The term ‘third culture kid’ refers to someone who was brought up within a culture to that of which is different from their parents.
I hadn’t realised how interesting my life was until I realised that this was a term. My dad is from Bristol, England and my mum is from Bangkok, Thailand. My parents were brought to Hong Kong for my dad’s job and that’s where I was then born and bred.
Once I moved to England for University, I started to notice a few things that got pretty darn tedious after a while, so here are what I think are my biggest struggles being a third culture kid!
Explaining where I’m from
The question of “where are you from?” causes me genuine stress.. like no word of a lie. I end up explaining my entire life story because I’m not sure if someone wants to know where my parents are from or where I was brought up because a lot of the time when I answer “Hong Kong” to this question, very often I will get “but you don’t look Chinese..?” – YES THAT’S BECAUSE I’M NOT! THANK YOU! AND GOOD BYE!
Explaining my International Accent
So often I will also get “are you American?” or I’ll get people who don’t say very much the first time they meet me because they’re unsure and trying to figure out where I’m from based on my accent. Having gone to an international school in Hong Kong, you could say my accent was all over the shop with certain words said in an English accent and some said American.
Mixing My Languages
This is a strange one for me because Thai and English could not be more different if they tried. But so many times I find Thai words come to my head first, especially if I’ve just been on the phone to my mum, and next thing I know I’ve said something in both English and Thai out loud and I won’t notice it until my friends faces literally replicate Jackie Chan below:
All my holidays such as Summer, Christmas etc. are spent with my family back in Hong Kong however this becomes incredibly difficult when tickets have to be booked months in advance and all your friends are planing holidays abroad or trips away. I’m constantly trying to push people to book these ideas for holidays and trips months and months in advance so that I can organise my journey home afterwards – but that’s almost impossible when they don’t need to think about it for ages because they just drive home and that’s when tickets start to then get very expensive for me!😅
Long Distance Relationships
Being a third culture kid you get used to goodbyes, and used to all your friends being spread out all over the world. My friends are barely in Hong Kong anymore and are now spread all over the UK, America, Australia and everywhere else! So similar to the point above, it gets very difficult trying to organise everyone being in Hong Kong at the same time for holidays. You also lose a LOT of friends from home in the process as you find that effort is only made with the people that you’re truly friends with when you’re all the way across the world. On top of this, you become used to only being able to see your parents twice a year which SUCKS!
If I had a penny for every time I was asked “So do you speak Japanese?” or “How come you can speak such good English?” HONESTLY PEOPLE! No I don’t speak Japanese because – well need I explain!!! And I speak English because I AM English! *genuine face plant*
Explaining my Lifestyle
Growing up in Hong Kong is incredibly different to England. So many times I don’t know whether to make up something relatable when I get asked how I spend my time at home or if I should just lie. It was very common in Hong Kong to be members at Yacht Clubs and Country Clubs and to have boat parties in the summer. There’s literally no way I can say that to people here without sounding snobby so most of the time I just twist the truth a little bit👐
When I fly back and forth between England and Hong Kong and Thailand, I’m constantly doing maths in my head and get shocked by how cheap or expensive something is, even if I’ve been buying the same thing all my life! It’s crazy to think you can buy lunch in Thailand for 40p in England – literally UNHEARD OF!
Thank you so much for reading again my loveliess! 🙏 Please link below any blog posts of yours I haven’t read yet if you want! I would love to catch up and support everyone 🌼
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