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TCK Diaries #1: Home is a Feeling

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USFCA chapter.

Growing up as a third culture kid (TCK) has its ups and downs, and presents itself with some unique challenges and feelings. For a general overview of life as a TCK, be sure to check out my previous article on “7 Signs That You’re a Third Culture Kid.” One of our most shared traits is that questions like “where are you from” or “where is home” can elicit unexpected answers, or a tangent that may seem relevant to the TCKs of the room, but often leave non-TCKs with more questions than answers. So, let’s get into what the true answer is for many of us, that we prefer to avoid most of the time!

Home is a feeling. This sounds cliche to many, but home is not a physical location, identifiable by simply an address or coordinates. Home is a feeling, home is the people that you are surrounded by, home is what you make of it.

For some, this may mean that home is wherever their family is, or where their best childhood memories are. For others, home may be with the friends that make them feel welcome and allow them to be their true self or the place where they became the truest version of themselves.

Home does not have to be a physical place, and for many, even though they are quick to say “X is my hometown” or “X is where I grew up,” they are not necessarily talking about their childhood bedroom or the street that they grew up on. They are talking about their family and friends who made that place feel like home.

My home is wherever my Mom is and where the home cooking is at that moment. Moving around, I have become very adaptable, so if I am on a week-long vacation with my family, it can still feel like home to me. Being away at school, there have also been times where my parents have lived somewhere that I have no attachment to, but that place is still home. Those feelings of home are within the company of my Mom, and not the physical location. 

Although I grew up in one primary location, this location is not a place that I feel any attachment to. I grew beyond this place in every way imaginable, and thus I do not think of it as being even remotely a part of my identity today. Despite still having some family in the area, it does not have any positive affiliations for me, it is now something far from “home.”

One day I may settle down, or this feeling may continue as I lead an ever transient lifestyle. Home may be wherever my Mom is, and one day when I have children, they could feel the same way. Home is what you make of it, home is where you want it to be, and contrary to popular belief, it can be ever-changing.

MaryCate (she/her) is a graduate of the University of San Francisco with a BA in International Studies. MaryCate is now a Master's student at Sciences Po in Paris, France studying European Affairs and Global Health.