My story as a TCK isn’t one of the stories of adventure— moving from country to country and never knowing what “home” really was. Instead, it started out simple. I was 6 years old when my parents sat all of us children down to drop the news— we were moving to China. I remember the months leading up to the move, even our last moments in our house back in America; my younger brother and I jumping up and down singing, “we’re moving to China, we’re moving to China!”
Our first two years in China we lived in a small rural town about three hours from where I live today. Our transition from America to China was non-existent, and I mean for real. We moved straight from our home in America to a tiny town with no other foreigners. My brother, sister, and I were literally the first foreign children to live in that town. Needless to say we got the full foreigner experience… and it didn’t help that my brother was platinum blond either. Everything was a culture shock, everything was unexpected. I have countless stories from this small town, everything from fishing with my dad’s employees and ending up with an aquarium for a bath tub, to trying to order a pizza and realizing, as we bit down, that it was really not pizza at all but a fruit cocktail with cheese and ketchup.
After two years of crazy stories, my family packed up and moved again— this time to Wuhan. By then I was in the third grade. I was a little shy at first, coming straight from homeschool and never actually having gone to a real school. Because of this my social skills were lacking. It didn’t take me long, though, to adjust to Wuhan and now after seven and a half years I consider it my home. However, America is something different. The place I am supposed to call home feels foreign to me. The customs and culture don’t make sense. I’ve been away for over half my life, yet my family back there wants me to think of America as my real home. Somehow it doesn’t feel right though. This challenge especially has given me the ability to accept other cultures that I may not understand, and relate to people much different from myself. Also, and most importantly, it has taught me that home is not one place; home can be anywhere, as long as you’re with the people you love. All in all I love my life, the constant change, and the out of place feeling are just a few of the challenges I have — but I wouldn’t trade them for anything because they are what make me who I am.