Being a ‘third culture kid’ makes for a hard time figuring out where home is. As the Christmas break approaches, my friends asked me whether I would be going back to Korea, Germany, or “Wait, maybe somewhere else?”
You need to weather hardships to make yourself feel at home in different continents. Having grown up in Europe, especially in Germany, I now feel more comfortable referring to Germany as ‘home’, even though I have only been living outside my hometown, Seoul, for roughly 6-7 years. It was tough for my 12-year-old self to not only get used to speaking in English, but also German, but I managed to settle in. I also had the honor of taking university entrance exams, IB and SATs, in a language I could not really speak until I entered high school. (Well, I made it to LSE after all!)
However, you also find yourself getting used to foreign environments that form a part of your identity. The people you meet, the landscape, the things you see and eat every day – they become your life before you realize it. Regardless of how annoying that country’s public transport can be, or how tough the language-learning process is, it always comes down to these four words: it was worth it. The richness of cultural diversity and experience you encounter is simply overwhelming at times.
These ideas have given me a really important life lesson: no matter where you are, what defines ‘home’ is the people around you, and how they make you feel. I miss my family and friends in Germany, and I am about to hop on a plane ride for about an hour go ‘home’, where my loved ones are. In fact, I should start getting ready now. I hear the soft murmur of cars driving past by my (and my roommate’s) room at LSE’s Passfield Hall, (without question, the best student accommodation LSE offers), and feel I should start packing some extra things before handing them over to a Korean friend staying at his ‘home’ in England.
Goodbye London – Hello Germany, we see each other yet again! I should stop treating countries like an old friend, but I cannot help it- I have too many close friends already.