corner. The comfort and sense of belonging these people have is enviable at times.

Then there are those who have a hard time making sense of where home really is. Is it the country they were born in? Brought up in? Studied in? Or the one they’re currently residing in?

Home for me is every city and country I’ve lived in, learned to love and given a part of myself to. The world is my home and this is where I belong. What’s your idea of home?

Here’s a short poem that I wrote at a very emotional time. I was about to leave Houston after having completed my undergraduate degree.

“Almost home”

They say home is where the heart is

I say home is where –

You learn, you grow

You fall, you know

You miss, you are at bliss

You fight, you give

You discover, you prevail

You differentiate the real from the fake

You resist, you give in

You hold on and let go

Home is, where you learn to live.

High Level Security

By Mehreen

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Growing up as a third culture kid (TCK) I became fond of meeting new people everywhere I went, hearing their stories and experiencing their cultures. I felt liberated to explore endlessly, it gave me fuel and I thrived off this multi-cultural lifestyle.

By age 7 I was blessed to be conversational in three languages, to have already lived in 2 African countries and about to move to the 3rd, and none were of my parent’s origin. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to keep doing it again and again and again.

As free as I felt, much of my childhood was spent in a bubble, behind bars, in high level security homes. This might sound strange, but it was normal for me. All the houses I lived in had 10ft brick walls with electric barbed wire on top surrounding the boundaries of the property. All my friends also had similar security set ups, like I said, it was normal growing up in Africa. All the doors and windows had metal grills and gates. There were security alarm systems that would get triggered, even if a gecko crossed its path. Not to mention the 2 security guards that sat outside the house at night, taking turns walking the perimeter of the house every 30 minutes with a highly-trained German Shepard guard dog. It made me feel safe laying in my bed listening to the gravel shift and crunch beneath the security guard’s shoes as he would walk around the house. It was the “all clear” I needed that it was safe to go back to sleep. And I thought no more of it.

It was not until my family left Africa and moved to London that I felt like a fish out of water. I was 14 now. A little more mature. The new house had no brick walls surrounding it, no guards, no bars on the windows and no security system. I felt so exposed. My dad would walk the house every night making sure all the windows were shut and the doors were locked before he turned in for the night. He felt it too. I could tell. But he kept a tough exterior and tried not to let us catch wind of his protective instincts.

As a grown woman, I now realize how much I have been shaped by my past. I need all those security measures to feel safe, even in an affluential neighbourhood in Chicago. I had my husband install a security system in our home that had sensors on the doors and windows. It was almost unnecessary precaution. But without it I couldn’t sleep at night. I have recently moved again and all the insecurities are flourishing again. New house, new city, new everything and no security system.

Today my eyes and ears popped open when I heard the squeaking of the front door open at 5:30am. My kids asleep in their rooms and my husband out of town unexpectedly. I don’t own a baseball bat, or a gun and I didn’t have a knife by my bedside. What now? I listened for footsteps but didn’t hear any. My instincts kicked in and I turned my flashlight on my phone, typed in 911, kept my finger hovering over the green dial button and started my search. Kids still asleep. Check. Bathrooms clear. Check. Front door locked. Check. No one in the living room. No one in the play room. No one in the kitchen. No one in the laundry room. Phew! All the other entry points were locked. I left the lights on and went back to my room.

I missed those security guards so much today.

As a TCK we grow up in unique environments that not everyone can relate to. These environments shape us and make us who we are. They make us multilingual. They make us tolerant. They make us cautious. They make us vigilant. They may also give us anxieties no one else can relate to but other TCKs. However, we should not have to be apologetic for being who we are. Always be true to yourself. Love always.

 

#2017

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By Rebecca Coleman

               This year I wrote New Year’s resolutions. For those of you who might be asking “so what?” This is a huge deal for me. As a Nomad from birth, it’s always been hard for me to envision a future much beyond the next week. Between moving more times than I am old and never really having any stable or long lasting relationships outside of my immediate family, the future seemed more of a mystical realm, kind of like heaven. This thing that pretty much everyone agrees exists, but not really something that we, as humans can prove the validity of. Whenever younger me thought of the future, I always thought of events falling into place almost magically, everything woking itself out. Essentially, I thought the future wasn’t something that could really have an effect on in the present. Okay, so maybe I sound a bit fatalist, I might be, I’ll chalk that up to one of the effects of being raised in a Muslim country.

Anyways, back to my point. I’ve never been able to make any real, concrete new year’s resolutions. Some years I’d make a mental note of wanting to work out more or read more books. But those thoughts would be forgotten by January 3rd at the latest. Obviously the way I was approaching things was all-wrong.

2016 was definitely a “growing up” year for me. I had to face reality in a way that I’ve never had to before. Last year changed me in many different ways but think one of the largest, most important ways that it changed me was that I became a lot more realistic. As my entire fellow Nomads know, we’re dreamers. We dream of traveling, while simultaneously dreaming of having a stable home, of having friends that live down the street instead of on a different continent. We wish we had more money so we could travel more. We wish we had a flexible job that would allow us to jet off whenever we feel like it. We also daydream of being stable, getting married, having kids, buying a house and never moving again. You get my point. My mind was a constant juxtaposition between growing roots and taking flight. It was almost as if I lived my life out in my head and not in real life. So if 2016 taught me anything it taught me that while dreaming is nice and is sometimes the only thing that keeps you sane, reality is, well…reality. It’s important.

For my whole life I had never thought any further than graduating college. Can you imagine? I had never realistically thought about a real life beyond graduating with my degree. Then before I knew it, it happened. College was done and I freaked out. Cause now what? So instead of facing reality, I went right back to school and got a Masters degree. Phew, two more years of not having to think about the future. But then I graduated again, just 6 months ago. Again, “all of a sudden” I had nowhere else to turn, no other rock to hide under, I had to face reality, something I had arguably never had to think about before. Growing up, I floated wherever my parents’ jobs took us. Thailand, Canada, Guinea, and a whole slew of places in-between. All I had to worry about was making sure I packed plenty of reading material and a few snacks. Changing scenery, friends, and houses every other year made me really value the present. But it caused and imbalance. Before I realized how it affected me, I had no appreciation or real understanding of the importance of preparing for the future. It was something I ignored because I felt it was something that I couldn’t control. In my mind, well everything will just fall into place. Que sera sera or whatever.

So yeah, I graduated last July and I started applying for jobs, cause thats what you do after graduation, right? Well a month went by and nothing, two months went by and nothing. Guess what? Here we are in January of 2017 and I’m still jobless. Now, I could blame my predicament on a lot of different factors; my major, the economy, my location, my ill preparedness, but the fact still stands that whatever the reason may be, I have no job and boy, was I not prepared for that. You mean things don’t work out in real life like they do in our imaginations?? All my daydreaming of landing that perfect job right after graduation hadn’t transferred into real life for some reason. Oddly enough that was quite a shock for me.

I’ve taken many personality/strength weakness tests and one aspect that has consistently been my biggest opportunity for growth throughout my life is my inability to “manage a purpose or vision”, basically I refuse to speculate about an unknown future. Until very recently I had just accepted this weakness as everlasting (how defeatist is that?). But after many tears, a lot of denial, and finally some deep soul searching I realized that I had to take control of my future. I finally understood that despite the fact that I may not be able to control everything, I still have a duty to both my current and future self to make sure I am always in the best state of preparedness as possible.

So on December 30th, 2016 I set out to write my first new year’s resolutions of my entire life. Honestly, they came to me a lot more easily than I thought they would. I saw so many aspects of my life that I knew I needed to change. I saw so many opportunities for growth and future improvement. When I was done I showed my list to my boyfriend. His first words:

“It’s so long.”

In my determination I had written a whole page of detailed goals, resolutions, statements, and affirmations that I made to myself in 2017. Well, yeah, of course its long. They were 25 years in the making!

This year, I feel like for the first time in my life I have a sense of purpose. I’m beginning to find that balance between daydreaming about what you can’t control and actively pursuing your personal zenith in those things that you can control. Its a really good feeling. I don’t feel overwhelmed by my resolutions, instead I feel a drive to reach these goals and improve this person that I’m representing for the rest of my life. Does this make me feel less Nomad? Yes, yes it does. Having this sense of purpose makes me feel slightly more “normal” you know, like a regular person who was born and grew up in the same city. But hey, that’s okay. I’m not losing myself in the process, I’m just becoming a better, more prepared me. I never thought I’d reach this point of planning and preparedness, because honestly, I’d never done it before.

But I never want to be in the place that I was in last year, where I was doubting myself and my abilities simply because I hadn’t thought far enough ahead to put some failsafe in place in case of unexpected life turns. If you’ve been able to follow my ramblings thus far, thank you. If you’ve made it this far but still have no clue what I’m saying, I’m sorry, let me help. So what am I saying here? Simply this; I’ve finally found the value in actively pursuing the future that I want for myself. The dots between the decisions that I make today and the affect that they have on tomorrow have finally connected for me. All in all, I’m thankful for the lessons that I learned in 2016. I’m starting this year out as a more balanced individual. I’m still very much a daydreamer; just a slightly more goal oriented one.

And for those if you who are wondering, no, I haven’t thought past 2017. Geez, baby steps, guys.

Third Culture Kids Are The Best Chameleons

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I’m done pretending I’m on a single side.

Truth is, I’m in-between and I’ve always been. On the surface, it seems like we connect and don’t get me wrong, we do connect on several points. Yet, there are moments where it’s like a cold shower, I realise how far apart we are on some points.

And it’s scary, in a way. It’s scary to feel so disconnected all the sudden. Worrying even. Being in-between, you’ll never fit in. If you’re in between cultures, you’ll never truly escape one or truly follow one.

There will always be this part of you, slowly creeping in when you least expect it. You remember that you’re kind of lying to yourself, all over again. You will never “totally fit in” one culture or escape another.

Multiple cultures are exactly what’s making you, you. And it’s not easy when you’re surrounded by people who might not get it. They speak one language, have a certain way of life they’ve had since the start, a country they’ve been in their whole life and feel truly attached to. Yet, you sometimes feel obligated to duplicate yourself just so a part of you can feel truly apart of whatever culture you’re surrounded with.

That sense of belonging you’re looking for? You will never get it by trying to mould yourself into a certain person. They say TCKs are the real chameleons, and they are. If you’re constantly looking to blend into whatever environment you are in by denying parts of you, you’re simply lying to yourself.

We’re all constantly trying to build our identity but the trouble for third culture kids is that we’re juggling with multiple identities, all with the potential to grow. How do you make the perfect blend of these identities without feeling like you are a total outlier?

TCK Project #3 – Oreal

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Meet Oreal, a TCK born and raised in Singapore.

1.What do you usually say if someone asks you where you’re from?

Before I start, I just want to say that I’m a different type of TCK. I’m Eurasian – few generations of mixes. So I’m pretty much as Singaporean as Singaporean can get. So of course, I’d say that I’m from Singapore. Some would look at me funny, and that’s when I try to explain to them the very concept of a Singaporean-Eurasian.

2. What different cultures are you “made up of”?

I don’t even know anymore – pretty much every race you can find in Singapore – Chinese (Surname’s Goh), Malay, and I think I’ve got some influences from Goa. And there’s Dutch, British, Irish even, and Portuguese in the bloodline. Who knows I might I have been a Royal, I’d like to think that I’ve got some in me. Explains why I’m such a princess.

3. How has that impacted your education/career?

Hasn’t really negatively impacted my education/career much because I AM Singaporean. But I would say being mixed has given me some opportunities. For one, people I meet remember my face, and that’s something you want when you’re in school, and when you’re working – to be noticed and remembered, no?

I meet a lot of people now from all over the world, and one positive thing about being a TCK would be that I can get along with different people, I get along with Singaporeans as easy as I get along with people from all over the world. Some Singaporeans tend to be a little less open to mixing around, I must say.

I guess at work, people like the mix in culture because I can think like a Singaporean but I’m not totally foreign to the western as well. Best of both worlds.

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4. Have you ever felt the “need” to fight racism? Or counter ignorant statements about different cultures?

YES DEFINITELY. Think this might be my cause in life. I’ve been struggling with this for a long time now. Because even though I’m Singaporean, I sometimes feel like I’m in no man’s land. Even when I was growing up, I’d often get different treatment from the people around i.e. taxi drivers, service staff etc.… My friends were lovely though.

Some people think I’m ‘ang moh’, or some think I’m Singaporean Malay, it’s just basically hard to look and figure it out – but why does that matter? I’ve been treated rudely, been cheated, given bad service, been called ‘Stupid ang moh’, heard someone ask ‘what’s this Asian girl doing here?’, been outcasted in social settings… because I was either too ‘Asian’ or too ‘White’, or neither ‘Asian’ nor ‘White’.

And because I have friends who are Singaporeans and friends who aren’t, I listen to both sides of the story, and my god do I hear the most ignorant statements and mindsets ever. It makes me angry and sad.

I’m passionate about this because I’m a victim of this in my own country, and I do my part to stand up for the minority and the different cultures.

5. What country is “home” to you currently and why?

Singapore is home, of course. My family is here and my friends are here and I can’t imagine my life without Roti Prata. But lately, as I’ve grown older and am exposed to the ‘outside’ world, I’m starting to see a lot of discrimination and narrow mindedness, and I’m starting to feel like maybe I should find a new home?

When I was in school, my friends loved me for who I was and there were others like myself, so I didn’t think there was anything wrong. I’ve heard my dad complaining about this then, but I never really understood, until I started seeing it for myself… it breaks my heart.

6. What kind of TCK would you say you are?

A TCK who fits the system. My family culture is a little more open/liberal. We’ve got a mix of the western and asian culture, beliefs and mindset – sometimes not very acceptable to Singaporeans as they’d expect me as a Singaporean to be aligned with them. But apart from that, I don’t see myself struggling to keep up. I don’t exactly fit in the system as much, but I don’t stick out like sore thumb, so I’m all good.

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7. Do you picture yourself settling in a specific country? Why?

ANYWHERE WITH FOUR SEASONS PLEASE. You can’t have summer all year round. Seriously, I’ve thought of UK in the past, maybe Australia. I just need to be somewhere with a slower pace of life, somewhere where I can stop to smell the roses (hate roses lol) and somewhere my children can play and enjoy their childhood the way my parents made me enjoy mine. I want to be able to sit on the grass and admire the sky without people walking by and wondering if I’m crazy. Also, there are a lot of ants on the grass in Singapore.

 

 

My TCK Journey by Serena

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By Serena Ewe

Nationality wise, I have a Singaporean passport simply because I was born there. But by blood, I am half Singaporean, half Malaysian. My dad used to jokingly mention how unfair it was that my passport could not represent the other side of me; little did he know that in years to come, there wouldn’t just be two distinct sides to me, but several more.

My TCK journey began when I moved to Sakhalin, a small island in Russia at the age of 7. My dad was an engineer so logically speaking, he went where the oil was. I was enrolled in an international school for expat families and enjoyed my wonderful childhood, filled with memories of my first snowfall, first Halloween and first Christmas. My previous years before Russia were located in Sabah, a part of Malaysia (I moved there right after I was born) and as it is an Asian country, Christmas was not as festively celebrated as Chinese New Year.

Anyways, four years later, much to my horror, my dad’s work contract ended, so it was time to leave. For educational sake, my mum decided it best that we returned to Singapore and for two years I had to endure acquiring Mandarin as a new language but managed to learn it in time to complete the PSLE (primary school leaving examination). However, before entering a secondary school in Singapore, my dad who because of his job ended up in Miri (another region of Malaysia) wanted for the family to reunite, decided for us to move back to Malaysia again. Once more, there was a change of education and I was enrolled in an all Chinese speaking private school. I remembered crying on the first day of class; it was hard. Eventually, I adjusted, but sadly after four years, we moved again. It was as if there was this four-year ticking time bomb, counting down the days before I had to pack up and leave once more. This time, my dad was offered an overseas job in Muscat, Oman. Much to my resistance, he took it and suddenly I was living in my fourth country by the age of 15.

There, I took the IGCSE and subsequently IB, in an international school and discovered that self-expression was encouraged. By then, I had assimilated the “quiet, do not stand out but blend in” Asian personal (unlike my boisterous character during my Russia days) and so throughout middle and high school, I found it extremely hard to voice my thoughts in class, for fear of looking like a fool. Perhaps that had nothing to do with moving around, but instead an awkward transitioning through any teenage years, but I began to adapt again and realized how easy it was to do so. Not surprisingly, after 4 years, it was time to go; however, this time, the reason was not due to another one of my dad’s job posting but mhy time for University.

And so, by age 18, I arrived excitedly in Vancouver, Canada all by myself, away from my family for the first time. Little did I know the culture shock I would experience upon reaching there. It was one I have never experienced before. The reason wasn’t because Vancouver was anti-cultural; in fact, it was teeming with Asian immigrants from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and so on. However, that was the problem. With my Asian features, I blended in, and because of that I as a TCK felt like an invisible minority. Unlike my days in the international school where Asians were not abundant, I suddenly felt bland, boring and as funny as that may sound, non-special. I grew tired of having to explain where I was from when someone else would mistake me as Korean/Japanese – and even if they thought of me as Chinese, I felt uncomfortable when I was expected me to speak in fluent Mandarin just because I look Asian. I guess it was around this time when I became fully aware of the impact TCK had on my life.  It was around this time when I experienced my first identity crisis.

Throughout my undergraduate years, nostalgia for my other TCK friends would fluctuate. Although I encountered a few TCKs, it wasn’t like we became close from it. I felt lonely but slowly I grew resilient and appreciative of what I had. I knew that if I could change things, having this culturally opulent experiences was something I would still keep. Reading stories of other TCKs kept me going, as it reminded me that I wasn’t really alone in this position. Thus, as my four years of undergraduate life in Canada came to a close, I began to ponder on the new places I could go for my masters. US? Scotland? UK? Australia? Or should I continue staying in Canada? Settle down, and create more stability? I am still unsure, but I guess that is what it’s like to be TCK!