What it means to be a TCK and an Introvert

I was extremely shy as a child. In elementary school, on most days I could get away without uttering a single word during class. Although today I’m not as extremely introverted as before and I can label (if I must) myself as an extroverted introvert, at my core, I still associate myself as an introvert.

As a natural introvert, I started to think – how did my introverted-ness impact my experiences growing up as a TCK? Here are a few things I thought of: (see if you can relate, fellow introverted TCKs!) Read More

Familiarity doesn’t equal love

Familiarity doesn’t equal love

On the first night of my Seattle trip, as my boyfriend and I were driving down the streets of Bellevue, Washington, I commented, “You know… Seattle is becoming more and more foreign to me everytime I visit.” I felt a tinge of sadness as I said that. To think that Seattle, my so-called 2nd home where I spent my college years (my “developmental” early 20s), was becoming associated with foreignness felt hypocritical. I never thought I would feel this way. So much of who I am today was based around my lifestyle in Seattle. My values and habits are heavily influenced by the Emerald City. I always used to say without a hint of hesitation about how much I loved the city and how much I would love to come back and live there. Then for me to come back and feel like I’m in a foreign place? That was hard to accept even as I said it. Read More

What it means to be truly happy – 5 takeaways

What it means to be truly happy – 5 takeaways

What makes you truly happy? Friends? An exotic vacation? A good book? Laughter of a newborn child?

Great. Because those things make me happy too. But what if those sources of joy were stripped off of you and you were left with just… you? Are you your source of happiness?

This is the question that I had asked myself over and over again, resulting in fake answers each time. I can’t pinpoint exactly when this started, but I had been building a facade of happiness to mask dissatisfaction and flaws in my life. I continued on with such lifestyle because it worked for me for a period of time. But over time, that facade started to crumble with the ever-growing weight of overlooked unhappiness and depression beneath the surface. I was so scared that my imperfections and vulnerabilities would shine like a high beam through the cracks. Helplessness engulfed me because I felt like I was losing control of my mind and life. My sources of joy were falling through beneath my feet. I was terrified. Read More

Childhood memories in Korea

Childhood memories in Korea

So here’s a bit of my story. I was born in Seoul, Korea and lived there (well, “here” now that I’m back) until I was 8 years old. Until then, I thought I was going to live like any other normal Korean kids. Never in my short 8 years of life, did I think that I’ll be moving away from my “home” and live in different countries… for 15 years!

Because of this, Seoul to me was more of a place of nostalgia than somewhere I would call “home.” When I lived abroad, I could look back at those years in Korea and recall the sweet, sentimental notes of childhood memories. Those memories always felt dreamlike and brought a smile on my face. Read More

My Bucket List: 50 Places in Seoul in One Year

50 things to do in seoul

What is the biggest tourist spot in your city? What is the most famous landmark that Trip Adviser tells you you have to see in your city? Now tell me, how many of those places have you actually visited?

There’s a saying that if Disneyland is outside your door, you will never go until a friend from out of town visits. We are usually so focused on seeing places outside of where we live and visiting new countries that we neglect all the great places to see within a short walk or drive.

This certainly was the case for me in every place I lived in. Every time I was getting ready to move to a new city, I immediately regretted not having explored more. But not this time! Read More

Late Night Cravings: Zongzi

Late Night Cravings: Zongzi

One thing I loved about living in Shanghai was Chinese holidays. I mean as a high school student, I had every reason to love any excuse not to go to school. Fair enough, no?

One particular holiday I really looked forward to was the Dragon Boat Festival. Every year, our family driver’s wife would make tons of zongzi, a traditional Chinese food commonly eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival, and share them with our family. Read More

David Foster Wallace Tells TCKs to Chill

Coping with a major identity crisis, having a constant feeling of restlessness, feeling like you’re never going to feel at home.. these are only a couple of issues that plague TCKs.

I know that I struggled to “identify” myself.

I was Korean. Then I was American. Then I was Chinese. Then I was a Korean expat. Then I was an American expat. Then I was a half-donkey, half-bunny alien that struck Earth due to a freak meteorite that hit my spaceship. Read More

TCK Goes to Songdo

TCK Goes to Songdo

Thank you, the month of May, for giving us a glorious 5-day weekend! Originally, I wanted to visit Taiwan to see my best friend, but that didn’t happen so I was left with almost a week of no solid plans. Still, I decided to make the most out of the long weekend and planned a day trip to Songdo.

Songdo, located near Incheon, is approximately 2 hours away from Seoul by subway, so I thought it would make the perfect destination for a quick day trip. To get there from Seoul, you’ll have to take Line 7 all the way to the last station (Bupyeong-gu Office) and transfer to the Incheon 1 Line. (see English subway map here) Read More

How to prevent sickness before a vacation

How to prevent sickness before a vacation

You’ve been counting down the days for months, and you have just one week to go until your vacay aaaaaaaand ATCHOO!! Great, now you’re sick. Has this happened to anyone before? Because I’ve definitely been a victim of this tragic situation and I totally understand the frustration. Getting sick before a vacation and (even worse) carrying that sickness to your vacation is just not ideal.

My boyfriend and I have this thing when we reach around 2 weeks countdown until our next reunion, we really push each other to stay healthy and not get sick. We really don’t like waiting months to see each other and end up one of us being sick, because who does??? Read More

How to spend a productive long weekend

How to spend a productive long weekend

Long weekends are amazing, without a doubt, and one is fast approaching here in Korea (tomorrow to be exact). Unless you have a getaway planned (lucky you), chances are you’ll be spending it as you would on a regular weekend. I, for one, don’t want to feel like “where the hell did the long weekend go?” next Monday, and I’m sure you don’t either. Therefore, I’ve committed myself to making sure this long weekend is as productive as possible. This doesn’t mean full-on work mode like the weekdays – this is a break, after all – but making sure the following Monday, you’ll feel like you just absolutely killed it. Here are some things to keep in mind: Read More