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

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

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

The Best and Worst Things About Being Back Home

After relocating back “home” (the country that I have a passport from), I experienced reverse culture shock. It wasn’t all smooth sailing so here I present to you the five best and worst things about being back “home.”   Read More

11 things that always happen when you’re Skyping

I love Skype. It has made my life so much more convenient because I can literally talk to anyone wherever and whenever. As a dedicated Skype user of 10+ years, I’ve come to label certain things as “Skype things,” meaning, these “things” always or almost always happen when you’re Skyping. If you’re an avid Skype user (or dependant) like me, you’ve probably familiar with some of these. Here are just a few: Read More

Hunting Down TCKs

Person on Top of Rock Formation

My family group chat is a mess. Korean, English, and Chinese flying everywhere, jumbled in random sentences. Who knew a three-word sentence could be trilingual. You turn to your co-worker and make a joke about fake alcohol in China and they give you a weird stare. Then, of course, there’s the biggest headache of them all – “Where are you from?” Each simple answer you attempt to give only creates further confusion when they ask about why your English is so good, why I somehow have friends in China, what’s your nationality, etc.

Sometimes, the most comforting place to be is amidst the chaos of your fellow TCKs. Simple questions like what you are doing for winter break can turn into answers as convoluted as “Well, I’m heading back to Shanghai for a bit to see my friends, going to Taiwan to see my relatives, and then going to spend the rest of the time in Dubai with my parents.” And yet, in our world this is completely normal. Read More